Polish PM says coronavirus is modern-day world war

2020-08-24 20:29 update: 2020-08-26, 20:56
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo PAP/Adam Warżawa
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo PAP/Adam Warżawa
The coronavirus epidemic is a kind of modern-day world war that changes the balance of power, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said in his opening address at the 3rd Development Visions Forum in the coastal city of Gdynia on Monday.

"Today, more so than a year ago, we are living in breakthrough times because of what the pandemic has done to the world. At the same time, we have the duty to pose very difficult questions in the current economic, social and political circumstances, as this is the responsibility that we've been burdened with," Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki said that such questions had to be asked, because the answers will map out the path to the future and to economic growth, which underlies social and political development.

"Here and now, the whole world has been affected by the epidemic, and we cannot distance ourselves from it. We are a part of these developments, one can say a ship on troubled waters, and we do not really know for sure how and in which direction they will take us. At the same time, we can conclude that this is a kind of turning point in the world's economic history," Morawiecki said.

The prime minister termed the epidemic "a modern-day world war that completely changes the balance of power." "Or, at least, it seems today that the epidemic may lead to a profound reconstruction of the balance of power."

Morawiecki said that Poland's allies, Western Europe and the United States, have been subjected to pressure of a magnitude they have not experienced since the fall of communism 30 years ago. In this context he said that the epidemic-caused reset of the world posed new challenges for Central Europe, but also huge opportunities. He added that the first months of the epidemic showed that the region was capable of coping with the economic challenges posed by the new conditions.

Morawiecki also spoke about the situation in Belarus, where mass protests are continuing after a recent presidential election won by to-date president Alexander Lukashenko, which the protesters say was rigged. Morawiecki said that the Belarusian crisis was a "Gordian knot" whose resolution will decide about the future of Central Europe, and informed that he planned to discuss Belarus with the Polish opposition. (PAP)