Category Archives: Poland

+++ M.P.O. V.I. (GUA) Poland’s nationalists are burying their antisemitic past – this is dangerous

Major Personal Opinion
V.I.

Poland has a particular responsibility to the Jewish People.

And a responsibility that cannot be forgotten.

6 millions Polish citizens died in WWII, out of them 3 million were Jews.

Roughly 90 percent of Poland’s prewar Jewish community.

Even if the Nazis commited the crimes, they had many Polish accomplices…

For the younger ones, source Wikipedia:

«Auschwitz concentration camp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

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“Auschwitz”, “Auschwitz-Birkenau”, and “Birkenau” redirect here. For the town, see Oświęcim. For other uses, see Auschwitz (disambiguation) and Birkenau (disambiguation).

Auschwitz

Nazi concentration and extermination camp (1940–1945)
Auschwitz I – Birkenau, Oświęcim, Polonia – panoramio (20).jpg
Main entrance to Auschwitz II (Birkenau)

Auschwitz is located in Poland

Auschwitz

Location in Poland

Coordinates
50°02′09″N 19°10′42″ECoordinates: 50°02′09″N 19°10′42″E

German name
Konzentrationslager Auschwitz (pronounced [kɔntsɛntʁaˈtsi̯oːnsˌlaːɡɐ ˈʔaʊʃvɪts] (About this sound listen)); also KZ Auschwitz or KL Auschwitz

Other names
Birkenau

Known for
The Holocaust

Location
Auschwitz, German-occupied Poland

Operated by
Nazi Germany and the Schutzstaffel

Commandant

Rudolf Höß
(4 May 1940 – Nov 1943
8 May 1944 – Jan 1945)
Arthur Liebehenschel
(Dec 1943 – 8 May 1944)

Original use
Army barracks

Operational
May 1940 – January 1945

Inmates
Mainly Jews, Poles, Romani, Soviet prisoners of war

Killed
1.1 million (estimated)

Liberated by
Soviet Union, 27 January 1945

Notable inmates
Adolf Burger, Anne Frank, Otto Frank, Viktor Frankl, Imre Kertész, Maximilian Kolbe, Primo Levi, Irène Némirovsky, Witold Pilecki, Edith Stein, Simone Veil, Rudolf Vrba, Elie Wiesel, Fritz Löhner-Beda, Else Ury

Notable books

If This Is a Man (1947) ·
 Night (1956) ·
 Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

Website
www.auschwitz.org

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Official name
Auschwitz Birkenau, German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–1945)

The Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the original concentration camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps.

Auschwitz I was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners, who began to arrive in May 1940. The first extermination of prisoners took place in September 1941. Auschwitz II–Birkenau went on to become a major site of the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish Question during the Holocaust. From early 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp’s gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe, where they were killed en masse with the pesticide Zyklon B. An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, of whom at least 1.1 million died. Around 90 percent of those were Jews; approximately one in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp.[1][2] Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, and tens of thousands of others of diverse nationalities, including an unknown number of homosexuals.[3] Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

In the course of the war, the camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel (SS), approximately 12 percent of whom were later convicted of war crimes. Some, including camp commandant Rudolf Höss, were executed. The Allied Powers did not act on early reports of atrocities at the camp, and their failure to bomb the camp or its railways remains controversial. At least 802 prisoners attempted to escape from Auschwitz, 144 successfully, and on 7 October 1944 two Sonderkommando units—prisoners assigned to staff the gas chambers—launched a brief, unsuccessful uprising.

As Soviet troops approached Auschwitz in January 1945, most of its population was sent west on a death march. The prisoners remaining at the camp were liberated on 27 January 1945, a day now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the following decades, survivors such as Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, and Elie Wiesel wrote memoirs of their experiences in Auschwitz, and the camp became a dominant symbol of the Holocaust. In 1947 Poland founded the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of Auschwitz I and II, and in 1979 it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.»

The first Jewish merchants arrived in Poland in the 10th century AD.

They made what is Poland today.

The persons that are pushing for these laws in Poland should be ashamed of themselves.

They are actually trying to erase the past.

The Nazi past.

And what a shame it is.

Pro Nazi political parties are forbidden in most European Countries.

And they should continue so.

One wonders if the current generation has read any history books…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(GUA) What is at stake in the row over links to the Holocaust is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition.

Barbed wire Auschwitz
 Barbed wire at the former concentration camp of Auschwitz. ‘The bill opens the way to criminalising anyone who seeks to reveal dark chapters of Polish history.’ Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Awar is being fought over collective memory in Poland. In the absence of a convincing vision of the future, the ability to control definitions of the past has become one of the most important sources of legitimacy in Polish politics. But if the historicisation of policy is a game played by all sides, the conservative, nationalist right is the most consistent and effective player. Its strategy is well illustrated by the current conflict over the act that enshrines the legal status of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

The government presented the bill as a way to eliminate a discourse about “Polish death camps” during the Holocaust. The government says this discussion falsely accuses Poles of complicity in the murder of 3 million Polish Jews under Nazi occupation and is spreading throughout the world. The majority of the opposition either abstained or supported the government, with the main objection coming from liberal media where the law was criticised for provisions that introduced historical censorship.

Under the guise of defending the good name of “The Polish Nation” the bill opens the way to criminalising anyone who seeks to reveal dark chapters of Polish history, such as antisemitic pogroms before, during and after the war. But this is a veneer. What is truly at stake is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) makes no secret of the fact that it is part of this tradition. The language and ideas of PiS leaders, as well as their policies towards refugees, minorities and political opposition, draw directly from the rhetoric and strategy of Polish nationalism in the first half of the 20th century.

Before the second world war the Polish nationalist movement was furiously antisemitic. Organisations including ONR-Falanga, the Camp of Great Poland, the National party and the Camp of National Unity had between them hundreds of thousands of members organised on the model of Italian and German fascists. They organised a boycott of Jewish shops and companies, as well as militias that physically attacked representatives of the Jewish community. Between 1935 and 1937 a wave of antisemitic pogroms passed through Poland. The most important centres of antisemitic violence were universities and university cities, which were controlled by the nationalist right. At universities, with the support of their authorities, the “ghetto benches” (special pews for Jews) were introduced, and the number of Jewish students reduced. Those who remained were regularly harassed and beaten.

Antisemitic violence spread from cities to the provinces. Areas in which the nationalists’ influence was strong in the 1930s became the most dangerous for Jews during the war and occupation. Marches and boycotts gave way to more deadly attacks. In some places – Jedwabne, Radziłów, Wąsosz, Szczuczyn – thousands of Jews were murdered by Poles in the summer of 1941. The last phase of the Holocaust (1943-44) saw Jewish “runaways” escaping ghettos hunted and denounced.

Polish antisemitism still has a very specific political face. It is the work and the tool of the nationalist right. This is PiS’s history and presents a problem for the party. Restoring this part of our national memory corrupts the image of Poland’s rulers, and so PiS seeks to close the mouths of those historians who remind us of the crimes of Polish nationalism. Jarosław Kaczyński’s party wants to blur the memory of an important element of its own identity and to purge itself of a murky heritage of pogroms and denunciations.

