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In 2009, when the gross domestic product of the European Union contracted by 4.5 percent, Poland was the only country in the union to see its economy grow, by 1.6 percent. The EU economy as a whole remains smaller than it was at the beginning of 2009 and isn't expected to recover its losses until the end of next year. In that same period, Poland is projected to enjoy a cumulative growth of more than 16 percent.
There are various reasons Poland, a country of 38.5 million with more than 200 years of tragic history, suddenly finds itself in a position of envy. It has a large internal economy, a business-friendly political class, and the hypercharged potential of a developing country catching up with its western peers. It is playing an increasingly influential role in EU negotiations, often providing a voice of restraint during discussions on how to rebalance an off-kilter euro zone.
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