Poroshenko appoints Polish economist Balcerowicz as his representative in Ukraine govt

By bne IntelliNews April 22, 2016

Polish economist Leszek Balcerowicz was appointed Petro Poroshenko’s advisor and representative in Ukraine's government, according to a special decree signed by the president on April 22.

"We will not have a team of the president or the prime minister," Poroshenko's media office quoted the president as saying during a meeting with the economist, who is famous for implementing the Polish structural economic reforms in the 1990s. "We will have one team that will reform the country."

Poroshenko's move is an attempt to shore up confidence amongst Ukraine's Western backers and international donors in the new national government headed by Volodymyr Groysman. The West is urging Ukraine's government to implement badly needed economic reforms to enable the unlocking of frozen donor funding, and to fight against endemic corruption.

Balcerowicz was also appointed co-chairman of the group of strategic advisors on the support for reforms in Ukraine. According to the presidential media office, the establishment of the group has been endorsed by the EU.

Another well-known European economist, former Slovakian finance minister Ivan Miklos, is another co-chairman of the group. He will also chair the group of advisors to the new prime minister. Earlier, Miklos was also considered for the post of finance minister in the new cabinet, replacing US-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

"Ukraine’s development is much better than it is pictured abroad," Poroshenko's media office quoted Balcerowicz as saying during a meeting with the president. "I have to show these achievements that are not always noticed by the West."

Meanwhile, Miklos underllined that Ukraine had significant unused potential, and "our goal is not to create a parallel structure, but to help Ukrainian reformers overcome problems".

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