But that is not all. The more effectively Poland’s rulers can create a collective amnesia, the easier it will be for them to turn this heritage into a present-day reality – by organising a campaign of suspicion towards strangers, spreading hatred towards refugees and feminists, and turning a blind eye to fascists from ONR and All-Polish Youth and the increasing attacks on migrants. While whitewashing its own history, the party seeks to blame its opponents on the left for the antisemitic crimes of the past. We see this in the prose of the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, when he suggested that the pogrom in Kielce in 1946 was the work of communist provocateurs, and not a population imbued with the antisemitic propaganda of the National Armed Forces – a nationalist armed organisation that was particularly strong in this region.

And so instead the antisemitic crimes of the past are represented as features of singular, depraved perpetrators rather than as the consequence of political movements and currents which we continue to see glimpses of today. Cleared of all charges, PiS can now level them at others instead – at the opposition, at critical historians and journalists – and in doing so deprive them of their legitimacy and of their right to participate in the politics of Poland now, and in the future.

+++ NOTE (BBG) After Poland, J. Martins Sees Challenges Hiring Portugal Workers

NOTE

…Amazing…

…”Challenges in Hiring Portugal Workers” says Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA Soares    dos Santos CEO…”

…Plus

“In Poland we have five to six thousand positions to fill,” Chief Executive Officer Pedro Soares dos Santos said at a press conference in Lisbon on Thursday. “We’re also facing difficulties hiring in Portugal.”

…A company absolutely remarkable…

FCMP

(Bloomberg) — More than 2,000 miles separate Portugal from
Poland, but the nations have one thing in common: Their economic
recoveries have helped lift sales at Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA
while increasing pressure on the retailer to raise wages as it
struggles to find workers.
Sales at Jeronimo Martins — which controls Poland’s
biggest supermarket chain, Biedronka, and Portugal’s Pingo Doce,
and is expanding in Colombia — jumped 11.3 percent in 2017 from
a year earlier to a record 16.3 billion euros ($19.9 billion),
it said in a filing Wednesday. The surge came amid strong
economic growth and a sharp decline in the unemployment rate
that is boosting consumption in both countries.
“In Poland we have five to six thousand positions to fill,”
Chief Executive Officer Pedro Soares dos Santos said at a press
conference in Lisbon on Thursday. “We’re also facing
difficulties hiring in Portugal.”
In Poland, child subsidies and rising minimum wages
prompted the company last year to review its compensation
package. It’s doing the same in Portugal after the country’s
Socialist government raised the minimum wage by 4.1 percent to
580 euros a month this year, the fourth increase since the
country completed a bailout program in 2014. The main pledge of
the governments in both Poland and Portugal is to replace an
economic model that has been mostly driven on low labor costs
with one that is focused on higher-value production.

Cheap Jobs

Portugal is western Europe’s second-cheapest country in
terms of hourly labor costs, while Polish workers are the sixth-
lowest earners in the European Union, according to data compiled
by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency.
“It’s not enough to have a job — we need better jobs,”
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Wednesday in
parliament.
Portugal’s economy expanded at 2.7 percent last year, the
fastest pace since 2000, and unemployment fell to 8.1 percent in
the fourth quarter from a record 17.5 percent in 2013, according
to Portugal’s National Statistics Institute. Poland’s economy
expanded 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the fastest in six
years, while unemployment fell to a record 4.5 percent in that
period, according to Poland’s Central Statistical Office.

Merit-Based

That’s good news for workers, who are getting wage
increases and moving to better jobs after years of low pay. A
third of Polish employers plan to offer higher salaries, Warsaw-
based recruiting and human-resources provider Work Service SA
said Wednesday. In Portugal, it’s “increasingly normal” for
firms to increase wages as they struggle to fill vacant jobs in
industries ranging from retail to tourism, said Joao Duque, a
finance professor at the University of Lisbon’s School of
Economics and Management.
Jeronimo Martins, which has 2,823 Biedronka stores in
Poland and 422 Pingo Doce stores in Portugal, raised salaries in
both countries in 2017 and plans to continue to adjust its
compensation package in Portugal this year, Soares dos Santos
said. The company, whose entry-level positions already pay more
than the minimum wage, gave out 107 million euros in bonuses in
2017 and is studying a way for its 104,000 workers to have the
chance to own some of the company’s stock.
“In Poland, we have been adjusting our salaries, and in
Portugal we are doing exactly the same thing,” Soares dos Santos
said. “But there is one thing here: This isn’t a common good; it
has to do with merit.”

(JE) Santander em negociações exclusivas para comprar ativos do Deutsche Bank na Polónia

(JE) Em Portugal, tal como em Espanha, o Deutsche Bank tem sobretudo atividade de private banking e estão ambos na lista de ativos para vender, soube o Jornal Económico. O Santander é visto como o natural potencial comprador, se fechar a compra dos ativos do Deutsche na Polónia, revelam fontes.

A notícia está a ser avançada pela Reuters, que cita fontes. O banco espanhol Santander entrou em negociações exclusivas para comprar a maior parte do negócio do Deutsche Bank na Polónia, com o objetivo de fortalecer a sua posição no mercado polaco onde o Santander, tal como o BCP estão presentes, disseram duas fontes familiares com o assunto à Reuters.

Os dois bancos prevêem assinar um acordo antes do final do ano, idealmente antes do Natal, diz a notícia da Reuters.

Ainda segundo a Reuters, as discussões finais entre o Santander e seu advisor, JP Morgan, com o Deutsche Bank estão agora focadas no preço.

O Deutsche Bank e o Santander recusaram-se a comentar à agência noticiosa.

Para trás ficou o BCP, maior acionista do Millennium Bank na Polónia, que também estudou o dossier.

O movimento segue uma série de acordos de fusão e aquisição de bancos na Polónia, impulsionados pela forte concorrência, pela baixas taxas de juros e num contexto em que o Partido eurocéptico Lei e Justiça (PiS) se esforça para conter o que vê como excessiva propriedade estrangeira das empresas polacas, escreve a Reuters.

Em junho, a seguradora estatal polonesa PZU e o fundo de investimento PFR compraram uma participação de 33% no banco Pekao da UniCredit, o segundo maior banco da Polónia.

Essa operação deixou o Santander BZ WBK, o terceiro maior banco do país, como o maior banco polaco não controlado pelo Estado. A Polónia representou 3% do lucro subjacente do Santander no terceiro trimestre.

A Deutsche Bank está a vender parte das suas operações polacas para libertar capital, no âmbito de profunda reestruturação das suas operações. O banco já fechou ou vendeu negócios em muitas partes do mundo, pois tem de se concentrar na banca de investimento e banca de retalho, bem como na atividade de gestão de ativos, diz ainda agência noticiosa.

