WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s president and central bank governor were killed when their plane crashed in thick fog on its approach to a Russian airport on Saturday, officials said.
A plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski and central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek crashed on approach to Smolensk airport in western Russia, killing all on board, officials said. Several other senior government officials were also on board.
Below are comments by analysts.
MAGDALENA POLAN, SENIOR EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, GOLDMAN SACHS
“Although tragic, we do not believe that this event threatens political and financial stability in Poland in any fundamental way. According to the Polish constitution, the speaker of the house, Bronislaw Komorowski, will become the acting president. NBP Governor will be replaced by his first deputy, Piotr Wiesiolek. So continuity in government and at the NBP will be secured, instantly.
“The NBP would be ready to provide short term liquidity facilities to ensure the orderly functioning of the markets, if needed. We do not, therefore, expect to see excessive market volatility on Monday morning.
“Presidential elections are scheduled for this autumn and Komorowski is a leading candidate, having been recently selected in a primary vote by the Civic Platform, the party currently leading the governing coalition. Wiesiolek has been the First Deputy Governor of the NBP since March 2008. Other officials will be replaced as provided by the Polish law.
ANDRZEJ ARENDARSKI, HEAD OF NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“It’s important for the central bank to quickly have a new governor who would, with his background and history would confirm that our currency and reserves are in good hands.
“I am thinking about (former central bank governor Leszek) Balcerowicz. If he’s capable, he should make himself available.
“I don’t expect a significant reaction on the markets because the executive power is concentrated in the hands of the prime minister... From the economic point of view, nothing endangers the Polish economy.”
PIOTR WINCZOREK, LAW PROFESSOR, CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT
“The speaker of the parliament takes over presidential responsibilities. In fact, Bronislaw Komorowski should already take the office.”
“The speaker has two weeks to announce new presidential election and they have to take place within two months from the announcement. There is no room for maneuver here.”
“the constitution says the central bank governor is named by the president and approved by the parliament. The parliament is incomplete at the moment and should be filled before the central bank governor is named.”
MARCIN MROWIEC, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT BANK PEKAO
“Foreign investors have learned to see our country through a perspective of fundamentals, so even though we should expect a negative reaction, it should be moderate. There are a lot of question marks. There were so many important political people on board and politics influence the economy.
“The main question from the economic perspective is who will replace the head of the central bank and whether he will guarantee its independence from the government, especially considering that the new governor will most likely be chosen by the governing coalition.”
ALEKSANDER KWASNIEWSKI, POLAND’S FORMER PRESIDENT “The parliament speaker now has 15 days to announce a presidential election that must take place 60 days afterwards at the latest. So from today, from this unimaginable tragedy, we have 74 days until presidential elections.”
JACEK WASILEWSKI, PROFESSOR, SWPS (HIGHER SCHOOL OF SOCIAL
“The political consequences will be long term and possibly will change the entire future landscape of Polish politics.”
“Of course Law and Justice has taken the greatest blow from this event, but it does not make Civic Platform’s life any easier. It is hard to be opposed to someone who suffered such a great loss.”
“I don’t think the political calendar will change much as it pretty much set by the Polish law. I cannot imagine postponement or cancellation of the Presidential and local elections.”
JACEK WISNIEWSKI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, RAIFFEISEN BANK, WARSAW
“I think that on Monday all investors will concentrate on the constitutional aspects of this event. I expect a moderated reaction.”
Compiled by Warsaw Newsroom
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