Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yeah, we'll see

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said he's counting on “active participation” from the United States for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first free elections in Poland on June  4,  1989.

Komorowski spoke to Barack Obama during a dinner which the US President put on for participants of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly.

Arab appreciation of our Noble Peace Prize Winner. Maybe the 
welcome will be as warm in Poland if he attends the celebration
Asked by Polish Radio whether Obama will come to Poland, Komorowski said “we are talking about it, and we will try to persuade [Obama], although we'll see,” although he underlined that there is “understanding about the importance of the anniversary.”

“We are very much counting on the active presence of the USA for the anniversary, which is an anniversary of freedom, and  June 4th is not just a freedom day for Poland,” Komorowski added. The Polish president also spoke about the future of Ukraine with Obama, saying that “it was important for me to get through to the US president to say that Poland is effectively building political support for Ukraine.”

Asked what he heard from Barack Obama, however, Komorowski said that the US president declared that he “looks better without a mustache.”

Polish Wind Farms

German company RWE Innogy inaugurated its 6th wind farm in Poland at  Nowy Staw. The 45 megawatt system can generate enough energy to meet the annual demands of more than 50,000 homes.

The company took just over a year to install 22 wind turbines near the city of Gdansk. RWE said the wind farm was built and connected to the Polish energy grid on schedule.

Poland is one of RWE's premier wind energy markets and has installed onshore wind energy capacity of 200 MW in the country.

A European renewable energy directive calls on members to ensure they get 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020.

Russian-Polish jets scramble

Two Polish F-16s take to the air as part of Vigilant Skies, a NATO-Russia exercise focused on bolstering cooperation during a airline hijacking. The partnership formed in 2002 in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York. A communication system has been established to allow Russia and NATO to communicate in real time during a crisis. Officials also say the program promotes transparency and trust. Courtesy Polish Ministry of Defense

Polish-German Commonwealth?

Some folks might think that Lech Wąłesa might be off his rocker.  The Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president, whose Solidarity trade union played the most important role in bringing an end to the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union, said the world had changed and needed new ways of organizing itself.

So, despite the bloody history between the two countries he has called for Poland to unite with Germany to form one European state.

Speaking to Russia's Itar-Tass news agency, Wąłesa said national boundaries were not as relevant as they once were and,  “we need to expand economic and defense cooperation and other structures to create one state from Poland and Germany in Europe.” 

“We have traveled so far in our technical advancements that we are no longer located in our own countries,” he said, adding that this required changes to geographical structures, the economy and democracy.

He went on to say, "Although few Poles have forgotten Germany’s invasion and brutal occupation of Poland in 1939, history should not be an obstacle to unity. After the war, Germany fully confessed to all its dirty tricks. It's necessary to is draw a line under the past, even if people did something evil. Until we do, wounds won't heal.”

Mr. Wąłesa’s calls for Polish-German unity exceed his previous support for closer European solidarity. At the forefront of his country's campaign to remove itself from the Soviet communist bloc, the former dockyard electrician later supported Poland's membership of the EU in 2004. He has since advocated ever-closer ties between European states, even saying that he would one day, perhaps, be “president of a United States of Europe”.

“At the moment, different ways of doing things and different systems hold us back but gradually everything will align and states will become like Lego blocks,” he said in the Itar-Tass interview.

Well, many people doubted the reunification of Germany and stranger things have happened. The two countries have weathered the economic crisis better than the other EU countries with Poland being the only EU member not to have a year with negative GDP. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Repatriating Polish gold

Poles want their gold back from the vaults of the Bank of England where it has been held since the outbreak of the second world war, when it was smuggled through Eastern Europe and on to Britain in order to keep it safe from Nazi invaders.

Poland joins a growing list of countries wanting their gold back in their homelands. The list also includes Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany which recently agreed to a 7 year shipment schedule (probably because their gold is not in the Federal vault in NYC ready to send, but rather leased out).

The reasons for the repatriation of gold are many. Some countries are looking to have greater symbolic control over their own economies, while some are, like many investors, thinking of gold as a hedge on exchange rates if the world economy takes an unusual turn.

One of the most consistent, albeit usually unofficial, reasons for repatriation is the belief that the Bank of England and other big banks do not have the gold in their vaults that they say they have on paper. If that conjecture was proven, it could lead to even more problems for monetary security in Europe.

Gold was used as currency—or as a base for currency—across the Western world until the 1930s. Several European countries moved off of the system in the wake of the Great Depression, but the idea of gold as the base of currency has not disappeared just yet. People all over the world assume that gold represents a back-up to the currency of their country.

What an empty Vault looks like

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Germans are moving to Poland to do business

The BBC explores the attraction Poland has for major German companies and smaller entrepreneurs from Germany. Focusing especially on Poznan the report explains the reasons Poland is so popular for business investments. Germans are surprised how modern Poland is and how ripe the markets are for investing. Most Germans have never been to Poland and still have problems clouding their perception of Poland after the fall of Communism. Perhaps that's because the former GDR (East Germany) even after reunification is doing rather poorly.

Read the story here

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Government robbery

Brute Force of Government
Beware Americans
Government robbery: private retirement funds seized by Polish government led by Civic Platform Party's Donald Tusk who is Prime Minister.

The government is calling the Soviet-style seizure a "pension overhaul". Retiring workers will be losing about half of what they were socking away.

Have you got a clue why Law & Justice (Conservative) Party is winning the political polls?

See the whole story from Forbes here