The current government, led by Tusk’s pro-business Civic Platform (PO), has long said euro adoption could happen around 2013, but had refused to set a concrete target for entry. Their chief barrier now may prove to be not economy, but the problems it presents to the European Central Bank and European Commission, as well as possible domestic opposition from President Lech Kaczynski’s opposition Law and Justice party.
The conservatives have yet to outright oppose euro adoption, but their let’s-take it-slow stance is generally understood to hide scepticism to the project. The problem is that it looks likely that Poland will need a change to the constitution to adopt the euro – for which it will need extra votes in parliament. If Kaczynski opposes the move, the result may be an extended domestic political war over whether Poland wants to adopt the euro at all. Finance Minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski said earlier this year that Poland could join the ERM II mechanism in 2009. EU countries that have not adopted the euro are expected to participate in ERM II for at least two years before joining the euro zone. Given standard run-in times, to adopt the euro at the end of 2011, Poland would have to join ERM-2 by the middle of next year. That in turn may drive the zloty sharply higher, analysts say.