(GUA) Early results of parliamentary election show party has done even better than four years ago
Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice party has won Sunday’s parliamentary election, doing better than when it swept to power four years ago, according to nearly complete results.
According to official results from 91% of constituencies published by the electoral committee on Monday, Law and Justice took 44.6% of the vote, ahead of the country’s biggest opposition grouping, the liberal centre-right Civic Coalition, on 26.7%, and the Left alliance on 12.3%.
There was elation at the party’s headquarters on Sunday night as an exit poll projected on a big screen forecast the Law and Justice victory. Supporters chanted the name of Jarosław Kaczyński, the party’s founder and leader, who has in effect run Poland from his party office since taking power four years ago with 37.6% of the vote.Advertisement
“We have reasons to be joyful. Despite the powerful front that was arraigned against us, we were able to win,” said Kaczyński. “I hope that tomorrow will bring confirmation of our success. We have four years of hard work in front of us, because Poland needs to change further. And it must change for the better.”
Since winning elections in 2015, the rightwing populists have embarked on a programme of massive social spending, winning widespread support, especially in smaller towns and the countryside.
Simultaneously, the party has been accused of attacking the judiciary, engaging in a culture war and, in recent months, using its stable of loyal media to launch a war on “LGBT ideology”, claiming the party is defending traditional Polishness.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister and a Kaczyński nominee, said: “Today the sun shone as it rarely does in October. And I hope tomorrow it will shine even brighter. These results give us a huge public mandate.”
Also buoyant were supporters of the Left. The result marks a return of leftwing parties to Polish parliamentary politics after a four-year absence, when a fragmented left failed to cross the parliamentary threshold.
“We are returning to the parliament!” Robert Biedroń, one of the Left’s three co-leaders, told a post-election rally. “We are going back to where the Polish left has always belonged.”
The agrarian PSL bloc and anti-system Kukiz’15 was at 8.6% while the far-right Confederation got 6.8%, based on the partial official results.
On Thursday, the European commission announced it was referring Poland to the European court of justice over its disciplinary regime for Polish judges, opening up a new front with Law and Justice, which is already embroiled in a dispute with the rest of the EU over the rule of law.
(Reuters) WARSAW (Reuters) – The World Bank on Wednesday raised its forecast for Poland’s GDP growth in 2019 to 4.3% from the 4.0% expected in April, citing rising domestic consumption and a rebound in investment.
The bank has maintained its growth projections for Poland’s economy in 2020 and 2021 at 3.6% and 3.3%, respectively.
“While Poland’s growth is one of the fastest in Europe and Central Asia, overall growth dynamics in the region are being adversely affected by the downturn in Turkey and Russia,” the bank said in a statement.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in Wielun, Poland, 1 September 2019. [Roman Zawistowski/EPA/EFE]
Germany’s president asked for forgiveness for his country on Sunday (1 September) for the suffering of the Polish people during World War Two as Poland marked 80 years since the Nazi German invasion that unleashed the deadliest conflict in human history.
The ceremonies began at 4:30 a.m. in the small town of Wielun, site of one of the first bombings of the war on 1 September 1939, with speeches by Polish President Andrzej Duda and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Few places saw death and destruction on the scale of Poland. It lost about a fifth of its population, including the vast majority of its 3 million Jewish citizens.
“I am here to express my feelings for the country, my patriotism, and to remind myself of these terrible times,” said 68-year-old Warsaw resident Krzysztof Wojciechowski.
After the war, the shattered capital of Warsaw had to rise again from ruins and Poland remained under Soviet domination until 1989.
“As a German guest I walk before you here barefoot. I look back in gratitude to the Polish people’s fight for freedom. I bow sorrowfully before the suffering of the victim,” Steinmeier said at an event later in Warsaw.
“I ask for forgiveness for Germany’s historical guilt. I profess to our lasting responsibility.”
US Vice President Mike Pence paid tribute to the courage of the Polish people.
“None fought with more valour, determination, and righteous fury than the Poles,” Pence told the gathering of leaders in Warsaw that included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
Pence attended the ceremony instead of US President Donald Trump who cancelled his trip due to the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, a disappointment to Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which is seen as one of Washington’s biggest allies in Europe.
