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Rate cuts prompt a public falling-out

The usually understated tensions between finance ministries and independent central banks have taken on a more vociferous tone in Poland, where finance minister Marek Belka is insistent that the National Bank of Poland is being tardy in cutting interest rates, thus perpetuating a period of economic stagnation.

Euromoney's interview with Polish finance minister Marek Belka gets off to an inauspicious start. After returning from a lovely holiday in Jamaica, perhaps he is feeling a bit tetchy. Or perhaps he is under rather a lot of pressure at the moment. First, the minister cannot understand Euromoney's accent. "I always thought my English was good enough to understand but I don't understand you."

The parliament's resolution condemning the NBP; Sejm
(Polish Parliament); Lescek Balcerowicz

Then the language problem miraculously clears up, because there is a content problem with the first question - about economic growth. There is a lot of frenetic room-pacing by the minister and negotiations with the press officer about whether Euromoney could be booted out with an empty notebook into the snowy streets of Warsaw - and straight back to London.

"I don't want to talk about general economic policies, I am sick of talking about this," he says, finally throwing himself down in a chair.

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