Piotr Nowak’s return from the United States to Poland was one of the most surprising transfers during the government’s reconstruction in October. For the portfolio of ministers of development and technology, he left his high position at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From January to October this year, she was an adviser to the head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, and deputy head of one of the most important departments dealing with monetary policy and capital markets. In Business Insider Polska, we describe the background to his return to the government.
Prior to leaving for Washington, Nowak was the undersecretary of the treasury. He joined the ministry just after PiS won the election in December 2015. At that time, Paweł Szałamacha was minister. On the other hand, Nowak’s oversight covers important areas – bond issuance or regulation-making in financial markets.
– He is a technocrat both as deputy minister and minister. He has no political background, party games are not his elementand he doesn’t have much time to learn political skills – tells us one of Nowak’s former colleagues.
In the position of Minister of Development and Technology, Piotr Nowak only lasted five months. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki personally informed of his resignation on Thursday. He did so during a conference where tax changes in Polish Lada were presented.
– This decision is because the formulation of cooperation agreed with the minister has expired – said the head of government.
People from former ministerial circles pointed out that the reason for the move could be Nowak’s assertion that money from the National Reconstruction Plan would be opened to Poland. Such a statement, which Nowak based on talks with the EU commissioner, actually made. However, the former head of the development ministry stressed that he did not know when it would happen, because Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s talks and negotiations on the KPO were conducted with the Chair of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Nowak’s remarks were refuted a day later by government spokesman Piotr Müller and chief Chancellor Prime Minister Michał Dworczyk.
– So if this becomes the reason for removing the minister, it will be rather weak. Maybe it’s about his growing position in government and attempts to establish him as an alternative to Morawiecki himself. Supporters of the prime minister must have seen that such a scenario is being carried out, and the first fiddle here is played by Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, who, backing Nowak, is playing to undermine Morawiecki – emphasized in an interview with Business Insider Polska, a former associate of the dismissed minister. .
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We heard from the prime minister’s entourage that Nowak’s work assessment decided his resignation.
– The prime minister feels that the minister is not doing anything, which is especially noticeable after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. We had never heard of ideas about how to ease the economic crisis that war would bring, to support Polish businessmen who backfired, or even ideas about how to help Ukrainian refugees. However, there is the impression that the minister wants to compete in public with the prime minister, said our informant from among the heads of government.
Many in the government and PiS pointed out that Piotr Nowak is considered by some to be the new, politically deprecated version of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
They emphasize that, just as he entered politics through the ministry of development, he knows English very well and that he is at home in international business and politics.
– Even the topic of Poland’s entry into the G20 was an idea Morawiecki lobbied for several years ago, still as deputy prime minister. Now there is only a different context, because the plan is based on the less realistic expulsion of the Russians from this group. Nowak is also a candidate for two positions, namely Minister of Development and Finance. Just like Morawiecki after the expulsion of Szałamacha from the government – tells us the supporters of the head of government.
Nowak also begins to present himself as a contact person in the world. He met with French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno le Mair, the top commissioner of the European Union, twice visiting the United States, where he spoke, inter alia, with US trade secretary Gina M. Raimondo, IMF head Kristalina Georgieva, with whom she has good relations. and president of the World Bank.
– Morawiecki also likes to emphasize his international elegance after he joined the PiS government after the election. This gave him the prime minister’s seat in place of Beata Szydło, the co-prime minister added.
Points for Morawiecki
Within the rival political factions in PiS, Piotr Nowak is a supporter of Jacek Sasin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets. This, however, today is the main rival of Mateusz Morawiecki. For months, Sasin has limited the prime minister’s influence at state-owned companies and in government.
– It was Sasin who found Nowak, persuaded him to return from the US and persuaded President Kaczyński for this candidacy. Everything is happening outside of the prime minister, he doesn’t even know if Nowak will appear at the inauguration of a new minister. at the president’s place. Nowak returned from the United States early, but did not show off in Warsaw. Many people around the prime minister thought until the end that he was in Washington and if he didn’t show up at the Presidential Palace, Morawiecki would have time to find his man for the ministry of development, our next PiS interlocutor said.
In his opinion, by resigning Nowak, Morawiecki scored a point in the fight against Sasin.
– He pointed out that he has a strong position in PiS, and this one only had the support of Jarosław Kaczyński, who had to give the green light to issue a development minister. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Morawiecki grew up in the party, he was with the chairman of the PiS in Kiev, in case someone didn’t notice it was Nowak – emphasize our interlocutor.
He added that perhaps PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński did not want further tensions in the government, and Morawiecki was already fighting with the justice minister and Polish Solidarity leader Zbigniew Ziobra or Jacek Sasin.
Our sources indicate that From the start of his ministerial career, Piotr Nowak opposed his formal boss, the prime minister.. It is common knowledge that they had a strained relationship when the former deputy finance minister, and Morawiecki was deputy prime minister and head of the finance ministry. One of the associates of the former development and technology minister accused Nowak of perhaps hating Morawiecki for not supporting him when he was about to move from the Ministry of Finance to a State Treasury company. This plan has been blocked.
– It wasn’t easy for Nowak in the development department from the start. This ministry is a mess because of the PiS rules, there are new bosses there every now and then, while the ministry is of a rather low quality – tells us a guy who has been working with Nowak in the last few months.
He also admits that he has no political experience.
– He’s not a politician, he doesn’t have his own team, he surrounds himself with experts, former colleagues of the Ministry of Finance, and no one to help him read real politics, faction games, establish a position in PiS. He was politically designated as Morawiecki 2.0 by the Sasins, but he did not find anyone who would help him implement this plan – added our interlocutor. According to him, Nowak, who entered the political position of minister of constitution, was also disappointed with the amount of time spent on PR and various types of games.
The end of the dream about politics
Our interlocutors agree that Piotr Nowak cannot count on a soft landing in any of the State Treasury companies or any other office in the orbit of public administration.
– With his CV and experience in financial markets, he will have no trouble finding a job in a private business. These are people who enter the government judged positively even by those associated with the opposition. He’s resigned from a very lucrative job in Washington, but he’s not feeling well in the United States, so it’s hard to say whether he wants to return there – emphasize our interlocutor, who works closely with Nowak.
We have not been able to contact Piotr Nowak as of this publication.
See also: “Patch on patch”, “system simplification”. Economists’ mixed comments on the Polish Deal correction
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