Julian Dunajewski

The man who saved Austrian economy



In 1880 for the first time in the history of the Austro- Hungarian Empire, a Pole became a Minister of Treasury. He occupied this position for 11 years. His significant impact on Austro- Hungarian economy can still be seen in his portrait which hangs in the Austrian parliament. Dunajewski is remembered as a person who saved Vienna from a financial catastrophe but also created a budget surplus.


But how has his journey began?


He was born in Stanisławów in Poland. He had received his education in Vienna University, Lviv University and Cracow’s University. He was an economic conservative, and his views on rent form capital came before that of Böhm- Bawerk (Austrian economist who had contributed in a significant way to Austrians economy) for nearly 20 years.


He had a opinion of being one of the best parliamentary speakers of all time, who loves a saying that in Austria there is no controlling nation, but the only person who can control the state is Franz Joseph I.


He turned out to be ideal minister of Treasury. He found the Austro- Hungarian economy in a terrible condition with 13 million debt. When he was walking away he left the economy with 3 million surplus.


He used to say- “You do not butcher the chicken which gives you eggs just as you do not butcher the cow which supplies you with milk.”


Many people call him Austro-Hungarian Balcerowicz (famous Pole who transformed the Polish economy in 1990). Others are likely to compare him with reform of Wladyslaw Grabski who in 1920s created a crucial monetary reform in Poland.


Though even Franz Joseph I sidestepped him on occasion, he always honored the great Polish economist with privilege.


He once said- “A free economy is the cheapest, the simplest and the most adequate economic system and is a significant condition of full development of economic forces”.


He became a conservative voice in Poland- he was fighting for Polish language and administration reform. He was awarded a Doctor honoris causa- an academic title for outstanding personalities, Sankt Stephan order, The Great Band Order the Leopold emperor, and Iron Curtain order.