US President Donald Trump abruptly called off a weekend trip to Poland on Thursday (29 August), saying he wanted to stay home and make sure the federal government is prepared for a looming hurricane headed for Florida.
“America and Poland will continue to call on our allies to live up to the promises we have made to one another,” Pence said. He will hold bilateral talks in Warsaw on Monday.
Trump and the PiS government share views on issues such as migration, energy and abortion, but the Warsaw government faces mounting isolation in Europe over accusations that it subverts democratic norms.
“We love our Polish friends, and I will be there soon,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Sunday, confirming a visit was still in the offing.
For some in Poland, World War Two and its commemorations are still a live political issue, just weeks before a national vote.
For the PiS, the memory of the war is a major plank of its “historical politics”, aiming to counteract what it calls the West’s lack of appreciation for Polish suffering and bravery under Nazi occupation.
PiS politicians have repeatedly called for war reparations from Germany, one of Poland’s biggest trade partners and a fellow member of the European Union and NATO, and several onlookers yelled “reparations” after Steinmeier spoke.
Berlin says all financial claims linked to World War Two have been settled, but Steinmeier continued with his theme of responsibility. “Because Germany – despite its history – was allowed to grow to new strength in Europe, we Germans must do more for Europe,” he said.
Underscoring the Warsaw conservatives’ distrust of its European allies, President Duda said World War Two may have been prevented had Western nations shown more opposition to the “manic visions” of Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler. “It’s a big lesson for us,” Duda said in a speech in Warsaw.
Despite the theme of the day looking back 80 years, present day politics was, as ever, to the fore.
“We know that Europe needs to become stronger and more self-confident,” Steinmeier said. “But we also know: Europe should not be strong without America – or even against America. Rather, Europe needs partners. And I’m sure America needs partners in this world too … So let’s take care of this partnership!”
Conspicuously absent was Russian President Vladimir Putin who attended the 1 September events in Poland 10 years ago, but wasn’t invited this time, reflecting a change in relations following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
“There could be different assessments of the Soviet policy at the early stage of the Second World War. But one cannot deny the fact that it was the Soviet Union, which defeated Nazism, liberated Europe and saved European democracy from the annihilation,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Poland was holding a series of commemorations during the day. Parallel events, attended by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans, were held in the coastal city of Gdansk, site of one of the first battles of the war.
Morawiecki spoke of the huge material, spiritual, economic and financial losses Poland suffered in the war.
Although it has been 80 years since the war started, there are still unresolved matters according to Poland, which says Germany owes it war reparations.
A parliamentary commission is currently working on a new analysis of the extent of Poland’s wartime human and material losses.
“We have to talk about, remember and demand the truth regarding those losses. We have to demand compensation,” Morawiecki said on Sunday at the Westerplatte ceremony.
When it comes to reparations, however, Berlin believes the case is closed.
Critics say PiS’s ambition is to fan nationalism among voters at a time when populists around the world are tapping into historical revisionism. PiS says the country’s standing on the global stage and national security are at stake.
Wartime remembrance has become a campaign theme ahead of the national election due on 13 October with PiS – expected to win – accusing the opposition of failing to protect Poland’s image.
“Often, we are faced with substantial ignorance when it comes to historical policy … or simply ill will,” Jaroslaw Sellin, deputy culture minister, told Reuters.
Poland commemorates the outbreak of World War Two rather than its end because it fell under Soviet domination shortly afterwards.
Além deste montante, o BCP revela que no âmbito desta operação reembolsou ainda o financiamento não subordinado assegurado pelo Société Générale ao Euro Bank num valor aproximado de 885,4 milhões de euros.
A compra do Euro Bank pela filial polaca do BCP foi acordada em novembro do ano passado e permitirá ao Bank Millennium afirmar-se como o sétimo maior banco a operar na Polónia (ativos, carteira de créditos e depósitos).
