Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pole to lead NATO?

NATO is the world's most powerful military block, and soon it may be lead by Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski according to opinions of the German Der Spiegel The International Herald Tribune, and The Economist.

Given the growing complicated international situation and NATO engagements - both direct and indirect - in various global conflicts and tensions, a great deal of competence and experience would be required from a potential candidate to the post.

[Article from The Economist]

Wiki background: Sikorski was much involved in the Solidarity social movement in the late 1970s, and chaired the student strike committee in Bydgoszcz in March 1981. Stranded in Britain when martial law was declared in his homeland in December 1981, he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. While at Oxford he was a member of the infamous all-male dining society The Bullingdon Club, whose members then included the current leader of the British Conservative Party David Cameron. He then worked as a freelance journalist. In 1984, he took British citizenship. In the mid-1980s, Sikorski worked as a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Angola. For a photograph taken in Afghanistan he won the World Press Photo prize in 1988. From 1990 he was an advisor to Rupert Murdoch on investments in Poland.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Carol singing in Krakow

In the south of Poland, around a thousand people turned up on Krakow's historic Main Market Square for the annual carol singing lesson last Sunday. With songbooks aplenty, local artists led the crowd with how to sing all classic carols, as well as hymns that are less known. This was the 32nd time the carol singing lesson has happened on the Main Market Square in Krakow.

What Pole's are expecting in 2009

The latest poll by the Public Opinion Research Center reviels that 61% mainly well educated citizens of major cities show optimism for 2009.

Only 4% of respondents believe that politicians will stop squabbling, while 85% think that the level of corruption in the country will remain the same.

On the economy,

13% were optimistic 2009 prices will not increase unbearably
16% are hopeful that living conditions will improve
17% have a positive attitude towards job creation in 2009

Only 21% believe that health service reforms will improve medical care.

Regarding New Year's resolutions, Poles are rather reluctant towards making any at all, with only 28% planning to change something in their lives.

Source: the news.pl 22.12.2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet next for religious media tycoon

Poland's religious media tycoon, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, head of Radio Maryja and Television Trwam, wants to broaden his empire on the Internet.

"If only we had a few Internet websites! We need to fight for young listeners, and the youth is the Internet. Let us all learn [how to use] the Internet," Father Rydzyk appealed to his followers during a holy mass he gave on the seventeenth anniversary of the founding of the controversial Radio Maryja station on Saturday.

Father Rydzyk's media empire has its beginnings in the early 1990s. The listeners of his ultra-conservative Radio Maryja are mainly elderly people, who after 1989 felt marginalised. The radio quickly became a player on the political stage, much to the annoyance of the Vatican, which has repeatedly warned Rydzyk not to get involved in party politics.

In 2003 Rydzyk introduced a new element to the empire – Television Trwam, available via satellite in many countries.

Developing an internet service is just part of the planned expansion of the Rydzyk empire. Only recently the priest revealed that he intends to invest in a mobile communications network.

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Miss Polonia 2008

Miss Polonia 2008 ~ Angelika Jakubowska

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Poland supports Ukraine's Euro Atlantic aspirations

Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has told his Ukrainian opposite number Volodymyr Ohryzko that Poland supports Ukraine's aspirations to join the Euro Atlantic structures.

Minister Ohryzko is paying a working visit to Warsaw. Radoslaw Sikorski stressed that Ukraine is the biggest country covered by the EU's Eastern Partnership, championed by Poland.

Warsaw wants to lower the cost of visas for Ukrainians and eventually to introduce a visa-free traffic between Ukraine and the Schengen zone. It also backs the idea of opening the EU labor market to Ukrainian workers. Minister Ohryzko said that Ukraine's entry into the EU and NATO will increase European security. He assured that preparations for the Euro 2012 championships, which Poland and Ukraine will co-host, are proceeding without interruptions in Ukraine.

Source: Polish Radio 10.12.2008 which means Dec. 10, 2008

Polish cinema is 100 years old

An exhibition documenting one hundred years of Polish cinema has opened at the Polish Film Institute in Warsaw.

On display are photos from some 130 feature films, press reviews, comments by leading filmmakers and the documentation relating to the festival awards received by Polish directors, scriptwriters and cameramen.

