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Polish MPs hit out against privatization in banking sector

As a parliamentary inquiry gets underway, Polish MPs have question both the legitimacy and national benefit of the post-Cold War trend for privatization in the Polish banking industry.

Concerned that some of the sell-offs may have been rife with corruption and that privatization would create unwanted foreign market dominance, MPs have criticized the de-nationalization of Polish banking, describing it as ‘against the national interest’.

In response to the parliamentary opposition to the privatization wave, the Warsaw government has now instigated an inquiry to examine the issue.

However, the Polish parliamentary attitude is likely to draw criticism from Brussels since Poland, as a fledgling member of the EU, is expected to support an open market that allows foreign investment.

Meanwhile, Leszek Balcerowicz, the head of the Polish central bank, has also criticized the political developments. Mr Balcerowicz has called the move populist and a threat to Poland’s democratic system, RTE Business has reported.

Despite this, the investigation – which will look at issues of corruption and customer exploitation – will continue and oversees players in the Polish market, such as ING and Citigroup, are likely to be scrutinized.