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poniedziałek, marca 28, 2005

All Wet, Poland

All Wet, Poland


Tradition Abuse Alert! Posted by Hello

News Poland
Just in from News.com.au:

POLISH police said an elderly woman had fallen victim to an increasingly rowdy tradition in which revellers throw water at each other in the streets on Easter
Monday.

The 74-year-old died of a heart attack after apparently being drenched...


For more, click here

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I was an unwilling 'participant' in this tradition a couple of years ago on a train to Warsaw. Leaving a small city outside of Warsaw called 'Teresin,' I was splashed with a large bucket of water -- this tradition had obviously expanded to include 30+ year old men.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

piątek, marca 25, 2005

Poland's Service Sector -- Victim's of EU Red Tape

Poland's Service Sector -- Victim's of EU Red Tape


News Poland
In from WBJ:

Recent headlines in the European press indicate that the draft Services Directive is in trouble.

Country of origin has quickly become a lightening rod for opponents. Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy announced recently his intention to exclude health-care services from the Services Directive in response to growing opposition from national medical associations and other special-interest groups. If excluded, Polish medical professionals wishing to work in other member states will first need to satisfy all local legal requirements.

[T]he provision of services throughout the EU remain subject to restrictions imposed by individual member states, despite the wording of Art. 49 of the EU Treaty -- Restrictions on the freedom to provide services within the Community shall be prohibited... (Art. 49 of the EU Treaty).

The Services Directive goes beyond merely providing the legal framework to ensure the free flow of services by introducing the concept of 'country of origin', by which a service provider will be subject to the laws of his or her home country as opposed to the country in which the service is provided.


More coverage here

EU list of recent countries who violated the spirit of free trade -- Internal Market - Services and establishment - Infringements

Other link -- click here

UPDATE [3/29/05]: "Construction company Biomax was found guilty last Monday of underpaying Polish workers in Denmark. This is one of the first court cases over 'social dumping' in the EU."

View
Would the 'country of origin' provision if excluded from Services Directive be good for consumers - that is, ensure safety and best price? Or, is this simply a way for countries to protect themselves (their citizens) from competition from service professionals who come to their country from other EU states, or both? Polish doctors working in Germany for example, would have to go through the process of qualification and credentialing as German doctors do. What about free and fair competition - can these values be reconciled, or are they 'either/or' matters? IN the USA, attorneys must take the state Bar exam in each state they want to practice law in, and the same goes for teachers too --

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

czwartek, marca 24, 2005

Why don't they come?

Why don't they come?

This in from Gazeta Wyborcza

There are four times more Polish students in European universities than foreigners studying in Poland. The question is why foreign students are avoiding our universities? Researchers of the School of Human and Economic Siences in Lodz tried to find the answer on this question. They asked nearly 170 foreign students in Poland on their personal views.

Young foreigners had a good opinion of Polish teachers. They saw professors as well qualified teachers and described the level of education as high. They also said that Poland is a beautiful country and people are very friendly.

This opinion often contradicted what they had heard about Poland before they came to the country. One of Dutch students said before his coming to Poland he was told that the country is boring with unfriendly people.

Students also complained they had received not enough information on university courses. It was difficult for them to find out whether they learn the same programme that they could learn in other European universities.

View: It is not enough when our universities are no worse than others. To have a good PR and to attract more foreign students Polish universities should have much higher level of education than their European rivals. Pure fantasy?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

środa, marca 23, 2005

Barroso in Poland - Let 1,000 Flowers Bloom, or at least 25

Barroso in Poland - Let 1,000 Flowers Bloom, or at least 25

News Poland
In from IHT Online:

The political usefulness of distinguishing "Old Europe" from "New Europe" seems to have run its course at long last. But a more concrete divide persists between old economic Europe and new economic Europe - one that is becoming starker by the day.

In its most basic form, this divide separates Europeans who are actively embracing a market-based economy from those who cling to a heavy-handed brand of regulation for trade, labor, farming, and competition, with the added baggage of big state-owned businesses.

For more, click here

Sharp EU division arises on services


View
Cleavages now run along economic faultlines -- you can see odd bedfellows today - some countries in the Old Europe are even more resistant to economic policy change than New EU Club member states. Poland is a bit schizo, while reform minded (in order to be more competitive), it also supports trade barriers in the agricultural sector. The assumed link between free-markets and increased quality of life is not so apparent anymore (was it ever more than just an ideology?). Some EU countries with very liberal economies rank low on the quality of life index . The new EU members seem to be even more reformist and liberal than Old Europe members.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

niedziela, marca 20, 2005

Poland hosts Anti-Terror Conference

Poland hosts Anti-Terror Conference

News Poland
In from Daily Times:

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski warned Council of Europe member states on Friday against paralysing democracy in the fight against organised crime and terrorism.

'We must be careful to avoid that the fight against terrorism and organised crime do not paralyse the smooth functioning of a normal democratic society. We must not lose what constitutes the basis of a democratic society,' said Kwasniewski, whose country has chaired the Council’s Committee of Ministers since November.

...he stressed that any moves to clamp down on organised crime and terrorism must be taken with respect for individual freedoms.

For full story, click here

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This is a very important dialogue going on -- balancing security and freedom within the context of encouraging cooperation among EU states. Interestingly, the Polish president also mentioned Beslan.

