Poland’s central bank chief ‘regrets’ language used in secret recording

Marek Belka recorded speaking about ‘lack of co-operation’ from finance minister

Marek Belka, governor of the central bank of Poland: said recording posted on magazine website was “manipulated”. Photograph: Piotr Malecki/Bloomberg

Marek Belka, governor of the central bank of Poland: said recording posted on magazine website was “manipulated”. Photograph: Piotr Malecki/Bloomberg

Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 01:00

Poland’s central bank governor Marek Belka said he “regrets” language he used during a 2013 conversation with minister for the interior Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz that was secretly recorded and has led to calls for prime minister Donald Tusk to resign.

Mr Belka said yesterday he never broke a law and that the recording posted on Wprost magazine’s website was “manipulated”. In it, two men are heard speaking about possible central bank moves to bolster growth, said the magazine.

“Over the course of a two-hour discussion, several minutes of comments on the stability of the financial system were taken out of context and, via manipulation, presented as an instance of the central bank governor exceeding his powers, which never took place,” said the bank. “The governor expresses deep regret for the language used in this private conversation.”

The allegations that one of Mr Tusk’s ministers sought economic assistance to keep the opposition from winning elections next year led to calls for him to resign.

Mr Tusk indicated he will hold a press conference to respond. Mr Belka invited Mr Sienkiewicz to the meeting to discuss the security of Polish banknotes and coins, said the bank. During the conversation, Mr Belka told Mr Sienkiewicz “about the lack of co-operation from the finance minister on aspects of Poland’s financial stability”, said the central bank. – (Bloomberg)