You Could Always Go To Poland : Planet Money The World Bank expects Poland's economy to grow by 0.5 percent this year.
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You Could Always Go To Poland

Shoppers outside of a mall in Krakow, Poland. EnglishGirlAbroad/flickr hide caption

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Spain has record unemployment. Ireland's credit rating keeps getting cut. The UK's national debt could quadruple. And Poland's economy is set to grow over the next several years.

Wait. What?

That's right. Poland, one of the poorest countries in the European Union, a country that still hasn't been allowed to switch over to the Euro currency, is — relatively speaking — one of the most booming economies in Europe.

One of the largest factors is likely the Polish aversion to debt. During the 1970s and 1980s, Poland's Communist government took out heavy loans in order to operate, causing massive debt that eventually bankrupted state-owned businesses which employed thousands. As a result, the modern Polish government never allowed the sort of government and private borrowing that we've seen in other free market economies — to the point that it's still not touched a $20 billion "no-strings-attached" IMF line of credit it received in April.

Poland's also seeing the return of thousands of expats who left the country to work in more prosperous European countries after it joined the EU in 2004. For the past few years, these foreign workers have sent millions of dollars home. Now those that are returning, are embracing the growing economy and are eager to consume.