More than 340 people died, half of them children, when a standoff between law enforcement authorities and hostage-takers who had herded more than 1,000 students and teachers into a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan last September ended in a chaotic shootout.


It's hard to tell if the Polish president was only condemning the terrorists in the Beslan tradgedy, or Russian authorities also. How does the Russia-Chechnya conflict fit into this dialogue? In other news, Poland makes a bold gesture that might have serious political repercussions with Russia.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

piątek, marca 18, 2005

International Paper to be delivered in Warsaw, Poland - "Has Europe lost its Heart" (and sold its Soul)?

International Paper to be delivered in Warsaw, Poland - "Has Europe lost its Heart" (and sold its Soul)?

News Poland
In from EurActive.com:

This paper, by Charles Wyplosz, has been prepared for the international conference entitled "Europe after the enlargement", to be hosted by the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw on 8-9 April.

Highlights from the paper:

Once upon a time Europe was a small group of like-minded countries determined to integrate themselves politically and economically tightly enough to eliminate forever the specter of war...Not only is war all but ruled out, but economic and political integration has deepened to a degree that the most Euro-enthusiasts never dreamt of. More amazing even is how the project has spread. Nearly the entire continent is now part of the Union, and Turkey might even join by the end of the decade. Two hundred million people share the same currency and enjoy borderless travel.

But success has had its price. Twenty-five countries do not cooperate as six used to. Each enlargement inevitably gives the impression that the undertaking is being diluted, and perceived dilution means more weight to national interests and less willingness to take the next integrative step. Or so it seems. This paper argues that this perception is misguided.

For original post, click here

For entire paper (in pdf format) -- go to Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE)

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

czwartek, marca 17, 2005

Poles more tolerant than French, Germans or Britons?

Poles more tolerant than French, Germans or Britons?

According to Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna Poles are among the most tolerant nations in Europe. The Centre recently has conducted a poll within European countries asking people of their attitude to foreigners. Only 14.3 per cent of respondents in Poland were against giving citizen's rights to those immigrants that are staying in the country legally. It was the lowest percentage in Europe of those who are against giving rights to foreigners. For example in Britain 48,5 per cent were against these rights, 40.5 per cent in France, 43.4 in the Netherlands and 51.8 in the West of Germany.
Only 20 % of Poles were against multicultural society in their country and 30 per cent wanted some restrictions toward foreigners. In comparison: in Greece nearly 60 % were against multicultural society and 80 % wanted restrictions towards foreigners.

View
Does this really mean that Poles are not so xenophobic and racist like they are usually portrayed in the media? Or the other nations are less tolerant because they have social problems with ethnic minorities? In fact in Poland we don't have too many foreigners and social problems with poor immigrants like they have in Western Europe. Maybe that is the reason of Polish openness?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

wtorek, marca 15, 2005

Supersize P r o s z ę! - Obesity Epidemic among schoolchildren in Poland

Supersize P r o s z ę! - Obesity Epidemic among schoolchildren in Poland

News Poland
Just in from EUobserver.com:

The number of overweight schoolchildren in Europe is rising at an alarming rate, adding to an already critical obesity problem, according to figures released on Tuesday (15 March) by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF).

The survey shows that the number of overweight schoolchildren is rising by 400,000 per year, joining the already 14 million overweight people in the EU.

The EU's health commissioner, Markos Kyprianou, has described the situation as "an obesity epidemic".

Although the number of obese people in Europe has been rising for many years, the rate of increase amongst children is especially alarming - with Poland and the UK seeing the sharpest increases.

Amongst adults in Europe, obesity rates range from 10 -27 percent in men and up to 38 percent in women. The corresponding figures in the US stand at 28 percent for men and 34 percent in women.

But some countries - Finland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta - have already surpassed the overweight rates in the US.

For full article, click here

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I hear alot about the 'evil-3' -- McDonald's/KFC/Pizza Hut in Warsaw...but is the increase in obesity in Poland the fault of fast food? Or is fast food a symptom (or scapegoat) of what's happening in a larger sense in Poland. The modern 'go-go' culture of double income families can be observed by looking at what goes into the lunches of children nowadays. I have noticed a few chunksters in the city...but it's hard to tell if they are Polish or not.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Another earthquake in Poland

Another earthquake in Poland

News Poland
In from USGS:

A micro earthquake occurred at 16:47:20 (UTC) on Tuesday, March 8, 2005. The magnitude 2.5 event has been located in POLAND. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
For more details, go here

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Honestly, I have never lived in a place (for an extended period of time -- I was born in California, USA) with a history of earthquakes. I didn't feel this one, but I don't want to think about the state of Warsaw if a real one hit. Can you imagine? It's a bit unsettling, although maybe mother nature would take care of "the Palace" for all of us in just a few seconds.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Attention Poland Netizens - Top Five Online Scams

Attention Poland Netizens - Top Five Online Scams

News Poland
Exclusive from PC World.com

In September 2004, the number of domain name registrations hit 64.5 million--an all-time high. You know what else is on the rise? Internet crime.
And the winners are:

1. Auction Fraud
2. Phishing Scams
3. Nigerian 419 Letter
4. Postal Forwarding/Reshipping Scam
5. "Congratulations, You've Won an Xbox (IPod, plasma TV, etc.)"


For a informative summary of the threats, click here

View:
We all know about this problem. In fact, just today, I received an e-mail with a 'wp.pl' domain and my scanner kicked it out as a worm virus. And of course the Nigerian 419 letter (do you know what 419 means? Hint: Answer in article) has arrived in my box many times -- I hope that chap gets the help he is looking for!