Janusz Korsczak (Screenshot from YouTube)ADVERTISEMENT
In 2013, Nashville puppeteer Brian Hull was browsing through the stacks at the Nashville Public Library when he came across an obscure Polish children’s book with a wizard on the cover.
“When I saw the book, I thought, what is this, some Harry Potter ripoff?” said Hull, who runs the library’s resident puppet troupe and produces independent puppet shows through his company, BriAnimations Living Entertainment. “Then I saw it was copyrighted 1933.”
“Kaytek the Wizard” is the work of Janusz Korczak, a Polish Jewish pediatrician and author best known for refusing to abandon the children of his Warsaw orphanage when they were deported to Treblinka, despite offers of refuge that might have saved his life. The book became available in English only in 2012.
“I started reading it and I just became obsessed with it,” Hull said. “I just thought: What is this man doing? This is like no other children’s book I’ve ever read.”
Hull went to work in his basement adapting the novel as a puppet show, complete with original music and drawn animations. The show premiered to a sold-out audience at the 2016 Nashville International Puppet Festival. Hull has scarcely stopped performing it ever since, staging it at theaters, festivals and schools across the country.
“As I learned more about Janusz Korczak,” Hull wrote in an educational pamphlet distributed by the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, “I couldn’t believe I had never heard of him.”
Killed by the Nazis in 1942, Korczak left behind a small but formidable body of novels, poems and pedagogical insights that continue to inspire readers, educators and activists more than seven decades after his death. His ideas live on not just in educational circles, but in international law.
Korczak was among the earliest supporters of the notion that children have rights, an idea he promoted on a radio program he hosted before the war and as a signatory to the 1924 Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
Born Henryk Goldszmit in Warsaw in the late 1870s (the exact year isn’t known), Korczak was raised in an affluent Jewish family whose fortunes faded after his father took ill and died. Korczak studied medicine at the University of Warsaw and became a pediatrician. But in his 30s he abandoned the practice of medicine to become the head of a Jewish orphanage, where he began to put his ideas about children’s education into practice.
Nashville Puppeteer Brian Hull’s adaptation of Janusz Korsczak’s children’s book “Kaytek the Wizard” has played across the country. (BriAnimations Living Entertainment)
A firm believer in children’s rights, Korczak instituted democratic governance in the orphanage, including establishing a parliament where the children set their own rules and administered their own affairs. If a rule was broken, the offender could be brought before a children’s court overseen by a rotating group of judges. Korczak also founded the first national children’s newspaper and wrote more than two dozen books.
“Many of his actions with the children I would say are now considered social and emotional learning, which is now the in-word in education,” said Sara Efrat Efron, an education professor at National Louis University in Chicago. “There is a lot of effort now to find ways of focusing on emotional and social growth, and the methods that are recommended are things that Korczak did day in and day out. So he was really ahead of his time, and maybe ahead of our time.”
Today, societies dedicated to Korczak’s legacy are active in more than a dozen countries. Schools inspired by his pedagogical ideas exist in Germany, Holland, Poland and Russia. His teachings are the basis of a summer camp in Poland, and his life is the inspiration for the song “The Little Review,” by the Canadian folk singer Awna Teixeira. In 2012, a bronze relief of Korczak was unveiled at the University of British Columbia. Translations of Korczak’s s writings continue to be published, including a 2013 Chinese edition of his children’s book “King Matt the First.”
Korczak’s efforts on behalf of children were all the more remarkable, Efron says, because they were undertaken amidst the most trying of conditions.
With the Nazi occupation of Poland, Korczak was forced to relocate his orphanage to the Warsaw Ghetto. As the moral condition of the surrounding culture deteriorated, Korczak declined to delude the youngsters in his care about the realities of the world, yet neither would he succumb to despair, continuing to believe that children were the best hope for humanity.
That conviction was severely tested in August 1942, when the Nazis came to collect the 190 children in the orphanage. In what would come to be the story by which he is best remembered, Korczak, by then a prominent figure in Poland, declined offers that might have enabled his escape. Instead, he dressed his charges in their finest clothes and led them through the streets to the deportation point, where they were placed on trains to Treblinka.