As áreas em que está a desinvestir incluem atividades de private banking, banca para pequenas e médias empresas e está também a vender carteiras de crédito em moeda local. A carteira de crédito a empresas e os créditos em moeda estrangeira não estão à venda, lê-se na notícia.

Em Portugal, tal como em Espanha, o Deutsche Bank tem sobretudo atividade de private banking e estão ambos na lista de ativos para vender, soube o Jornal Económico. O Santander é visto como o natural potencial comprador, se fechar a compra dos ativos do Deutsche na Polónia, revelam fontes.

(EUobserver) Poland says Germany owes €717bn in WW2 damages

(EUobserver) Polish parliament lawyers said Monday that Poland could claim €717bn in WW2 reparations from Germany, but Warsaw might let the matter lie. The lawyers said Nazi Germany harmed Poland more than any European state but paid it less than 1% of what it did to Western nations. On TV, the Polish foreign minister said talks with Germany would be good to highlight issues, but were unlikely to end in payments.

(ECO) Polónia impulsiona lucros da Jerónimo Martins para 173 milhões

(ECO) O grupo de distribuição fechou o primeiro semestre com lucros de 173 milhões de euros. As vendas cresceram 11,4% para os 7,8 mil milhões de euros.

O grupo Jerónimo Martins fechou o primeiro semestre do ano com lucros de 173 milhões de euros, um crescimento de apenas um milhão, ou 0,6%, quando comparado com o período homólogo do ano anterior, anunciou o grupo em comunicado enviado à Comissão de Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM). Este valor fica aquém das expectativas dos analistas do CaixaBI, cujas estimativas apontavam para um resultado líquido de 179 milhões de euros.

A dona do Pingo Doce e da Biedronka adianta que “excluindo a contribuição da Monterroio no primeiro semestre de 2016, os resultados cresceram 5,5%”.

As vendas do grupo de distribuição cresceram 11,4% para 7,8 mil milhões de euros, impulsionadas pelo forte crescimento da Biedronka. As vendas like for like (LFL), vendas nas lojas que operam sob as mesmas condições nos dois períodos, cresceram 6,9% (no segundo trimestre, período impactado pelo efeito Páscoa, o crescimento foi de 7,8%). O crescimento das receitas foi impulsionado pelo forte crescimento na Polónia e pelo sólidos desempenhos do Pingo Doce e Recheio.

Vendas na Polónia crescem 15,9%

A Jerónimo Martins adianta que, na Polónia, “o ambiente de consumo manteve-se positivo”, tendo as vendas da Biedronka aumentado 13,4% para os 5,3 mil milhões de euros. Já a Hebe atingiu vendas de 75 milhões de euros, mais 36% face a igual período do ano anterior.

Em Portugal, o Pingo Doce registou um crescimento nas vendas totais de 3,1% para 1,7 mil milhões de euros, com um LFL (excluindo combustível) de 0,9%. Já o Recheio fechou os primeiros seis meses do ano com vendas de 442 milhões de euros, mais 8,6% face a igual período do ano anterior. As vendas LFL cresceram 6,8%.

A Ara, na Colômbia, onde o grupo fez um forte investimento com a abertura de 49 lojas na primeira metade do ano, registou vendas de 185 milhões de euros, um crescimento de 81,9%.

O EBITDA (resultados antes de impostos, juros, amortização e depreciação) cifrou-se nos 416 milhões de euros, um crescimento de 7,2% face a igual período de 2016. Um crescimento impulsionado pelos negócios da Biedronka, Pingo Doce e Recheio, que mais do que compensaram as perdas da Ara e Hebe.

O grupo investiu nos seis primeiros meses do ano 249 milhões de euros.

A dívida líquida, que já inclui o pagamento de dividendos efetuado em maio de 380 milhões de euros, ascendia, no final de junho, a 84 milhões de euros.

Pedro Soares dos Santos, presidente e administrador delegado do grupo, adianta em comunicado que “os primeiros seis meses do ano validam a capacidade das principais insígnias de criar oportunidades de crescimento, de entregar um sólido desempenho nos respetivos mercados e de alimentar o desenvolvimento futuro do grupo”.

(JE) BCP na Polónia avança com proposta para comprar balcões e créditos do Deutsche Bank

(JE) Nuno Amado, confirmou hoje à agência Lusa que o banco Millennium da Polónia está a estudar a possibilidade de avançar com uma proposta para adquirir os ativos do Deutsche Bank naquele país. Fonte diz ao Jornal Económico que não é uma operação significativa e que abrange apenas alguns créditos e balcões.

O Millennium Bank, detido a 50,1% pelo BCP, é uma das três entidades que vai avançar com uma proposta vinculativa para a compra de alguns do activos do Deutsche Bank na Polónia, nomeadamente balcões e alguns créditos, mas, segundo fonte ligada ao processo, se chegarem a comprar é uma operação muito pequena e sem impacto financeiro significativo.

Nuno Amado confirmou hoje à Lusa que o banco polaco maioritariamente detido pelo BCP está a analisar a compra de ativos do Deutsche Bank na Polónia.

“É uma análise que se está a fazer, e que vai ter algum epílogo, mas as condições de análise e eventual proposta são, obviamente, condicionadas por um conjunto de critérios que, neste momento, estão a ser analisados”, disse o banqueiro, em Coimbra, à margem da conferência ‘Saúde Privada em Portugal’, organizada pelo Millennium bcp.

Segundo soube o Jornal Económico a probabilidade de o BCP ganhar a corrida à compra daqueles ativos na Polónia é baixa, uma vez que o Commerzbank é aparentemente o mais bem colocado para concretizar a aquisição.

Além do Millennium, o mBank (detido pelo Commerzbank) e o BZ WBK (propriedade do Santander) estão também entre a lista de candidatos à compra do 12.º maior banco do país que tem uma quota de mercado de 1% na Polónia.

As ofertas iniciais já terão sido avançadas pelos três candidatos, enquanto as propostas vinculativas pelo negócio do banco alemão na Polónia deverão chegar entre o final de Julho e Agosto, refere um jornal polaco citado pelo Negócios.

O Deutsche Bank pôs à venda a carteira de depósitos e a carteira de crédito denominados em zloty (a moeda local), o negócio de banca de investimento e corporate e balcões. O valor dos activos em alienação pode chegar aos 500 milhões de euros segundo o jornal, sendo que o interesse do BCP é apenas numa fração destes ativos e portanto o valor em causa será significativamente inferior.

Nas mãos do banco alemão continuarão os empréstimos denominados em moeda estrangeira, de acordo com as regras bancárias internas.

Os bancos privados internacionais têm sofrido com a baixa rentabilidade do negócio na Polónia devido às baixas taxas de juro, aos impostos sobre o sector bancário e aos pagamentos obrigatórios a um fundo de garantia.

No final do ano passado, o negócio do Deutsche Bank na Polónia geria activos avaliados em 39 mil milhões de zloty (9,2 mil milhões de euros) e lucrou 23,6 milhões de euros.