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

poniedziałek, marca 14, 2005

Polish employers identify skills shortages despite 3mil unemployed

Polish employers identify skills shortages despite 3mil unemployed

News Poland
Just in from Poland AM:

Although the unemployment rate hovers at around the three million level, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified labor. Bogdan Gorzycki, a car dealer in Bydgoszcz, attempted to find a car electrician, but although every forth adult person in the region is looking for a job his search proved fruitless.

Krystyna Foltyn, who owns a network of hairdresser salons in Kraków, has encountered similar problems. She complains about continuous staffing problems, with applicants having high expectations and very few skills. One labor specialist suggests apt applicants who have relevant university qualifications are becoming rare. "The problem lies in high cost of labor which makes workers descend to the gray zone," another source suggested.


View
Many Poles I meet are in the opposite situation, they are overqualified. Or, they have education but lack relevant experience.

******************************************************
PolBlog - News Poland 24/7
Poland's first daily English-language news blog.
Read the news then share your views

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

niedziela, marca 13, 2005

Watch what you drink - Death of an Expat in Poland

Watch what you drink - Death of an Expat in Poland

News Poland
This in from Poland Monthly:

Cooperating with a Polish television journalist, TVN’s Jarek Jabrzyk and Dutch freelance journalist Ekke Overbeek, Poland Monthly was able to uncover the facts behind the activities of a Warsaw crime ring, which was actively drugging expatriate businessmen for cash late in 2002 and in the spring of 2003.

Lorazepam is not the only drug used to knock out unsuspecting victims, but it is one of the hardest to reveal in chemical tests. Similar drugs, known as “date-rape drugs” after a series of women fell victim to predatory men in the US, have been used in other countries to render a person unconscious in order to commit a crime. One victim contacted by Poland Monthly, Richard S. (name changed), told Poland Monthly that he was unconscious for more than 20 hours.

When queried by Poland Monthly, two Kraków prostitutes told of women drugging Polish victims in escort agencies, and police sources confirmed that such incidents are not as isolated as they may seem. Mike G., who said that out of fear he will never return to Poland, not even to cooperate with police, put it more bluntly.

'They say it is only eight cases, but it is probably 80,' he said. 'Poland does not want anyone to know about this—Polish authorities do not want people to know that it is not safe for businessmen, which is why they haven’t informed anyone about it.'


For more -- here

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Free Natives! English Language Volunteers in Poland

Free Natives! English Language Volunteers in Poland

News Poland
In from News Courier (Athens, Alabama, USA):

Two weeks in the countryside of Poland teaching young children the basics of the English language gave Cherry Anne Ward and Nancy Hightower an admiration for a resilient people not many years removed from the Soviet communist influence.

'Having recently joined the European Union,' explains Ward, "they think it's important for their children to learn to speak a common language. They chose English, the language of economics.

Ward and Hightower joined a team of 20 volunteers serving 8-10 schools in the Polish countryside east of Warsaw. Ranging in age from 20 to 78, the volunteers included a dentist, a doctor, a hospital administrator - even a former spy recruiter who now works in a prosecutor's office in New Jersey. More than half of them, says Nancy, had Polish backgrounds - a Polish grandmother who sang to them as a child, or some other cultural tie. Many had been on previous Global Volunteers expeditions.

That volunteer's experience reflected that of GV founder Bud Philbrook, who along with his new wife decided in the early 1980s to spend a honeymoon given to service. That first mission trip was the inspiration for GV, which gave rise to the concept of 'volunteer vacations' in which volunteers pay their own expenses and join teams to work on a selected project alongside native inhabitants.


For more, click here

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This story really brings to light the sharp division of access to English language learning between big cities and the rest of Poland. How many native English speakers here in Warsaw actually volunteer their services to local schools? Perhaps an opportunity exists to give back?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Poland to cut back its troops in Iraq in July: minister

Poland to cut back its troops in Iraq in July: minister

News Poland
This in from TurkishPress.com

Poland will withdraw "several hundred" of its troops from Iraq in July, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski was quoted as saying Friday.

"Currently, our mission involves stabilization and training, while after the first half of the year it will be more focused on training than on stabilization tasks, which require a smaller number of soldiers," Szmajdzinski told the Rzeczpospolita daily.

For more here

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It is great to see progress being made in the Polish controlled areas of Iraq. In a country where it seemed that no nation involved would be able to pull out anytime soon due to the violence it's nice to see that some areas have stabilized enough for countries like Poland to be able to so drastically reduce it's troups and be able to see a complete or near complete removal of it's troups in the future. I am certain many Polish families will be happy to be back together again.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

sobota, marca 12, 2005

Hey Poland! EU economy 'at least 20 years' behind US

Hey Poland! EU economy 'at least 20 years' behind US

News Poland
This in from EU Observer:

The US economy is 20 years ahead of that of the EU and it will take decades for Europe to catch up, according to an explosive new study published on Friday (11 March).

The survey, unveiled by pan-EU small business organisation Eurochambres, is intended as a sharp "wake-up call" for EU leaders as they gather on 22 March for a summit on how to boost growth and jobs in the EU economy.

The EU's current performance in terms of employment was achieved in the US in 1978 and it will take until 2023 for Europe to catch up, the report shows.