“Korczak’s clinging to hope did not stem from naivety or blindness,” Efron wrote in a 2016 article, “but from a calculated choice, an existential understanding that despair means giving up on change, thus conceding the future.”
Decades after his death, Korczak’s ideas would be promoted by Poland’s postwar government.
The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly in 1989, was first proposed by Poland in 1978. The Order of the Smile, an international award given by children to adults distinguished in promoting their interests, was started in Poland in 1968 and recognized by the U.N. secretary-general in 1979.
This year, the award went to Marta Santo Pais, the U.N. special representative on violence against children, who delivered the keynote address at a November conference on Korczak’s legacy, pedagogy and advocacy for children’s rights held at Columbia University. The conference was sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute New York, among others.
“Korczak’s main idea is that a child is a human, only a small human, and therefore his or her rights cannot be treated differently from adult rights. That was revolutionary for his time,” said Anna Domanska, acting director of the institute. “So was his innovative way of running a center for orphaned children. Korczak’s activity was also made possible by the general social climate of interwar Poland, where citizens, enjoying their freedom after 123 years of foreign domination, wanted to express that freedom as fully as possible.”
In 2012, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, declared the Year of Janusz Korczak, marking 70 years since his death and 100 since he founded his orphans’ home.
“This allowed us to commemorate the old doctor and fix his memory not only in Polish reality, but the world’s,” said Marek Michalak, Poland’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman from 2008 to 2018, chancellor of the International Chapter of the Order of the Smile, and president of the International Janusz Korczak Association. “Korczak was not just as a victim of the Holocaust, but also as the first spokesman for children’s rights, an outstanding pedagogue and author.”
(JE) O BCP comunicou esta segunda-feira, antes da abertura do mercado, à Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários que chegou a acordo com a Société Générale para a aquisição de uma participação de 99,79%.
O BCP anunciou esta segunda-feira que, através da sua subsidiária na Polónia (Bank Millennium), chegou a acordo para a compra de uma participação de 99,79% no Euro Bank à Société Générale, por cerca de 428 milhões de euros (1.833 milhões de zlotys). A aquisição foi comunicada esta segunda-feira, antes da abertura do mercado, à Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM).
“A aquisição do eurobank permite reforçar a posição do Bank Millennium na banca polaca. Levará, adicionalmente, a um aumento da sua base de Clientes, e torná-lo-á um dos seis maiores bancos na Polónia em número de clientes de retalho, reforçando a presença geográfica do Bank Millennium em cidades polacas de menor dimensão”, refere o banco.
A instituição bancária salienta, no mesmo documento divulgado pela CMVM, que o negócio com a Societe Generale Financial Services Holding tem “implícito um múltiplo P/BV de 1,20x (preço final de aquisição sujeito aos ajustes habituais ao net asset value na data da transação), a ser pago em cash e totalmente financiado por meios próprios do Bank Millennium”.
O BCP prevê que, cerca de dois anos depois de a operação estar concluída, o que deverá acontecer no segundo trimestre de 2019, os resultados do banco polaco subam 26% e o rácio CET1 se situe em 15,9%. Em relação ao Millennium bcp, a operação deverá causar um impacto de -40 pontos base no rácio CET1 e de -30 pontos base no rácio de capital total fully implemented na alturaa da compra e fazer crescer os resultados consolidados da entidade bancária já a partir de 2020, considerando custos de integração.
Miguel Maya, CEO do Millennium bcp, considera que se trata de um mercado “com elevado potencial de crescimento” e explica que a aquisição “foi analisada com o máximo detalhe dada a relevância que a gestão rigorosa do capital e dos riscos de negócio assumem para a comissão executiva do BCP”. “O banco não perspetiva qualquer aquisição adicional, sendo o crescimento previsto no plano estratégico exclusivamente suportado no desenvolvimento orgânico”, assegura, no comunicado.
(JN) O primeiro-ministro polaco garantiu que o PIB per capita do seu país irá ultrapassar o de Portugal no próximo ano.
