Marek Jakubiak’s Polish brewing business has notched up 20 per cent sales growth each year since 2009, riding an economic boom that made Poland Europe’s fastest-growing economy in recent years. So it may seem surprising that Mr Jakubiak wants to throw out the government that steered that course. Yet he and other Poles are threatening to do just that. On Sunday, they will vote in a presidential election that many see as a harbinger of October parliamentary polls that could end almost a decade of rule by a government admired across Europe. Since coming to power in 2007, the Civic Platform party has managed to sidestep the financial crisis that has dragged much of the continent into recession, turning out year after year of gross domestic product growth. But not all Poles appreciate its efforts.
“Like many Polish people I cannot watch this political theatre any longer. Real change must happen. Poland needs action,” said Mr Jakubiak, chief executive of Browary Regionalne Jakubiak, a regional beer producer. “The Polish political class is focused on its own interests . . . more than the health of the economy or the good of the state. This is a time for change.”
Poles have already stunned the ruling party, earlier this month unexpectedly defying President Bronislaw Komorowski’s re-election bid. Two-thirds of voters backing opposition politicians and anti-establishment figures in the first round of the election.
That has forced Mr Komorowski into a run-off vote on Sunday against his rightwing rival, Andrzej Duda, after a stilted campaign failed to resonate with voters that have grown tired of a governing elite that has changed little since coming to power in 2007.