Data clearly suggest that including the 10 new member countries in the comparison would further deteriorate Europe's position compared to the US for all four major indicators, says the report.


For more here

View
It's not too bright folks -- but the EU should be given credit because even in spite of this report, it still takes the whole project seriously. The EU should be applauded at least for taking a long view on development, integration, and expansion. But I hope it doesn't try to expand much more for the time being.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

piątek, marca 11, 2005

Warsaw, Got Ink? Supporting Iraqis

Warsaw, Got Ink? Supporting Iraqis


Supporting Democracy in Iraq -- Blue fingers at Bald Penguin Cafe, Praga (Warsaw) - CF Meeting 2/2005 Posted by Hello

Blue Ink Solidarity
-- Read about what other's are saying - click here

Iraq Decides

Iraq Decides Posted by Hello

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Can Poland help stop Europe's Brain Drain?

Can Poland help stop Europe's Brain Drain?

News Poland
This just in from IHT:

"A proposal to create a European technology institute modeled on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faces serious questions about financing and academic support, lawmakers say."

"Poland thinks it has a good shot at hosting such a European institute, its science minister has been reported as saying, but a group of 130 members of the European Parliament, calling themselves the Campaign for Parliament Reform, suggested founding it in Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg, France."

"We already have tons of really good research institutes in Europe. The Max Planck Institutes, for example, are world-renowned," Verstraten said. "There are many ways to stop the brain-drain. I'm not sure a European MIT is one of them."

For more, here

UPDATE [3/11/05]: Fears of brain drain from Poland and new EU states haven't been borne: "When Poland and six other former communist countries entered the European Union last year, many feared they would lose their most talented and skilled denizens to Britain, Ireland and Sweden - richer EU countries that have opened their labor markets to new EU members. "


View
Nice idea -- but why does Poland think it can host such an institute? Perhaps it's connected with location (possibly drawing talent from both East and West). But stopping the brain drain? It's not just about having the shiniest, fastest technologies, or the brightest minds -- the culture required to support such a project is the most important aspect...and this cannot simply be conjured up out of thin air. A culture of peer review, brutal peer review, is essential -- it's not just about money -- why does wealthy Japan only have a handful of Nobel laureates? It's not due to a lack of cash or top-notch facilities, no, it has to do with the research culture. The USA dominates the sciences when it comes to Nobels, it attracts the best, not because of a handful of cash, but also the research culture -- in sociological terms, this might be called cultural capital.

One way to stop the brain drain (although the fears are more real than the reality -- see UPDATE link above) is to create a friendly environment fo foreign investment , including infrastructure -- this would encourage people to stay.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

środa, marca 09, 2005

close the doors to dialogue

close the doors to dialogue

From poland.pl news:
News from Poland: ''Killing Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov by Russian security forces was a political mistake', claims Poland's foreign minister Adam Rotfeld. "

"Maskhadov was the only partner for Russia, with whom a ceasefire and peace in Chechnya could be negotiated" - said the head of the polish diplomacy, suggesting even a deliberate attempt by Moscow to eliminate dialogue as an option, by eliminating the most credible Chechen leader.

Aslan Maskhadow, 53, was born on Sept. 21, 1951, in Kazakhstan, where Stalin had ordered the deportation of most of the Chechen population during World War II. He served most of his life in the Soviet Army, rising to the rank of colonel. After Chechnya declared its independence in 1991, he became commander of the unrecognized country's army. He remained military leader during the first Chechen war, from 1994 to 1996, when he commanded a daring assault to retake Grozny from Russian troops. After a peace was negotiated by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, in a short term of de facto independence, (Jan. 1997) Aslan Maskhadow was elected president. Unable to deal with crime and growing muslim extremism, he tried to regain his countrymen support by conducting military actions outside the country. This decision gave Russia reason for the second offensive. Still a leader of the rebel fighters, Maskhadow was gradually losing influence to the commanders openly using terrorist tactics. Still he was seen by some observers as a posible partner in a peace negotiations - if any negotiations would be ever considered by Russian authorities.

For more comments at current situation, read here.

UPDATE [3/10]- A Russian blog with good info on this topic...

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

wtorek, marca 08, 2005

Real Estate: History in Reverse

Real Estate: History in Reverse

Newsweek International reports:
It's our dream house," says Tomasz Pawlik, clicking through the slides on his laptop. In a few days, the 33-year-old restaurant owner in Szczecin, Poland, expects to sign the contract that will make him the owner of a handsome two-story country house, built in 1917 for a Lutheran parson. What's unusual about this homeowner's bliss is that the house is in a different country. He and his girlfriend, a painter, will soon commute to Szczecin from the German village of Wetzenow, a 25-kilometer hop across what used to be a tightly guarded border.
.... For the Poles, that makes Germany a house hunter's heaven. Real-estate agent Magdalena Pysz, who just opened her office in Szczecin last November, says she has 600 clients looking to buy on the German side. She's found apartments for Szczecin University students, who (as long as they're willing to commute) can rent freshly renovated apartments for less than they'd pay for a run-down flat in town. Pawlik is paying only 15,000 euro for his parsonage, a fixer-upper that he expects to take a year of work. "On the Polish side a house like that would cost 75,000 euro," Pawlik says. "And I would have to look at least 50 kilometers outside Szczecin to find it."