O PIB per capita é um dos indicadores mais utilizados para estimar a qualidade de vida dos cidadãos. Portugal está historicamente na cauda da União Europeia, mas poderá ficar ainda mais abaixo. A Polónia está confiante de que irá ultrapassar o PIB per capita português no próximo ano. A ambição foi tornada pública pelo primeiro-ministro polaco, Mateusz Morawiecki, em Nova Iorque, esta sexta-feira, dia 5 de Outubro.
“Em 2019, o nosso país deverá ultrapassar Portugal em termos de PIB per capita”, afirmou Mateusz Morawiecki, referindo que a Polónia já ultrapassou a Grécia nesse indicador e que deverá alcançar a Itália nos próximos dez anos.
Estas declarações surgem num discurso que o primeiro-ministro polaco fez no evento “Poland: The Can-Do Nation” através do qual está a promover o país nos Estados Unidos, tentando captar investimento estrangeiro.
De acordo com Mateusz Morawiecki, entre 1989 e 2004, o PIB per capita – que mede a riqueza do país dividida pelo número de cidadãos – polaco cresceu 135%, “posicionando o país como um dos que mais cresceram”. Desde 2004 que a Polónia é um dos Estados-membros da União Europeia.
Os dados do Eurostat mostram que, em 2017, o PIB per capita polaco era de 20,9 mil euros enquanto o português era de 23 mil euros. Estes números são em paridades de compra, ou seja, para que a comparação seja mais fiável retira-se o custo de vida (diferenças nos preços).
O que aconteceu nos últimos anos às duas economias? A economia polaca cresceu 4,6% no ano passado, ao passo que a economia portuguesa aumentou 2,8%. Em 2016, o crescimento da Polónia tinha sido de 2,9% enquanto o de Portugal foi de 1,9%. Durante os anos de ajustamento, a economia portuguesa entrou em recessão, mas a Polónia manteve-se a crescer.
(BBG) A new hub is aimed at boosting flag carrier LOT.
The village of Baranow, Poland, is a bucolic place, with little more than a general store, a school named after Pope John Paul II, and a church whose spire juts above groves of apple and pear trees. Rafal Milczarski wants to see it bulldozed and filled with screaming jetliners.
The chief executive officer of LOT Polish Airlines SAsays his company and his country need a modern airline hub to serve Warsaw, 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the east. In place of modest farmhouses surrounded by flower beds, Milczarski envisions terminals, hangars, and runways—a 70 billion zloty ($19 billion) project after new rail links and highways are included—to handle 45 million passengers a year and rival Heathrow in London, Charles de Gaulle in Paris, and Schiphol in Amsterdam. “Central Europe needs a proper aviation hub,” Milczarski says in his office at state-owned LOT’s current home base, a cramped air facility named after composer Frederic Chopin that opened in 1934. “We are going to be part of planning it and building it.”
The new airport, which would be 15 minutes from Warsaw’s central station by train, is key to LOT’s ambitions to triple passenger traffic and boost long-haul service to Asia and the Americas. Construction is slated to begin in 2021, after the government acquires the land in Baranow and nearby towns, and flights will begin in 2027. Further phases would add more runways and terminals, increasing capacity to 100 million passengers a year—more than Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport.
Although Chopin was updated with a new train station and terminal in 2012, it will reach its annual capacity of 20 million passengers within four years. In 2017, 16 million people passed through the low-slung terminal’s silver facade, more than double the traffic in 2005. With Poland’s economy growing at an average of 3.3 percent annually in recent years, “the region is getting richer and richer,” Milczarski says. “Our aspiration is to become the favorite network airline of central Europe.”
The plan dovetails with the nationalist agenda of the ruling Law and Justice party. Poland is the sixth-most populous nation in the European Union, with the bloc’s No. 8 economy, and the government says the airport can showcase the country as an emergent power. “It’s the biggest undertaking in the modern history of Poland,” says Deputy Infrastructure MinisterMikolaj Wild, who is overseeing the project. Given its location on Europe’s eastern flank, the airport can be “the gateway from the EU to the east.”
