Polish Toledo

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

US promises Poland Patriot missiles

The US secretary of defense Bob Gates (the only hold over from the Bush Administration) has given assurances that Poland will receive defense aid. He told Rzeczpospolita that if the threat from Iran disappeared there would be no need to base an anti-missile shield in Central Europe. But, America would keep its promise to base Patriot missiles on Polish soil.

The defense secretary said during the NATO summit in Kraków that the USA needs time to reach a final decision over the shield. This is another signal from Washington that if Russia puts pressure on Iran, then the US could withdraw from the shield.

The U.S. at Polish request promised to respond to any aggression against Poland without waiting for NATO to act. This is a reflection over Russian intentions, and concern about the strength of NATO's long-standing policy of "an attack on one is an attack on all."

Are we to assume however weak the EU's and NATO's military response to Putin is going to be over Georgia, the Ukraine, the Baltics or the Balkans, America will fight over Poland come what may.

The defense of Europe depends critically upon the USA.

The problem is that defending Europe doesn't stop in Poland. Guaranteeing Poland's security is pretty meaningless without also guaranteeing Slovakian, Czech, Hungarian, and Romanian security. If the US permits Putin to make moves on Romania, he will then have direct access to the Balkans and will easily destabilize the region.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frequent Sex in Poland

The Poles have the most frequent sex in Europe, show latest international survey results. Not long ago sexologists complained that Poland lagged behind in Europe as far as sex is concerned.

It was said Poles were neither inactive nor inventive in bed. In a word – underdeveloped.

Opening up to the world and two decades of economic growth sufficed to make Poles one of the most amorous nations in Europe. Poles are better than romantic Italians and sexually liberated French. Recently published research commissioned by Bayer Schering Pharma shows that 12.6 percent of Poles over 18 have sex every day. Only 8 percent of Europeans from other countries have equally frequent sex. As many as 49.5 percent of Poles make love more often that once a week.

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Ms. Double-0 Sevenska

Ian Fleming, the creator of 007 James Bond, had a war time lover. She was Winston Churchill's favorite spy. She was Polish.

Now, a big budget Hollywood movie is being made to tell the story of Krystyna Skarbek who used the name Christine Granville during World War II.

Dubbed `Churchill's favorite spy', she was awarded the George Medal for her work against the Gestapo. Her courageous actions, including a treacherous crossing into her native Poland from Hungary helped saved countless lives. After the war, she drifted into a series of affairs – including one with Fleming – before enrolling as a stewardess on a cruise ship where she met the man who was to murder her in 1952.

The film is now in pre-production and will be directed by AgnieszkaHolland, whose credits include Total Eclipse, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Skarbek's cloak-and-dagger exploits saw daring raids into occupied Poland, with forays into Egypt and Syria. Parachuted into occupied France in 1944, she took on the persona `Pauline Armand' to rally the Resistance.

Christine Granville, was IanFleming's inspiration for the James Bond character Vesper Lynd.

Vespar Lynd played by Eva Green

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Is It Crisis Time Yet?

The Polish economy that grew at a brisk 6.7 percent in 2007 swelling the ranks of the middle class with money to spend on fine wines, fancy cars and large homes slowed to a still-healthy 4.8 percent in 2008, according to government figures.

Data released this week however shows that Poland is starting to feel a chill as the global crisis hit the country's western European neighbors and the United States causing a slowdown in the manufacturing sector as foreign orders fall.

The question now is how bad things will get. Many experts still believe Poland can weather the storm better than other European countries and manage modest growth in 2009, although it exports heavily to countries already in recession.

Despite the souring mood, there are some reasons for optimism.

Polish banks are tightly regulated and were never burdened by the toxic assets that have brought down financial institutions elsewhere. Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak says Polish banks, mostly owned by large Western European banks, are often in a much better situation than their parent companies.

And bucking the larger trend, retail sales in December grew 6.6 percent over the same month in 2007, better than experts expected.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Gdansk shipyard gets European Heritage Label

A plaque was unveiled at the gate of the Gdansk Shipyard at a ceremony marking the awarding of the European Heritage Label to this historical place. It was here that the beginnings of the European transformations took place and it was only natural that it should be remembered as part of Europe's history.

The honor for gate No. 2 of the Gdansk shipyard, the very gate over which Lech Walesa, future Solidarity leader, jumped to join the striking shipyard workers of 1980comes at a very important time. The year 2009 is a year of commemorations in Poland one of the events being the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism , which had its beginnings on the site of the Gdansk shipyard.

The European Solidarity Ceneter is planning a series of events commemotrating the 20 years of the fall of communism.

The idea of the European Heritage Label came out in 2005 from the French Ministry of Culture. Its purpose is to indicate places, cultural property, monuments, natural or urban sites, tangible and intangible property that play a key role in understanding of European culture, tradition and history. Among the recipients of the label in
Poland are the Wawel Castle and Cathedral in Krakow, the eastern city of Lublin and the historic town of Gniezno. The label in Gdansk was received by representatives of the European Solidarity Center and as Maciej Lukaszewicz from the Center says it was only natural that the historical gate No. 2 of the Gdansk shipyard should also be among the honored sites.

Source: Polish Radio 29.01.2009