Viev:
This may be a case of geography winning out over history - writes Newsweek. But it is something more. This is the case of breaking walls and stereotypes between two formerly hostile nations. Just like it happened at German-French border about half a century ago. I am not risking much when I say that pretty soon we will se similar situation at Poland's eastern border with Ukraine. Are we and they prepared for this?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

In the end, Poland backs software patent law

In the end, Poland backs software patent law

News Poland
In from International Herald Tribune:

"Ministers from European Union nations agreed Monday to support a contentious proposal for a law on software patents, even though the European Parliament recently called for the draft to be scrapped."

"A majority of parliamentarians, as well as many software developers and legal experts, said they believed the text signed by ministers Monday had too many loopholes and would make it too easy to patent pure software, as opposed to software integrated into a machine like a mobile phone or a medical device. Both sides in the debate agree that pure software should not be patentable."

"Poland had to support the text against its will because it agreed informally to do so at a meeting shortly after its arrival in the Union last year."

For more here

UPDATE: EU ministers give finger to patent law refuseniks

Other links:
Thanks, Poland!

Software patent directive officially approved
"The directive will now be passed to European Parliament, which can reject or amend the proposal, for a second reading."

"The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) accused the EU Council of ignoring the views of both the national parliament that spoke out against the directive and the European Parliament, which demanded that the directive be restarted."

"This is a very sad day for democracy and casts a very dark shadow over the European Constitution, which will give the Council even more power," said the FFII in a statement."

"Mueller agreed that the Council's decision was 'undemocratic'. He said that getting the Parliament to reject or amend the proposal could be difficult."

"The hurdle is very high as we need an absolute majority of every member of parliament, which means 367 MEPs for every amendment to the directive," said Mueller.

View
If Ministers needn't heed Parliament then what can be said of the citizens who voted for those people in Parliament? Some say that patent law chills innovation

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

poniedziałek, marca 07, 2005

80 percent of Polish roads fail to meet EU standards

80 percent of Polish roads fail to meet EU standards

News Poland
In from WBJ:

"The appalling state of Poland's roads is infamous across Europe. For those who journey outside Warsaw, a simple meeting can turn into a transport trial. Even in the capital, the risk of losing a wheel in the chasm-like post-winter cracks can turn into a daily trauma. But the consequences of the pitiful road network go far beyond a simple question of comfort. The fatality rate per capita on Poland's roads is nearly double the level in neighboring Germany, and while deaths fell in the 15 old EU countries by 10 percent, the figures in Poland show no sign of a dramatic decrease."

"Some 88 percent of our roads are local and regional, and of the remaining 12 percent only four percent comply with EU norms. We have one of the worst, if not the worst road networks in the EU," says Vice-Minister of Infrastructure Ryszard Kurylczyk."

"Regulations providing guidelines for public-private partnerships (PPP) are being discussed in the parliament, but Jan Rokita, the leader of Civic Platform and widely regarded as the Prime Minister in waiting, is skeptical: 'The PPP is a matter of know-how and not legislation.' He announced that his party would increase the effectiveness of private and public cooperatives."

For more, here

On the road to nowhere?

On the road to nowhere Posted by Hello

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We Don't Need No Education: Teaching - the View From Poland

We Don't Need No Education: Teaching - the View From Poland

News Poland
Just in from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

"In the belief that participation should be encouraged from the outset, I attempt to spark discussion. I pass out a timeline of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and ask students to identify significant patterns on it. But the rush-hour traffic makes discussion nearly impossible. Nobody can hear anyone else over the cars and thundering trams that rush down Naurotowicza every few minutes, rattling the windows."

"So begins my first semester of teaching in Poland."

"On the whole, however, student performance is weak. Completion of reading is uneven, although I deliberately keep the English-language texts to a mere 20 pages per week. During lectures, students cannot be troubled to be quiet. Although I underscore the critical, analytical, and argumentative nature of expository writing, most students persist in thinking of information-gathering as the sole point of papers."

"In short, with some notable exceptions, I find Polish student performance mediocre. Primary blame, I believe, rests with university policy. Given three attempts to pass any class, why should most students care? Negative results have no lasting consequence."

The saga continues here

View
I experienced the Polish culture of collaboration (read: cheating) in school as a grad student in Warsaw. But the class had students from all around Central/Eastern Europe and the spirit of cheating transcended national boundaries. I wondered, in this class of students studying to become social scientists, what standard of research integrity is being transmitted here? ...or, that's what I wish I was wondering as I scanned my neighbor's desk. Really, it was significant enough to notice.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Po angielsku proszę!

Po angielsku proszę!

News Poland
This in from The Warsaw Voice:

In an effort to answer the needs of Warsaw's foreigners as well as help Poles learning foreign languages, some Polish television and radio stations have launched news programs in English.

Although not many stations decided to provide the service, existing programs are fairly professional and well executed. Most foreigners tune in to the BBC's World Service on the radio or watch BBC or CNN by satellite or cable television. Still, music played on Radio PiN seems appealing enough that few switch to another radio station, even if they understand little Polish. TVN24, the 24h television news channel, launched Erica Oley's 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. TVN24 News. This is a new concept in Polish media.

For more, here

View
A brilliant idea both for the English speaking people in Poland and the Polish people studying English. In many ways Poland is not the most friendly country for non-Polish speakers, maybe this is a sign of that changing.