+++ (BBG) Millennium Surprise Signals Upside for Polish Bank Earnings

(Bloomberg) — An unexpected increase in the profit of Bank Millennium SA, the first major Polish lender to publish its first quarter report, is boosting expectations for the earnings  of its peers.

The nation’s banks are going through a rough patch after years of rapid growth as the government introduced a new tax on the industry last year and regulators plan to tighten risk recommendations. The industry’s combined earnings in 2017 are expected to drop 12 percent from last year, which was boosted by a one-off payment from Visa Inc., according to forecasts from the financial market supervisor KNF.

Net income at Millennium, the Polish unit of Portugal’s Banco Comercial Portugues SA, advanced 2.4 percent to 140.5 million zloty ($36 million) in January-March, exceeding an
average analyst estimate of 107.8 million zloty. It beat all predictions, which saw profit dropping. Net interest income rose 12 percent, while income from fees soared 24 percent.

“It’s a big and positive surprise, especially in terms of core revenue” generation accompanied by “good cost control,” according to Lukasz Janczak, an analyst at Ipopema Securities SA. “This will strengthen expectations for other banks to beat estimates that may be set too low, judging by Millennium earnings.”

Bearish Estimates

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict Bank Pekao SA, the country’s second-biggest lender, will see its profit slumping 36 percent in the first quarter, with BZ WBK SA likely to suffer a 19 percent decline.

At Millennium, better-than-predicted revenue helped offset increased contributions to the bankruptcy fund. Unlike last year, banks had to pay higher contributions in the first quarter rather than spread them evenly over the year. The bank booked a 57.1 million zloty fee for the fund, which is more than double the amount a year earlier. At the same time, it paid 14.9 million zloty more in a banking levy in the quarter.

The shares surged as much as 11 percent, the most in more than two months, and closed 7.9 percent higher at 6.95 zloty. The country’s benchmark WIG20 Index advanced 2.5 percent, while the WIG-Bank gauge of lenders gained 3.7 percent.

Millennium earnings show there is a “light in the tunnel” and a “chance for upside” surprises, according to Marcin Gatarz, an analyst at Pekao Investment Banking SA in Warsaw. Bank earnings may get an additional boost from a rebounding economy
in Poland this year, where gross domestic product is set to expand 3.6 percent, he said.

(EurActiv) Polish probe finds blast caused presidential jet crash

(EurActiv)

The ceremony of unveiling the bust of former Polish President Lech Kaczynski during the ceremonies commemorating the 7th anniversary of the presidential plane crash near Smolensk in Warsaw, Poland, 10 April 2017. [EPA/ Jakub Kaminski]

A fresh probe into the deadly 2010 crash of a Polish presidential jet in Russia suggests an explosion likely caused the aircraft to break up in the air, investigators said yesterday (10 April).

The commission of inquiry “considers the possibility of an explosion to be quite likely”, said the narrator of a video prepared by the investigative body, and shown to reporters.

“In light of the experiments conducted (by the commission), we can say that the most likely cause of the explosion was a thermobaric load that set off a strong shockwave.”

The claim came on the seventh anniversary of the crash on 10 April 2010 in Smolensk, western Russia, that claimed the life of president Lech Kaczyński and 95 others, mostly senior Polish statesmen.

7 years ago today, a tragic plane crash in killed Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other patriots heading for

Poland’s governing rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) party, led by Kaczyński’s twin brother Jarosław, has long insisted the crash was no accident.

“We’re getting closer and closer to the truth,” Kaczyński said yesterday, adding he believes that is why “we have been the target of hate”.

Speaking to supporters in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw, he accused Russian air controllers of having “without a doubt deliberately” misdirected the aircraft at landing.

He added that “there is a high degree of likelihood that an explosion occurred” but said the theory was not “definitively proven”.

A few hundred government opponents also tried to make their way to the presidential palace but were blocked by police.

One of them used a megaphone to yell “liar, liar” at Kaczyński.

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, who says the crash was the result of a Polish-Russian conspiracy, last month accused former Polish premier and current EU Council President Donald Tusk of “diplomatic treason” over an earlier probe into the crash.

Following the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s victory in the 2015 elections, conspiracy theories resurfaced in Poland about the 2010 Smolensk crash, which killed President Lech Kaczyński, the brother of the new ruling party’s chief, Jaroslaw Kaczyński. EURACTIV Poland reports.

After winning power in 2015, the PiS launched a new investigation into the disaster, which Polish and Russian investigators earlier attributed to human error and bad weather.

Broke up in air

The previous inquiry found the crash was in part triggered when the jet’s wing clipped a tree near the runway.

Waclaw Berczynski, who heads the new team of Polish investigators, gave a different account.

“The plane started to break up and lose parts in the air; they fell to the ground far from where the infamous birch tree was… The tree had no impact on the crash,” he told public broadcaster TVP Info.

Berczynski said investigators based their new conclusion on an analysis of a conversation between the plane’s pilots and Russian air traffic controllers on the ground.

Maciej Lasek, who participated in the first inquiry, rejected the conclusions Monday, telling news channel Polsat News that the new commission’s members “had never investigated a plane crash before and don’t have the expertise to do so”.

Polish prosecutors said earlier this month that fragments of the plane were being sent to four labs abroad to check for traces of explosives.

Prosecutors had said last week that based on a fresh analysis of the evidence, they would charge the controllers with having “deliberately causing a catastrophe”, a theory the Kremlin immediately denied.

Prosecutors had already pressed charges against the two Russian air controllers in 2015: one for “being directly responsible for having endangered air traffic” and the other for “unintentionally causing an air traffic disaster”.

Polish justice officials have also been exhuming the remains of the victims to establish the cause of death.

Warsaw has repeatedly asked Moscow to return the wreckage of the plane but Russia says it will only do so once its own inquiry is over.

The crash occurred as the presidential delegation was heading to a ceremony in Russia’s Katyn forest for thousands of Polish army officers killed by Soviet secret police in 1940 – a massacre the Kremlin denied until 1990.

+++ (BBG) Poland Goes Looking for $15 Billion to Put Asterisk on Slowdown

(BBG) Poland’s government is having a hard time coming to grips with economic growth that fell far short of the level it targeted last year.

With gross domestic product set for its first sub-3 percent gain since 2013, Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week that Poland’s expansion in 2014 and 2015 should be revised downward because of “fictitious” exports of electronic equipment related to value-added-tax fraud.

That could have inflated output by 30 billion zloty ($7.4 billion) — or almost 2 percent of GDP — in each of those two years, resulting in an unfavorable comparison for 2016, according to Morawiecki, who also serves as finance minister in the Law & Justice party-led cabinet.

GDP added 2.7 percent last year, down from 3.9 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent in 2014, according to the median of 22 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The Central Statistical Office in Warsaw is scheduled to release the data at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. As recently as in May, officials were predicting growth in excess of 4 percent for 2016 and at 5 percent this year. Fourth-quarter figures are due to be published Feb. 14.

