SIR – The cautiously optimistic outlook for the Polish economy presented in your survey on Poland is debatable (May 13th). To ensure long-term growth, structural reform is called for. Alas, the current government, distrustful of markets, is steeped in dirigisme and unlikely to take on vested interests (trade unions) that thwart reformist efforts. Instead of liberalising the economy, it plans, for instance, to ban shops from opening on Sundays, which is bound to result in an increase in already high unemployment. The administration's electoral slogan, “cheap state”, is just a paper pledge as it is currently expanding: new ministries, replete with cars and secretaries, have been created for coalition partners.
SIR – I disagree with your characterisation of the Kaczynski brothers as weird but benign. Their appetite for power has prevented a coalition with Civic Platform, which would have given Poland a government with a strong mandate and the necessary competencies to implement meaningful and overdue economic reforms. The Kaczynski brothers missed an historic opportunity and have harmed Poland.
SIR – While it may be true that the worst bits of Poland are “egregiously bad”, it certainly does not apply to public transport, at least not in Warsaw. The example you gave of the bus from the airport to the city centre is misleading; in fact, most airport buses are modern and relatively clean (although I can't argue with “pickpocket-infested”). If they are slow it is because traffic in Warsaw can be a disaster, making public transport all the more appealing. It is easier for me to get from A to B in Warsaw than in my native San Francisco and much cheaper, even after accounting for the difference in spending power. If you need an example of the worst bits, you'd do better to look at pollution, corruption of all sorts, and the fact that no one will give you change for a 100 zloty bill.