On a side note, Most Americans who come to Poland develop an affinity to it quite quickly or hate it even quicker.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

niedziela, marca 06, 2005

American values are similar to the Poles' values - hard work, religious beliefs and saving for the future

American values are similar to the Poles' values - hard work, religious beliefs and saving for the future

News Poland
This in from The Republican:

"Polish people wanted a better life, and they found it when they started moving to Western Massachusetts more than a century ago. Some farmed the fertile Connecticut River Valley, while others toiled at textile mills up to 55 hours a week, all working toward the same American dream."

"They began arriving in the late 1880s, the majority coming to Chicopee from the poor Galicia region in southern Poland, controlled by Austria."

"Today, in the three-county area, Chicopee still has the largest number of people reporting Polish as their first ancestry - 10,224, according to the 2000 census. Other communities with large Polish populations are Springfield, 6,730; Westfield, 4,848; Holyoke, 3,310; Ludlow, 2,887; Northampton, 2,579; Agawam, 2,434; and Palmer, 2,363."

"The largest movement of Poles came between 1904 and 1911, Jendrysik said. From 1870 to 1914, about 850,000 men, women and children of Polish descent emigrated to the United States, according to 'Springfield's Ethnic Heritage.'"

For more, here

In USA - Polish Center for Discovery and Learning at Elms College

View
Most people associate Chicago or NYC with Polish communities...but here is one of the first and vibrant as any, in Massachusetts.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Katyn: Poland recalls 1940 massacre

Katyn: Poland recalls 1940 massacre

News Poland
This in from Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Poles yesterday attended a Mass, sang patriotic songs, and lay flowers on a monument to more than 21,000 military officers and intellectuals massacred by Soviet agents in Katyn Forest, marking the day 65 years ago that dictator Joseph Stalin ordered the killings."

"A recent Russian investigation failed to produce any new names of surviving perpetrators among the secret police force that carried out the killing, largely by shots to the back of the head, over several nights."

"We are calling on the authorities of the Russian Federation to reveal the names of those who were responsible for the genocide in the spring of 1940," said Stefan Melak, the head of the group. "We are calling on Russian authorities to accept this crime as genocide."

UPDATE [3/11/2005]: More news - Russia says WW2 executions of Poles not genocide

LATEST UPDATE [3/12/05]:
Russia to hand over Katyn files to Poland

View
Better late than never? Russia should follow Germany's lead (regarding its WWII history) here and confess and publicly acknowledge this part of history (even though it was done under the USSR). Maybe Russia is worried that a flood of claims will ensue, notably from Chechnya. But let's not hold Russia to a standard that doesn't reflect reality. For example, taking responsibility for slavery (not to mention relations with Native Americans) is still a touchy topic in the USA, and that wasn't 60 years ago, but over 150.

But all is not dark and without redemption, Poles also honored a Russian for liberating a death camp - Auschwitz liberator honored by Poland

Developing story, has Russia been demonized by history? -- in from Scotsman.com News:

The role the Soviet Army played in liberating Europe from the Nazis was deliberately played down in the postwar years as well as during the Second World War. This could be seen in the delayed opening of the Second Front, in inconsistent and often superficial coverage of the events on the Eastern, or Soviet front.

'Our allies, particularly, Great Britain and Churchill personally, sought to show that the main role in the victory belonged to them alone, and to Britain in particular. '

People tend to forget, for example, that Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz. You remember how the Allies bombed the Third Reich territories? They virtually razed Dresden to the ground. Why didn't they drop bombs on the railway leading to Auschwitz, knowing that people were being sent to Auschwitz along that particular railway to be killed?


For more, click here

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Now that's alot of zloty! Parkridge Holdings, a British property developer, will invest EUR 500 million in Poland

Now that's alot of zloty! Parkridge Holdings, a British property developer, will invest EUR 500 million in Poland

News Poland
In from WBJ:
"Parkridge CE Retail, plans to construct five commercial centers over the next three years. Each of the centers, called Focus Parks, will encompass a cinema and around 600 shops. "We will spend EUR 300 million on Focus Parks, one third of which on a facility in Gliwice," stated Jarosław Fijałkowski, the managing director of Parkridge CE Retail."

For more, click here

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Can we get beyond the cinema/shop paradigm? Is this the best planners have to offer? And if not, at least encourage communication between shops to make the deal a little sweeter for the consumer. For example, when I leave the cinema at about 10.30-11pm, it would really be nice to be able to stop at the cafe or snack shop for a bite before I go home. Right now, the reality is that when I leave the cinema, all that awaits is an empty corridor of closed shops and mulling security guards. You can do better than that.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

sobota, marca 05, 2005

You are not alone - Germany and Poland plan to step up efforts to strengthen Ukraine's fledgling democracy

You are not alone - Germany and Poland plan to step up efforts to strengthen Ukraine's fledgling democracy

News Poland
This in from Deutsche Welle:
"German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and his Polish counterpart Adam Rotfeld will make a joint trip to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on March 21 to send a signal of support to Ukraine just months after the country ushered in democracy following popular protests."

"At a press conference during Fischer's one-day trip to Warsaw on Friday, the two ministers said that they were going to Kiev to let the Ukrainians know they wouldn't be left alone and that they intended to help Ukraine in building democracy."

"[D]espite Germany's backing of democracy in Ukraine, relations between Berlin and Kiev have suffered recently following revelations of a massive illegal immigrant scandal in the German foreign ministry."