“Giving any estimate on a possible revision of GDP figures without hard data is neither possible nor does it make any sense,” said Jaroslaw Janecki, chief economist at Societe Generale SA in Warsaw. “And by the way, doubting the motives of the previous government can be a mistake.”

The zloty, the best-performing currency in developing Europe this year, gained 0.1 percent to 4.3319 per euro at 10:14 a.m. in Warsaw. It has strengthened 1.7 percent in 2017.

The wrangling risks turning the country’s economic statistics into the latest battleground between the ruling right-wing party and Civic Platform, Poland’s dominant political force for almost a decade until it was unseated in 2015.

It also smacks of the approach in developing nations like Turkey, whose statistics agency last month reworked data series to show GDP expanded much faster than initially thought in the years after the financial crisis, appearing to vindicate unconventional policies pursued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In Venezuela, the central bank stopped publishing key economic figures in recent years as authorities contest reports of hyperinflation during a severe recession.

Trading Blame

Morawiecki, who formerly ran the Polish business of Banco Santander SA, has blamed the previous administration for favoring foreign investors at the expense of domestic companies. Law & Justice swept into power by also accusing its predecessor of betraying national interests and pursuing development that sacrificed the wellbeing of regular people.

Now Morawiecki says Civic Platform turned a blind eye to fraudulent VAT operations, with tax returns submitted for goods that were never exported. As the primary example, Morawiecki pointed to alleged shipments of mobile phones, which aren’t even manufactured in Poland. That overstated economic gains in 2014-2015, the thinking goes, which in turn exaggerated last year’s slowdown.

A team of experts from the Polish central bank, the Finance Ministry and the statistics office will be working on reviewing GDP data, Deputy Finance Minister Leszek Skiba said, declining to give a time-frame for when the work will be completed. The Central Statistical Office first needs to see any new data provided by the ministry to decide whether a revision is warranted, according to its spokeswoman, Karolina Dawidziuk.

Missing Billions

VAT avoidance has long plagued the European Union’s former communist east as a result of corruption, bureaucracy and fraud. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimated last year that Poland alone collected 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion) less than it should have in 2015.

Meanwhile, the reliability of Poland’s GDP data is rated below that of its peers including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, according to London-based research firm World Economics, which ranks 154 countries in its Data Quality Index.

But while VAT fraud dents budget revenue, it has little impact on GDP, according to Citigroup Inc. And by raising questions about economic figures for 2015, the Finance Ministry is similarly putting in doubt last year’s data, Societe Generale’s Janecki said.

“If some exports were indeed fictitious and aimed at extorting VAT, goods were sold locally,” said Piotr Kalisz, a Warsaw-based senior economist at Citigroup’s Bank Handlowy. “This implies that instead of higher exports, we had higher consumption or investment but no change in GDP.”

Investment, Taxes

What’s less in dispute is that slumping investment tripped up the economy last year. Law & Justice further rattled businesses by imposing new taxes on banks and retailers.

GDP probably expanded an annual 2.3 percent in the last three months of 2016, with growth set to accelerate this quarter and next for an increase of 3 percent in 2017, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg. The government and the central bank are more upbeat, seeing a gain of 3.6 percent this year.

“The soft patch in the second half of 2016 is temporary,” said Rafal Benecki, chief economist at ING Bank Slaski SA in Warsaw. “The key component responsible for the temporary GDP slowdown was investments. We see high a probability of public outlays re-accelerating in 2017.”

(OBS) Angola vai ter apoio de banco estatal da Polónia no investimento privado

(OBS) O Governo angolano e o banco estatal polaco Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego vão celebrar um memorando que visa facilitar o investimento privado em Angola e as exportações.

O memorando de entendimento será rubricado entre o Ministério das Finanças de Angola e o BGK – banco estatal de desenvolvimento da Polónia

O Governo angolano e o banco estatal polaco Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) vão celebrar um memorando de entendimento que visa facilitar o investimento privado em Angola e as exportações, segundo um despacho presidencial consultado, esta sexta-feira, pela Lusa. De acordo com o despacho aprovado pelo Presidente José Eduardo dos Santos, de 3 de janeiro, Angola e a Polónia “pretendem expandir as relações económicas, de cooperação empresarial e diplomática para fins pacíficos, com base na igualdade e benefício mútuo”.

O memorando de entendimento será rubricado entre o Ministério das Finanças de Angola e o BGK – banco estatal de desenvolvimento da Polónia -, visando “facilitar o investimento privado e os negócios a nível da exportação”. A Lusa noticiou a 8 de dezembro que o BGK vai financiar a empreitada de 59,7 milhões de euros da Academia de Pescas e Ciências do Mar do Namibe, em construção no sul de Angola com apoio do Governo da Polónia.

De acordo com informação de um outro despacho presidencial a que a Lusa teve na altura acesso, é necessário “expandir o escopo de trabalhos” do projeto de construção daquela academia, com inauguração prevista para 2017. Para o efeito, e no âmbito do programa de capacitação, modernização e revitalização do setor das pescas em Angola, o despacho aprova a terceira fase do contrato de construção, equipamento, serviços e programa educacional da Academia de Pescas e Ciências do Mar do Namibe pelo valor máximo de 63.157.894 dólares (59,7 milhões de euros).

Distribuída por seis edifícios já construídos e com capacidade para receber cerca de 500 alunos, a academia terá cursos superiores em áreas de eletricidade, eletrónica, gestão costeira, navegação, exploração de portos e frotas, computação, desenho técnico, processamento de pescado, aquicultura ou oceanografia, entre outros. A Academia de Pescas e Ciências do Mar do Namibe foi formalmente criada por despacho presidencial de 18 de maio último, sendo justificada no documento, pelo Governo, com a aposta no desenvolvimento do setor pesqueiro nacional.

(ABC) Muere a los 91 años el filósofo Zygmunt Bauman

(ABC) El sociólogo polaco, padre de la «modernidad líquida», ha fallecido en Leeds, donde residía desde hace años.

El filósofo y sociólogo Zygmunt Bauman
El filósofo y sociólogo Zygmunt Bauman – ISABEL PERMUY

 

El filósofo polaco Zygmunt Bauman ha fallecido a los 91 años en Leeds (Reino Unido), localidad en la que residía desde hace años, según ha anunciado el periódico «Gazeta Wyborzca».

Padre de la «modernidad líquida», Bauman nació en 1925 en Poznan (Polonia), en el seno de una familia judía humilde que se trasladó a la URSS tras estallar la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Terminado el conflicto, Bauman regresó a Polonia y ejerció la docencia en la Universidad de Varsovia, hasta que en 1968 se exilió de nuevo por razones políticas. Durante unos años vivió en Israel y fue profesor en la Universidad de Tel Aviv hasta 1970.

Catedrático emérito de Sociología de la Universidad de Leeds, a lo largo de su prolífica y dilatada carrera académica impartió clases en universidades de Estados Unidos, Australia o Canadá, y en The London School of Economics.

