Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś talks with the chairman of the National Credit Unions Grzegorz Bierecki

Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ: – An advertisement is a lever of trade. In the media transmission, however, the following correctness appeared: if you buy an advertising banner in a leftist newspaper – you are ‘O.K.’, but if in the rightist – you are ‘not O.K’. How to explain it?

GRZEGORZ BIERECKI: – That’s true. However, it is worth noting that this correctness is launched in media of leftist roots. So, it turns out that if somebody does not place advertisements in these titles, is bad. Whereas – and it happens so in the case of Cooperative Credit Unions – we often refer to our roots in advertising messages, and they are naturally connected with the Christian communities. It would be difficult to compare Credit Unions with pious banks in the leftist-liberal media because they are ironic about these people and enterprises.

– Father Rydzyk has been criticized recently that he has too little money so that the Television Trwam would find its place on the digital platform. In media, you, chairman, were also criticized that you have too much money. Aren’t these accusations a kind of blows beyond criticism, if you earn money honestly?

– As it is seen, neither Television Trwam nor Credit Unions are pets of media or powers having their majority of members in the parliament. The Television Trwam was punished at one moment for ‘broadcasting messages which are a hidden advertisement’. In this case hidden advertisers were the Higher School of Social and Media Culture and Stefczyk’s Credit Unions and the base of the event – a journalistic report on the beginning of the academic year of this higher school and information about not rich young people beginning their studies, whom Stefczyk’s Credit Unions gave scholarships. And me? Well, I became resistant to the media lynching to which I had been subjected for the first time for co-creation and supporting the anti-usurious act.

– In the reports on the scandal of Amber Gold in many TV transmissions there appears a logo of Credit Unions. Isn’t it manipulation?

– I would like to believe that this situation is a result of thoughtlessness, oversight, but the frequency of transmissions of this kind allows to think that it is a deliberate action, in order to cause an impression among viewers that – similarly as Amber Gold – Credit Unions are institutions also dangerous and incredible. These comparisons are not true and in no way are they authorized. There have appeared even voices that the scandal connected with the activity of Amber Gold was made so popular in order to fight against Credit Unions. Whereas para-bank institutions are a contradiction of our activity. Since when we became salt in the eye of competitors, various definitions and directives have been used towards us, to discredit us in the eyes of the public opinion. Luckily, Poles know well who we are and where we came from, so I do not think they would believe in such a primitive propaganda of comparing us with the para-bank.

– In newspapers there are suggestions that you decided to be a senator because of an immunity. Without giving at least messages of these conclusions, the whole argument is a big slander…

– It is also one of the elements of the campaign directed against Credit Unions. Isn’t it a slander to place Credit Unions on the same level as such companies as Amber Gold? One should ask the question: what is the purpose of these actions? The answer comes itself: it is all about discrediting Credit Unions in the public opinion.

– The commission of Financial Supervision has not been seriously treated recently by many politicians (like in the case of Amber Gold). So why is this opposition about making Credit Unions dependent on this institution?

– This act – I will remind – was written by parliamentarians on the leave of absence from banks at the time of parliamentarian presidency. I do not see any danger for Credit Unions in this fact, but as much as the commission of Financial Supervision does its prerogatives accurately and honestly. The widely-known scandal in the recent time of the president of the District Court in Gdańsk who, during a phone call, asked for instructions about the arrest of the director of Amber Gold who introduced himself as an assistant of the director of the prime minister’s office, brings a danger that commission of Financial Supervision will be also ‘flexible’ towards Credit Unions.

– Don’t you consider using a kind of words game as outrageous whose consequence is acknowledging any actions in the business as a ‘jump’ on Credit Unions?

– It is a continuation of actions about which we were talking before. Re-concluding: what image of Credit Unions will be created by a viewer or a newspaper reader who are persuaded into belief that credit unions are like Amber Gold and their chairman is a Croesus who hides himself behind the senator’s immunity? Whereas facts are following. Credit Unions function in 100 countries, gather 188 million people, I am a vice-president of the organization gathering them – the World Council of Credit Unions. Polish credit unions have been functioning for 20 years, during which none of them went bankrupt or was in a danger of bankruptcy. They are institutions having only Polish capital, which are stable, safe and their development is the best proof for the fact that they are competitive and needed. Their only co-owners and customers are over 2.5 million families in Poland.


"Niedziela" 40/2012

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
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