For more

View
Poland is keen on a Ukraine in the EU club. What kind of support can Poland give? It's Ukraine's biggest EU neighbor and this is significant.



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FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

NHS in the United Kingdom Recruits Dentists from Poland

NHS in the United Kingdom Recruits Dentists from Poland

News Poland
This from blog:
"Health Minister Rosie Winterton met Polish dentists at a training school in Warsaw who will eventually come to work for the NHS in England."

“Since May 2004, workers from Poland and from the other seven accession states who have come to the UK are working not only in the health service, but also are filling gaps in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, and construction.”

"Mr Balicki said: 'We perceive the UK as a very reliable partner in Europe and do value the importance of the Polish-British co-operation on various issues, including opportunities for Polish dentists to work in the NHS.'"

View
I understand why Polish dentist are leaving Poland -- system is faltering, but why doesn't Britain have enough of its own dentists?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Poles busy at Polls: Poland to hold referendum on EU constitution in September

Poles busy at Polls: Poland to hold referendum on EU constitution in September

News Poland
This just in from the People's Daily:
"Both the presidential and parliamentary elections plus the referendum will all be held in the year. Parliamentary elections will be held ahead of schedule, because Poland's ruling Democratic Left Alliance lost its once huge majority in parliament following a string of corruption scandals. "

"Poland will hold a referendum on the European Union (EU) constitution on Sept. 25, President Aleksander Kwasniewski announced on Friday."

"Kwasniewski made his remarks after meeting with leaders of leftist parties, adding that the participants agreed that the first round of presidential elections and the referendum will be held on the same day."

For more, click here

Poland politics: Summertime polls?

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piątek, marca 04, 2005

Poland Supports Plans for European University in Ukraine

Poland Supports Plans for European University in Ukraine

News Poland
Reported from Radio Polonia:
"Heads of Polish and German diplomacies Adam Rotfeld and Joschka Fischer, respectively, have announced at a joint press conference in Warsaw that they will pay a visit to Kiev on March 21st . The aim of their trip is to manifest support for Ukraine in overcoming its first obstacles following the victory of the Orange Revolution there."

"The two countries are also hoping for a quick establishment of a European University in Ukraine." For more, click here

This also in from The National Radio Company of Ukraine:
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko meets in Kyiv with her visiting Polish opposite number, Marek Belka

"Today nothing prevents Ukraine from operating the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline in the direct mode"[Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine PM]

"[T]he Ukrainian Prime Minister stressed, Ukrainian-Polish partnership has reached beyond diplomatic relations. Now, she said, these relations are like familial bounds".

For more, click here

"Poland, although now an EU state, relies on Russian oil imports to function. A proposed pipeline from Ukraine could change that."

View
It's not slouching toward the East, it's big, bold, and strategic swaggering by Poland and Germany. A European University in Ukraine? Ukrainian-Polish partnership now called a familial bond by the Ukraine PM...bold gestures toward the West. On the one hand a European University so close to Russia, on the other hand pointing the relationship West with a likening to family.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

To be, or not to be -- Bid to oust Poland's PM rejected

To be, or not to be -- Bid to oust Poland's PM rejected

News Poland
The BBC reports:
"The Polish parliament has narrowly rejected a motion calling for the immediate resignation of the caretaker Prime Minister, Marek Belka...The lower house rejected the non-binding resolution by just two votes"

"The resolution calling for Mr Belka's resignation was put forward by the small nationalist opposition League of Polish Families."

For more, click here

Just in from Insight Central Europe:
"The Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka has said he will step down in May to force early elections."

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled today against Poland

The European Court of Human Rights ruled today against Poland

News Poland
This is from Radio Polonia:
"The Strasbourg-based court found in favor of 11 relatives of crew members killed in the disaster and ordered Poland to pay a fine of 50, 600 euros..."

For more, click here

The story on the first court ruling in 1999, the so-called final verdict. From the 1999 story: "The sinking of the Jan Heweliusz on Jan. 15, 1993 was the biggest tragedy in the history of the Polish civil passenger fleet."

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The families of the sailors that perished in "Heweliusz" disaster have been entitled to compensations, not for the deaths of their loved ones, but for the impartiality of the polish court that ruled against them getting any compensations in the first place. However, the Court of Human Rights ruling does not erase the verdict of the polish Supreme Court - just states it unfair. That may be correct from the "technical" point of view, but is it fair?

How come it was possible to assemble a court featuring people reccomended by the same ministry that was a side in the case - without a reaction from the authorities, AND the public?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

czwartek, marca 03, 2005

Polish PM seeks early elections - Belka: 'Help, please help'

Polish PM seeks early elections - Belka: 'Help, please help'

News Poland
This in from BBC NEWS:
"Poland's Prime Minister Marek Belka has urged parliament to dissolve itself on 5 May to allow for early elections. "


For more, click Polish PM seeks early elections


View
The burning question is whether Mr. Belka will join the new centrist Democratic Party. It seems this new party favors the new EU constitution. Does Poland really need another party or just major reform within existing parties? Maybe they need to be "Wildsteined?"

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Poczta Polska's monopoly on delivering letters is broken

Poczta Polska's monopoly on delivering letters is broken

News Poland
In from Warsaw Business Journal:
"Poczta Polska's monopoly on delivering letters and parcels weighing less than 2 kilograms was broken yesterday by a court ruling."