Con su análisis sobre los vínculos entre la modernidad, el nazismo y el comunismo posmoderno logró un gran reconocimiento internacional, que se vio traducido en numerosos premios, entre ellos el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Comunicación y Humanidades (junto con Alain Touraine, en 2010), el European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Science (1992) y el Theodor W. Adorno Award (1998).

El profesor Bauman contribuyó al desarrollo de las ciencias socialesmediante la creación de conceptos como la «teoría de la modernidad líquida», que define los tiempos actuales como una era de cambio y movimiento constantes, en la que el hombre está huérfano de referencias consistentes y los conceptos son más inestables que nunca. Sus teorías ejercieron una gran influencia en los movimientos antiglobalización.

Su obra

La obra ensayística de Bauman, que comenzó en los años 50, alcanzó fama internacional en los 80 con títulos como «Modernidad y holocausto» (1989), donde define el exterminio judío como un fenómeno relacionado con el desarrollo de la modernidad.

Autor de 57 libros y más de 100 ensayos, entre sus obras más significativas destacan «La modernidad líquida» (2000), considerada su obra cumbre, en la que observa cómo el capitalismo globalizado está acabando con la solidez de la sociedad industrial; «Amor líquido» (2005); «Vida líquida» (2006); «La cultura como praxis» (1973); «La posmodernidad y sus descontentos» (1997); «La globalización: consecuencias humanas» (1998); «En búsqueda de la política» (1999); o «La sociedad individualizada» (2001).

En 2005 publicó «Vidas desperdiciadas. La modernidad y sus parias» (2005), donde exponía las consecuencias inevitables de la modernización, tales como las migraciones, los refugiados, el desempleo, la nueva pobreza y la necesidad de fijar identidades.

Pensamientos

En su última entrevista en ABC, concedida con motivo de la conferencia que ofreció en la Fundación Rafael del Pino de Madrid tras la publicación de «¿La riqueza de unos pocos nos beneficia a todos?» (2014), Bauman aseguró que «la distancia entre pobres y ricos está agrandándose a un ritmo sin precedentes». El filósofo, que se mostró «lúcido, cordial, directo y ágil» durante la conversación dijo que «el estado de bienestar no fue fruto de una decisión partidista» y tachó de falsedad «que si los ricos se hacen más ricos será bueno para todos».

Consciente de que la ciudadanía ha perdido «la fe en las instituciones políticas», Bauman consideraba que «la soberanía del Estado territorial se ha convertido en una ilusión» y que «internet provoca más divisiones que unificaciones». «El futuro está en las ciudades, en los alcaldes», terminó diciendo el filósofo.

La directora de la Fundación Princesa de Asturias, Teresa Sanjurjo, lamentó el fallecimiento de Bauman, «uno de los intelectuales esenciales de nuestro tiempo». En un comunicado, Sanjurjo destacó que Bauman es una figura esencial «para comprender la sociedad actual y los movimientos sociales de finales del siglo XX y principios del XXI». El filósofo, que fue galardonado con el Príncipe de Asturias de Comunicación y Humanidades, recibió el premio por«”haber creado instrumentos conceptuales singularmente valiosos para entender el cambiante y acelerado mundo en el que vivimos». El jurado valoró entonces que Bauman hubiera «estudiado a fondo la condición social del hombre postmoderno en un mundo inestable y de valores perecederos».

 

(Reuters) Poland sees Brexit as chance to shift EU power back to nations

(Reuters) Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is an opportunity to reform the bloc, giving more say to national governments and less to Brussels institutions, Poland’s eurosceptic leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said.

The head of Poland’s ruling party told Reuters that Warsaw would push for a new EU treaty, a more influential role for central Europe within the bloc and continued strong ties with Washington.

Kaczynski, 67, holds no government post, but he is seen as Poland’s most powerful figure and was identified by Reuters as one of the 10 faces for Europe to watch in 2017 amid a rise in populism, euroscepticism and the uncertainties of a Trump administration in the United States.

While disappointed at the departure of Britain, which Kaczynski sees as a natural ally for Poland as a country that shares his hawkish stance on Russia and desire for close relations with the United States, Brexit is also an opportunity, he said in an interview.

“Britain is leaving the EU, but … this situation is also an opening,” he said, dismissing the notion that an EU without Britain should continue the path of greater integration and centralisation of powers

“The issue … outside of Germany … isn’t seen as clear-cut,” he said. “I think almost everyone says Brexit requires a new treaty, a far-reaching change of the treaty.”

“We need reforms which clearly define that the EU is an association of national states and that national states are the foundation. Plus, we need far-reaching deregulation,” he said.

“In private, some (EU representatives) say we are right, but they are asking if we have (others’) support.”

Few EU politicians question the need to reform the EU amid concerns that the bloc may now be breaking apart because its 500 million citizens no longer see it as a guarantor of peace and prosperity. But the direction of change remains divisive.

PINPOINTING ALLIES

Poland’s relations with Brussels have soured since the PiS won power last year.

Kaczynski, the twin brother of the late president Lech Kaczynski who was killed in a plane crash in 2010, has a running feud with former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk, president of the EU’s European Council, whom he blamed for failing to keep Britain in the EU.

In addition, the European Commission has opened an inquiry into the rule of law in Poland where the PiS government has been accused of curbing democratic rights.

Kaczynski said he wanted the voice of Poland and its central European peers – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, known as the Visegrad Four (V4) – to gain more sway in Brussels.

“We are working hard on the V4,” he said. “Institutionalising the V4, which already holds regular prime ministers’ meetings would be an element of bolstering Poland’s status (in the European Union).”

The four countries share their opposition to EU migration policy, but Kaczynski’s eurosceptic stance, while resonant with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is less popular in Prague and Bratislava.

On the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Kaczynski said it was difficult to guess what his foreign policy will be.

“I don’t think there is a politician in the world who can say something definitive about Trump,” he said.

Many Europeans fear Trump may dilute the historic U.S. military commitment to protect them from Moscow, but Kaczynski said he expected the president-elect to negotiate with Russia “from the position of strength”.

“All signs suggest that we will try to negotiate but … from the position of strength, not as a weaker (interlocutor) or even … one who is retreating.”

Kaczynski said he was less concerned than some of his European peers over Trump’s decision to appoint Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil giant Exxon, who has close ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, as secretary of state.

“We know Tillerson had close contacts with Russia. The question is whether a change of his role … will change his approach,” Kaczynski said.

“From the point of view of a negotiator – and Trump is a negotiator – nominating someone who doesn’t have a negative approach towards Russia from the start … is not a bad approach.”

(EurActiv) Poland drops controversial media proposals after protests

(EurActiv) Polish President Andrzej Duda yesterday (19 December) announced that the governing conservatives have scrapped controversial proposals to restrict media access in parliament that had fuelled opposition outcry and street demonstrations.

But while the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) appeared to offer a compromise on the media rules, a row over a budget vote deemed “illegal” by the opposition intensified.

The PiS “has abandoned its (media) proposal which triggered the row we saw in parliament… Everything has been reset,” Duda said in an interview with Poland’s TVP public broadcaster.

