Polish election results

So the Poles, as expected, delivered almost 60% of their votes to conservative parties, with the social conservatives (Law & Justice) edging ahead of the free-marketeers (Civic Platform). The edge given to Law and Justice was contrary to polling indications.

Conflict between the coalition partners may make it difficult to pursue tax cuts, at least in the short term. This is a shame. Tax competition is at the heart of the current wave of economic reform. Germany desperately needs to cut taxes on employment and hack back its bloated welfare and regulatory state partly because of competition from low cost countries to the east. A flat tax, as proposed by Civic Platform would increase pressure for western countries to take the same route.

Where Poland's conservatives are somewhat at odds with trends in western Europe is over the Euro. Both parties would like to see Poland join, though Law & Justice is in less of a hurry, which may prove the wiser course.

Polish enthusiasm for the Euro is somewhat to be expected. New EU members are usually very keen on European projects, regarding their participation as proof of modernisation and acceptance. This remains the case in the previous "new Europe" to the south, with Spain being one of the most enthusiastic endorsers of the failed European constitution. So, while Germany and Italy contemplate withdrawal from the Euro and its most enthusiastic supporters in Britain postpone their fantasies of entry for a generation, Poland is knocking at the door.

The question is, will there be anyone there to let them in?

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