For more, click here

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This ruling will now allow US company UPS to deliver packages under 2 kilos. Here comes another multi-national into the Polish market. Do you think this is a good verdict? UPS has an excellent reputation in the States. The fact that the court ruled this way could open up the market to more carriers. Is this a good idea? What's your view of the Polish mail system? My only gripe is that I wish they looked like postal carriers -- in the States, you can clearly identify the mail carrier and it's kinda nice to see them in their uniforms and driving their postal trucks/vans.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

SS veteran sacked by son as boss of corpse factory

SS veteran sacked by son as boss of corpse factory

News Poland
This is from Telegraph Network:
"The German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who preserves human corpses by injecting them with plastic resin, has bowed to pressure and removed his father as project leader at a new corpse preparation factory in Poland after the disclosure that he was an SS veteran. "

For more, click here

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Mr. von Hagens claims he was unaware of his father's past. Given how precise his kind of work is, and the attention to detail needed, how could he overlook this one? He said that he would hire a Pole instead, is this more acceptable to you?

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środa, marca 02, 2005

Wildstein's List

Wildstein's List

News
This from Siec News:
"The IPN Index, dubbed the Wildstein List, contains in alphabetical order the names of agents and collaborators of the communist-era secret service..."

"Wildstein, a well known opposition figure from the early days of Krakow Student Solidarity Committee, has been fired by Rzeczpospolita, to protests, to include Poland's major daily's own reporters."

For original, click here

For some background, Polish Secret Police List Opens Old Wounds

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Just how pervasive was collaboration with the communists? Does it matter anymore? Why? and to whom? Watch what happens to this issues as Polish elections get closer -- hothot!

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

"A little off the top, please"...Bikini barbers raise temperatures in Polish City of Slupsk

"A little off the top, please"...Bikini barbers raise temperatures in Polish City of Slupsk

News
From IOL:
"These ladies do not fulfil the requirements, so they can't give haircuts," he said, admitting however that "transparent plastic overalls" could possibly comply with the health code."

More here

View
What do you think, why not Warsaw? It's like a "Hooters" with sharp implements...Is Warsaw ready for this?

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Spiritual Focus on Poland for World Prayer Day (3/4/2005) - Spiritual Feminism?

Spiritual Focus on Poland for World Prayer Day (3/4/2005) - Spiritual Feminism?

News
This from the net:
"This year's World Day of Prayer, written by the women of Poland, reflects on the theme Let Our Light Shine. The women of Poland greet all those participating in this service by saying, Szczesc Boze which means, May God Bless You!"

This from SP Journal:
"The idea that millions of women around the world will be praying on the same day with the same thoughts in mind is what Betsy Suehring of Rosholt likes most about the celebration...Suehring is the secretary at Faith Lutheran Church in Rosholt and North New Hope Lutheran Church and she has been going to the World Day of Prayer celebrations for 30 years...

The World Day of Prayer isn't led by a priest, minister or rabbi, but by female laypeople from a range of Christian denominations. Suehring will be one of five women reading prayers and guiding worshippers in songs chosen by Polish women."


More info here

UPDATE [3/9]: Report on Prayer Day

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Media coverage of this event will focus attention on social problems in Poland - watch how the mass media handles this...Will the ladies squander this opportunity and do the politically correct thing and pray for the Pope, instead of maybe using the opportunity to highlight social ills?

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Poland to Debate Tomorrow Premier Resignation Motion -- Backdoor for Belka?

Poland to Debate Tomorrow Premier Resignation Motion -- Backdoor for Belka?

News
On Bloomberg.com:
"Polish lawmakers will vote tomorrow on a motion calling for Prime Minister Marek Belka's resignation, a move which would pave the way for early elections." More here

View
If the motion passes, elections will be held at least 3 months earlier - what do you think about this? Do you prefer to vote in June or September? What does this election mean to you?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Polish Computerisation Act passes Parliament vote

Polish Computerisation Act passes Parliament vote

Although this was fresh a few weeks ago, it is still NEWS here...Now you can blog the Polish PM and even send e-mails to your elected officials, but not just yet -- the Senate still has to vote...welcome to the 21st century! Polish Computerisation Act passes Parliament vote


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wtorek, marca 01, 2005

Civic Platform tipped to win parliamentary elections

Civic Platform tipped to win parliamentary elections

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

The way to Polish culture -- through the stomach?

The way to Polish culture -- through the stomach?

This unique Polish cookbook is also a window on Polish culture, a cookbook and history lesson in one, history can leave a good taste in your mouth -- entitiled "Eat Smart in Poland: Excellent Practical Guide of Polish Cuisine"

There is an interesting section about Polish cuisine during the '80s --

Please send us your recommended Polish recipes -- I am looking for a recipe for garlic soup....

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Pope Speaks to Vatican Official

Pope Speaks to Vatican Official

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PJP II is speaking now says a Vatican spokesman "[his] condition is improving. "


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Maybe it's time for an official Holy Father Blog? Until then, here is an unofficial (call Ratzinger!) Pope Blog

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Art imitating History? German to build corpse art factory in Poland

Art imitating History? German to build corpse art factory in Poland

This is just a bit too deja vu in a surrealist way, the artist, Gunther von Hagens proposes to build corpse art factory in Poland.

And just in case this isn't enough, the artist father may have been involved in some WWII crimes against Poles...can Poland say no to a few bucks?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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