Senate speaker Stanislaw Karczewski, a PiS member, earlier assured journalists that the old media rules would remain in place for the time being. He said he would present new proposals by 6 January.
Duda called on opposition lawmakers, who have been occupying the parliament since Friday (16 December), to “offer a goodwill gesture” and cease their protest.Parliament protest

“I’m calling for just a little reflection and calm because this is an important domestic issue. Plus the holiday season is upon us and Poles are concerned by the situation. I want the problem resolved,” he said.

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets since Friday in Warsaw and other parts of the country in the latest action against PiS moves deemed anti-democratic by its opponents.

Dozens of opposition MPs seized parliament’s main chamber and protesters blocked the exits to the building in a show of anger.

Thousands of people – grouped in a popular movement called the Committee for the Defence of Democracy – rallied outside parliament in support of the opposition MPs until late Sunday.

A smaller pro-government rally took place outside the presidential palace.

In Krakow on Sunday, police removed protesters who lay on the ground to block the car of influential PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński, who was visiting the grave of his twin brother, former president Lech Kaczyński who died in a plane crash in Russia in 2010.
The political crisis was triggered last week by PiS plans to restrict access to the parliament’s press gallery to only two journalists for every media outlet, and ban them from shooting still pictures or video.‘Illegal’ budget vote

The moves would have prevented the media from recording images of lawmakers when they broke the rules, for example by voting for an absent colleague.

The PiS said it was seeking to ensure a comfortable working environment for both lawmakers and journalists.
The Senate is due to examine the budget today.Opposition lawmakers also called for a re-run of a parliament vote on next year’s budget, which they claim was approved illegally when it was held in another part of parliament after the opposition takeover of the main chamber.

Since taking office in November last year, the PiS has come under fire over a string of controversial measures including tightening control over the media and pushing through changes to the constitutional court which led to a standoff with the European Union.

Monday is the last day in office of the outgoing president of the constitutional court, Andrzej Rzeplinski, a symbol of resistance to the government.

The question of his successor has become another bone of contention between the court and the PiS-dominated parliament.

(BBC) Poland press freedom: Demonstrations continue for third day

(BBC) Protests in the Polish capital Warsaw against government plans to restrict journalists’ access to parliament have continued for a third day.

Protesters gathered outside parliament, where opposition MPs have been holding a sit-in since Friday.

Government supporters also held a demonstration in Warsaw.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is aligned with the governing party but has offered to mediate, held meetings with opposition party leaders.

After the talks, opposition leaders said they had demanded the proposed press restrictions be dropped and they also called for the parliamentary vote on next year’s budget to be held again.

Opposition MPs were left furious on Friday when, amid a blockade of the main hall, the vote on next year’s budget was held by pro-government MPs in a smaller hall with the press excluded.

“The president has asked for a legal analysis relating to the part of the parliamentary session,” Mr Duda’s spokesman, Marek Magierowski, said.

Demonstration in front of parliament in Warsaw, Poland, 17 December 2017Image copyrightAP
Image captionPro-government supporters also staged a rally in Warsaw

Mr Duda is to hold to talks on Monday with the head of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jaroslaw Kaczynski and the president of the lower house of parliament, Marek Kuchcinski.

The BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw says many protesters are concerned not just about media freedom, but what they call systematic attempts by the government to roll back democratic rights.

On Saturday, journalists held a meeting with the speaker of the upper house of parliament to discuss the new rules.

Although no breakthrough was made at the talks, there were signs that a compromise deal may be reached after another meeting was scheduled for Monday.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, in a televised address, has said the blockade on parliament in protest at the new rules by opposition MPs was “scandalous”.

She said people were free to protest, but had to respect the views of others.

People hold banners with an image of Constitutional Tribunal (TK) President judge Andrzej Rzeplinski and with words Image copyrightEPA
Image captionProtesters support the work of the Constitutional Court amid government protests to reduce its powers

Opposition MPs say the PiS is trying to stifle press freedom with its plans to limit the number of reporters allowed to cover parliament.

As well as the number of journalists permitted to enter the parliament building being restricted, only five selected Polish TV stations will be allowed to record or broadcast parliamentary sessions.

The government said it did not believe that the measures were restrictive.

Some opposition supporters have also marched outside the Constitutional Court, showing appreciation of its work.

The PiS has been trying to curtail its powers, drawing criticism from Poland’s European Union partners.

+++ V.V.I. (DPA) Report: Poland’s Kaczynski says EU must reform or fall apart

(DPA) — The chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, called for a reform of the European Union that would strengthen the nation state in an interview published Sunday, or else he warned the bloc could fall apart.

“Either we reform the EU or it will implode,” the Polish strongman said in an interview with Rome’s La Repubblica newspaper.
The nation state is the only institution that can guarantee democracy and freedom, he said.

He said that polite proposals from Poland made to Brussels had received “a bitter surprise” in response, namely: “Politeness towards Ankara and brutal language towards Warsaw.”

Poland will continue to refuse to accept proposed EU quotas for the redistribution of refugees to the member states.

“We feel the pressure, but we won’t bend,” Kaczynski said. The EU and Germany had forgotten that Poland had welcomed 1 million refugees from Ukraine, but there was a problem with “the aggression of Muslim immigrants, especially against women,” Kaczynski said.

+++ (JN) Polónia apresenta solução para a conversão de créditos

(JNOs bancos deverão ficar a conhecer os detalhes sobre as regras que vão vigorar para a conversão de créditos na Polónia. A imprensa polaca revela que estas serão conhecidas esta terça-feira.

Os detalhes do plano para a conversão dos créditos à habitação concedidos em francos suíços para zlotys, deverão ser conhecidos esta terça-feira, 2 de Agosto, de acordo com a Bloomberg que cita o jornal polaco Rp.pl, que não revela onde obteve a informação.

Os bancos terão de assumir perdas significativas com esta conversão, prevendo-se que os custos ascendam a “vários” milhares de milhões de zlotys.

Deverão assim ser conhecidos os detalhes deste plano, depois da primeira proposta ter sido chumbada pelo supervisor da banca polaca. A Autoridade de Supervisão Financeira da Polónia (KNF, na sigla em polaco) chumbou, em Março, a proposta do Governo que imputava aos bancos polacos os custos totais da conversão. Desde então que se aguarda por uma nova proposta.

O plano que deverá ser conhecido esta quarta-feira deverá limitar o impacto para a banca, já que, de acordo com a mesma fonte, o Executivo terá tido atenção à situação da banca polaca e da sua envolvente, nomeadamente o Brexit e os riscos associados à banca italiana, que tem estado sob os holofotes devido ao nível dos crédito malparado e às suas necessidades de capital.

Em Maio, os bancos polacos, entre os quais se encontra o Millennium Bank, do BCP,apresentaram uma proposta para resolver esta questão. O sector propõe a conversão de 5 a 10% dos empréstimos denominados em francos e custaria aos bancos 2,7 mil milhões de zlotys (614 milhões de euros), uma solução com uma factura bem menos pesada que a proposta pelas autoridades polacas e que beneficiaria o BCP.

