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Tiger at the EIB Forum

Prime Minister Marek Belka used the high-profile European Investment Bank (EIB) Forum in Warsaw to re-emphasise Poland's position as a post-transition economy. "I don't think we are a transition country any more. The transition is over," Belka told the international press. Belka added, though, that this point did not mean the end of change in the country.

He also used the glittering event at in the Westin Hotel to praise the EIB for entering Poland long before accession and "dealing swiftly without the useless red tape."

Among other speakers gathered for the first forum to be held in one of the new EU countries were EU Commissioner Danuta Hubner and EIB president Philippe Maystadt.

But perhaps the most refreshing remarks came from Mr. Paul Haran, Secretary General of Ireland's Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Haran emphasized the value of healthy competition, saying that each country in the EU has a right to push to see their welfare move ahead of the EU aggregate.

Haran said competition amongst the EU reminded him of a joke where two backpackers are hiking through the jungle and are approached by a tiger. One of them takes off his backpack. Observing this, the other exclaims: "You can't outrun a tiger!" To which his fellow backpacker replies: "No, but I can outrun you."

(WBJ 18.x.04)

 
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