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Central bank Governor Adam Glapinski’s unexpectedly raucous swearing-in ceremony shows just how political the problem of spiking consumer prices has become in Poland a year before general elections.
Glapinski, a close friend of ruling-party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, took his oath in parliament to officially start his second six-year term as governor on Wednesday. During his swearing in, opposition lawmakers unfurled banners reading “Glapinski Must Go,” displayed signs showing much prices have surged and equating the ruling party with rising costs, while chanting “expensive, expensive.”
The highest inflation in almost a quarter century has angered Poles, especially after the governor blindsided many mortgage holders by aggressively raising interest rates following months of playing down the threat to price stability.
While the government continues to lead in opinion polls, the opposition may have a chance of ousting the ruling Law & Justice party in next year’s ballot if it bands together. The cost of living crisis is so far the focus of the opposition’s campaign.
Faced with a public outcry over 13.9% inflation, Glapinski has repeatedly defended himself by saying that the surge couldn’t have been predicted. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is referring to the spike in prices as “Putinflation” in an attempt to push blame for the situation on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During the ceremony, opposition party lawmaker Klaudia Jachira dumped confetti resembling banknotes from a gallery in the chamber. She told reporters that her action, for which she got reprimanded by the parliament speaker, was meant to show how much money the central bank had printed during its quantitative-easing program.
Other than repeating the oath, Glapinski didn’t address lawmakers or journalists in parliament.
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