+++ (JN) Millennium Bank dispara mais de 16%

(JN) As acções do Millennium Bank estão a subir 12,63% para 5,26 zlotys, tendo chegado a subir um máximo de 16,27% para 5,43 zlotys, atingindo o valor mais elevado desde 20 de Abril e o maior ganho dos últimos cinco anos. Esta subida alivia para 4,68% a queda desde o início do ano das acções do banco detido maioritariamente pelo BCP. E não é apenas a variação das acções que é elevada. A liquidez também está em destaque, tendo já trocado de mãos mais de 1,5 milhões de acções, quando a média diária dos últimos seis meses é de 1,07 milhões.

Esta subida expressiva das acções do banco polcado surge no dia em que foi noticiado que os detalhes do plano do Governo da Polónia para a conversão dos créditos à habitação concedidos em francos suíços para zlotys, deverão ser conhecidos esta terça-feira, 2 de Agosto, de acordo com a Bloomberg que cita o jornal polaco Rp.pl, que não revela onde obteve a informação.

Os bancos terão de assumir perdas significativas com esta conversão, prevendo-se que os custos ascendam a “vários” milhares de milhões de zlotys. Ainda assim, os valores serão bastante inferiores ao inicialmente previsto.

A primeira proposta do Governo polaco foi chumbada pelo supervisor da banca polaca. A Autoridade de Supervisão Financeira da Polónia (KNF, na sigla em polaco) chumbou, em Março, a proposta do Governo que imputava aos bancos polacos os custos totais da conversão. Desde então que se aguarda por uma nova proposta.

E não é apenas o Millennium Bank que está a reflectir em bolsa a expectativa sobre este programa. Os ganhos entre a banca polaca são generalizados. O Alior Bank sobe mais de 1%, o MBank ganha mais de 4,5%, o PKO aprecia mais de 6% e o Getin Noble valoriza-se quase 14%.

(DE) Preso em Lodz um iraquiano com explosivos

(DE) País vai acolher as Jornadas Mundiais da Juventude e espera a visita do Papa.

Preso em Lodz um iraquiano com explosivos

A cidade de Lodz, na Polónia, está em alerta depois de ter sido detido um iraquiano com explosivos, embora não suficiente para causar uma explosão, segundo informou a porta-voz da Procuradoria local, Beata Marczak, citada pelas agências internacionais.

O iraquiano, de 40 anos, foi interrogado enquanto o seu quarto era alvo de buscas, tendo depois os agentes da autoridade procedido à detenção preventiva do homem por dois meses. Para já, não existem elementos suficientes para uma acusação de terrorismo, mas o arguido arrisca-se a cumprir uma pena de oito anos de prisão caso seja acusado de posse ilegal de explosivos. E, tendo em conta que o país vai acolher, em Cracóvia, até dia 31, as Jornadas Mundiais da Juventude e espera contar com a presença do Papa, a situação gerou alarme.

Ainda assim, de acordo com dados divulgados pela estação privada “Polsat News”, o indivíduo teria na sua posse elementos relativos à preparação de actos de terrorismo que visariam interesses comerciais franceses na Polónia.

(EurActiv) EU countries employ slave labourers from North Korea, rights group reveals

(EurActiv) North Korea has sent hundreds of workers to labour as “state-sponsored slaves” in member states as Pyongyang seeks to circumvent international sanctions aimed at starving it of money over its nuclear weapons programme, rights campaigners said on Wednesday (5 July).

North Korean labourers commonly work 10-12 hour shifts, six days a week, but up to 90% of their pay is sent back to the hermit state, according to the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK).

Most are working in Polish shipyards, construction sites and farms. North Koreans are also employed in leisure and clothing firms in Malta, and have worked in other EU countries, it said.

A recent article in The Telegraph revealed that slave labourers from North Korea work in some cases in companies receiving financial support from the European Union. The UN estimates that North Korea earns as much as £1.6 billion a year from labourers it sends overseas

The Voice of America reported that Poland has stopped issuing visas for North Korean workers amid reports that Pyongyang is sending its citizens to foreign countries in harsh working conditions to earn hard currency.

The North Korean embassy in Warsaw denied workers were deprived of pay.

“This is all nonsense,” said an official, declining to give his name. “Nobody is taking (their salaries), they work and make money for themselves.”
But campaigners say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime is using overseas labour to earn much needed foreign currency to offset the impact of UN sanctions, which were expanded in March after a nuclear test on a 6 January and a 7 February rocket launch.

EAHRNK director Michael Glendinning said Pyongyang was “in full control and benefiting hugely”.

A UN report last year estimated there were over 50,000 North Koreans working abroad, earning the state $1.2 billion to $2.3 billion annually, although some experts question these figures.

Most are employed in Russia and China. Others are working in African countries and on construction sites in the Middle East, including in Qatar which is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.

But EU countries are more attractive for North Korea, because wages are higher, Glendinning said.

Families held ‘hostage’

The conditions faced by North Korean workers in Poland was revealed in a report to be published on Wednesday by LeidenAsiaCentre in the Netherlands.

Researchers used testimonies from North Korean labourers in and outside the EU, field research in Poland and data from governments and other sources to compile the study.

Earlier this year, LeidenAsiaCentre detailed the case of a North Korean welder who died from 95% burns in an accident at a Polish shipyard in 2014. Investigations showed the clothing supplied to him by his Polish employers was flammable.

Campaigners say the welder had been working over 70 hours a week without proper remuneration.

North Koreans do not have proper contracts or payslips, must surrender their passports and face restrictions in their movements, Glendinning said. They are also kept under surveillance and have to participate in ideological study sessions.
“What we’re seeing is a mini-Pyongyang being exported. They are literally sending their human rights abuses to the EU and we’re tolerating it,” he added.

Poland issued 2,783 work permits for North Koreans between 2008 and 2015, according to the LeidenAsiaCentre which has linked 32 Polish companies to their employment.

Glendinning said Poland stopped issuing new visas for North Korean workers this year.

Campaigners say North Koreans are vetted closely before being sent overseas to minimise the risk of defection.

“They only select workers who are married and have children – hostage-taking essentially,” Glendinning said.

“If they were to defect the family would likely face some kind of punishment in a political prison camp, a re-education camp or – in extreme cases – execution.”

There has been one defection in Poland and possibly a few elsewhere, he said.

A recent documentary by Vice News shows footage of North Korean labourers in Polish shipyards and on construction sites, but workers approached by the filmmakers declined to talk.
One North Korean who escaped while working in Russia told them his family had been “destroyed” after his defection.

Campaigners do not want North Koreans deported to non-EU countries where conditions could be worse, but say firms must ensure they enjoy the same rights and pay as other workers.

The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally. North Korea ranks worst for prevalence, with one in 20 people thought to be in some form of modern slavery.