Grzegorz Kolodko, Poland’s first deputy premier and minister of finance from 1994-1997 who currently is a senior visiting fellow at the World Bank and is an advisor of Poland’s president, will be attending a celebration of his country’s entry into NATO to be held in Spivey Hall at Clayton College and State University on Sunday, June 28.

      The event, which is being organized by The Polish-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast U.S. in collaboration with Spivey Hall and WABE-FM 90.1, also will feature several Polish-American artists who will perform works of Polish-American composer David Diamond.

      Violinist Jan Stanienda and cellist Atilla Pasztor at the event, which will begin at 3:00 p.m, will join internationally renowned Polish-American pianist Piotr Folkert.

      Dr. Kolodko will speak about the current state of Poland’s economy at a reception for corporate sponsors of the celebration to be held prior to the performance.  He also will be speaking at a breakfast that the Polish chamber will hold Monday morning, June 29.

      During a telephone interview with GlobalFax from Washington D.C., he called admission to NATO the most recent step toward Poland’s establishment as an important European political and economic power.

      Membership in NATO would benefit Poland, he said, by improving its security and further encouraging foreign and domestic investors to support its economy.

      He added, however, that he considered Poland’s admission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last year equally significant because it reflected the progress made by his country’s economy.

      I’m proud that our economic strategy from 1994-1997 has provided a growth rate of our gross domestic product of 6.5% each year, the highest in Europe, he said.  This year’s rate will not fall below 6% and he said that he thinks Poland will be able to grow at a rate of 7% for another 20 years.

      On the other hand, he said that Poland’s economy had to strengthen even further before it could seriously consider its accession to the European Union.  He especially cited the need for Poland to improve the per capita income of its population.

     For more information about the celebration, call Debbie Spangler at (404) 870-4641; fax, (404) 872-5547.  To learn more about the breakfast, call Witold Zabinsky at (404) 633-0015.