The exhibition will remain on view as a permanent display at the Polish Film Institute, but its replicas are to be on view in the Warsaw city centre next spring, at major film festivals as well as at the Polish Cultural Institutes abroad in twenty cities, including London, Paris, Copenhagen and Budapest. It will be also included on the Polish Film Institute's website http://www.pisf.pl/index.php?kategoria=706.

Source: thenews.pl 10.12.2008 which means Dec, 10, 2008

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

This is not America

Even the Poles realize the growing disregard for our sacred Constitution.

This is not America - Anna Maria Jopek and Pat Metheny

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fortune by Image

It's Saint Andrew's Eve and in Poland a traditional day for forecasting one's future. One of the most popular fortune-telling methods is to pour melted wax into cold water, then remove the set wax and look at the shadow it throws on a wall in the light of a candle. Originally, St.Andrew's Eve fortune-telling was for young girls (boys had St.Catherine' s Eve) hoping to find out when they will get married.
Somebody got lucky

Tusk Can Only Hope

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday he would be "honored" to meet the Dalai Lama during the his visit to Poland next weekend. "If the opportunity presents itself, I would be most honored to meet the Dalai Lama," Tusk told reporters.

"The situation in Tibet constitutes, from a European point of view, a major obstacle to normal relations with China," he added.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been invited, alongside other past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, to a ceremony in northern Gdansk marking 25 years since Solidarity icon Lech Walesa was awarded the honor.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has insisted he will meet the Dalai Lama in Poland on December 6. In response, China decided to scrap a summit with the European Union scheduled for next week in France, which Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had been due to attend. In Poland, Sarkozy will be meeting with nine prime ministers from eastern and central Europe to discuss economic and climate initiatives.

EU Membership Still Popular with Poles

65% of Poles are pleased with membership in the EU
7% were against the membership
25% claimed that it was neither good nor bad

Support for EU membership in Poland had dropped by 10 points since last year – and the number of those who didn't think it was good or bad rose by... 10 points.

65% said that EU entry had not affected their lives in any significant way. 66% said it affected the situation of Poland – out of this number 9% were of the opinion it was to Poland's disadvantage.

Overall, I'd think the EU entitlement money has something to do with its popularity. Soon however things may change as most NATO members continue to be a bunch of pussies in a ever more threatening world.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama & Poland Shaky Start

Relations between Warsaw and Washington’s president-elect have got off to a shaky start this week, following a double political whammy from President Lech Kaczynski and PiS backbencher Artur Gorski.

On Saturday, a statement appeared on the president’s website saying that in a telephone conversation on Friday evening between him and Barack Obama, the president-elect had “Expressed hope in the continuation of political and military cooperation between our countries. He also said that the missile defence project would continue.”

Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Denis McDonough, promptly denied this, saying that no pledge had been made. He said that there had been “a good conversation” with Kaczynski about the American-Polish alliance and missile defence, but “Obama made no commitment on it.”

On the other hand Secretary of State to be Hillary Clinton [Hillary tells Poland what to do] throws her weight around in regards to Poland's foreign and domestic policy. Poland getting the shaft again? Sure looks like it to me.
Cousins in Gdynia are not too pleased with the overwhilming support by Polish-Americans voting in the Obama/Biden team. Also don't understand Obama hiding his birth certificate. Obama visited Pakistan in 1981 when U.S. citizens were banned from traveling there (it's in his book). Obviously he had an Indonesian passport. And, the only way you can get a passport is to be a citizen of the issuing country.
Poland's eastern border is viewed as a flash-point by some familar with the situation.
Source: New Warsaw Express

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What Economic Crisis?

Poland's individual consumption and ongoing modernisation of the economy will help the Polish economy to maintain relatively high growth, despite global slowdown, Monetary Policy Council member Andrzej Slawinski told public radio.

Talking about GDP growth, Slawinski pointed out that "the rate of individual consumption will hold at a decent level" and that "our economy is modernising fast."Poland will also be helped by low level of imbalances, with debt levels of households, corporates and the state still relatively low.

While offering no personal forecast for ther GDP growth, Slawinski described central banks' forecasts as more reliable than those prepared by commercial banks.Slawinski, what could be expected, declined to talk about further rate cuts. "It's too early to talk about a sequence and a scale," he said.

Source: Warsaw Voice, November 27, 2008

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