Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fair Election?

This past weekend thousands of supporters of PiS (Law and Justice) the conservative opposition party in Poland marched in Warsawa to protest the results of recent local elections, which party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski says were falsified.

Election falsification claim bring protests

The elections were marred by problems, including computer glitches delaying results and many ballots declared invalid because voters apparently were confused and marked them incorrectly.

Kaczynski’s critics accuse him of making false claims about the election outcome to motivate his base ahead of national elections next year.

Protesters marched under the slogan “in the support of democracy,” chanting “repeat the elections.”

Kaczynski’s party, Law and Justice, won the most votes in recent elections but got fewer seats in local assemblies than the ruling Civic Platform due to the way seats are apportioned.

U.K. recruits Polish personnel

Medical emergency in England - Shortage of EMT personnel. UK's desperate ambulance service looks to Poland to recruit paramedics

Trouble brewing at the National Health Service is getting worse as news spread that one of Britain’s biggest ambulance services is desperately trying to recruit paramedics from Poland to fill more than 200 posts.

Unmanned Ambulances

The NHS is on the edge of meltdown with hospitals admitting the highest number of emergency patients since records began. So, there is a recruitment drive to to lure Polish emergency medical technicians to migrate to the U.K.

England not being able to handle the situation in a self-sufficient manner just might deprive Poland of its own trained staff.

Maybe it's just another problem with socialized medicine. But, England's ills ought not affect the well-being of Poland. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Poland in Top 20

The effect of a country’s national image on the brands based there and the economy as a whole is now widely acknowledged. In a global marketplace, it is one of the most important assets of any state because high rankings attract more investment capital. 

A firm called Nations Brands states in its 2014 index Poland as a ‘brand’ is worth 602 billion dollars, ranking it as the 20th most valuable national brand in the world.

The branding and image of a nation-state "and the successful transference of this image to its exports - is just as important as what they actually produce and sell." This is also referred to as country-of-origin effect. 

Variables studied for the index also takes into account factors such as a country’s credit rating, the level of tourism, investment, the number of students and the country’s system of governance.

Poland’s worth has increased by 21 percent this year compared to last, though its 20th position is unchanged.

The most valuable national brand was judged to be the United States, at an estimated worth of 19.3 trillion dollars. China came second, at 6.35 billion dollars followed by Germany.

The biggest losers from last year include Russia, whose brand value has fallen by 7 percent, and Ukraine whose 2014 value of 80 billion dollars signifies a fall of 37 percent.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Tusk takes over as EU Council president

Donald Tusk
Earlier this month Poland's Donald Tusk (politically labeled a centrist) was installed as the European Council president. One of his primary duties is to convene summits of the bloc's 28 leaders. The former Polish premier has promised "ruthless determination" to fix Europe's economy.

As council president, Tusk completes the EU's new trio - alongside Luxembourg's Jean Claude Juncker, who is chief of the European Commission, and the foreign affairs coordinator, Federica Mogherini of Italy.

Van Rompuy described Tusk as the "favorite son of Poland" with an "open heart," adding that he was now at the helm of the EU's "most important institution."

Tusk began his political career in the 1980s as part of Poland's Solidarity union movement, whose protests collapsed Soviet-style communism in Poland and eventually lead to the destruction of the Berlin Wall.

He was twice elected prime minister in Poland's post-communist era. He led Poland's center-right Civic Platform Party since 2001.

The art of movies

Polish movie posters are, well, an art unto themselves. Featured previously on this blog are some interesting examples. A few more were found recently at Dangerous Minds website. 


The Polish movie posters displayed here are mostly new to western eyes. They show either a very deep reading of the films they represent, or a presumable lack of understanding of a film the poster is meant to promote. For example, the one for Raiders Of The Lost Ark seems unrelated, but features Indy’s go-to weapon appearing like his number one fear (snakes) entwined as it stares at the prospective audience member through death’s eyes.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Sometimes artists creating these posters need to get their artwork into production before the film actually arrives in the country. I suspect working off a synopsis or word of mouth by the local film distribution agent is the only thing they have to go by for direction.

Treasure Island

The poster for Dirty Dancing is fairly straight forward. I suppose you could say "sex" sells in Poland too. 

Dirty Dancing

So unique is the Polish film poster style that it is not unusual to see them exhibited at art (mostly modern art) museums across the globe.