With a projected 9 million passengers this year, LOT is only Europe’s 19th largest airline, but it has some distinct advantages. It’s one of just a handful of independent flag carriers still operating in the region. Its home base is a country of 38 million that’s seen millions emigrate over the past century, many with lasting ties to their homeland. LOT’s fleet of 73 airplanes includes 11 Boeing Dreamliners it uses to serve Polish enclaves such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as routes to Asia. “Of all the Eastern European airlines, LOT has the greatest chance of succeeding,” says John Grant, director of advisory firm JGAviation Consultants. “Family ties and bonds are still quite strong.”
But LOT isn’t even the biggest airline in its home market, with discounters Wizz Air Holdings Plc and Ryanair Holdings Plc both carrying more passengers to Poland. LOT’s operating profit is on track to fall 22 percent this year, to 225 million zloty—mainly because of rising fuel and leasing costs—even as revenue is projected to rise 25 percent, to 6 billion zloty. And at about 2 million residents, its home city, Warsaw, is relatively small.
Skeptics say the money would be better spent on highways, rail lines, and updating Chopin and another airport 40km north of Warsaw that’s served by Ryanair. The first phase of the project will cost 35 billion zloty, or more than 10 percent of this year’s national budget. Some part of that would come from the EU, but the government says it’s also likely to take on debt.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary calls the idea “stupid” and a “shiny cathedral in the middle of nowhere.” And the residents of Baranow have voted against the plan. “I see more megalomaniacal self-aggrandizement than any realistic analysis in this project,” says Marcin Swiecicki, a former Warsaw mayor and member of parliament from Civic Platform, the biggest opposition party.
The government insists the project is sound and is moving ahead. Officials say expanding Chopin makes little sense, because it’s inside Warsaw’s city limits, with hundreds of thousands of people living nearby. And for Milczarski and government leaders, building a new facility is the best way to ensure LOT’s—and Poland’s—role in the global economy. “We are Polish, and we are proud of that,” Milczarski says. “But we define the scope of our activity more broadly.”
BOTTOM LINE – The Polish government is planning a $19 billion airport near Warsaw to showcase the country’s growing economic clout, but skeptics say the project is unnecessary and too expensive.
Poland has vowed to protect Hungary against EU sanctions, one day after the Polish president belittled Europe in a speech.
“Poland will vote against any sanctions on Hungary in the forum of European institutions,” the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (12 September).
The European Parliament’s vote, earlier the same day, to trigger a sanctions procedure against Hungary over its violations of EU values and rule of law, was “disturbing” the Polish ministry said.
“Every EU member state has the sovereign right to implement internal reforms that it considers to be right,” it added.
The statement comes after the European Commission last year launched the same punitive procedure against Poland for the same reasons.
It means Budapest and Warsaw will both face detailed EU scrutiny on a host of issues ranging from judicial reforms, to free press, civil society, and minority rights.
But Poland’s intervention also means that the process is unlikely to end in sanctions – suspension of voting rights in the EU Council – in either case, with Hungary having promised to veto such a decision on Poland and, now, vice versa.
The Polish ministry’s remarks came one day after Polish president Andrzej Duda, an ally of the ruling Law and Justice party, attacked the EU in a speech in Lezajsk, a town in the south-east.
The EU was an “imaginary community from which we don’t gain much”, he said.
“They [the EU] should leave us in peace, and allow us to fix Poland, because that’s the most important thing,” he said, referring to the EU sanctions procedure.
“Of course we have the right to have expectations towards Europe – especially towards the Europe that left us to be the prey of the Russians in 1945 – but above all we have the right to rule ourselves here on our own and decide what form Poland should have,” he added.
His words attracted opprobrium from opposition politicians.
Duda’s words were “irresponsible” and intended to “harm European unity”, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Poland’s former president said in an open letter on Wednesday.
“If they came from momentary emotions, I would urge greater thoughtfulness. If they came out of some deeper strategy, I must warn that this goes against the Polish raison d’état,” he said.
“The president’s words … were shocking and harmful,” Grzegorz Schetyna, Poland’s former foreign minster said on Twitter.
“They isolate Poland and, above all, they demoralise our young generation, which knows that our membership in Europe is an epochal achievement,” he said.
Meanwhile, if the EU sanctions procedures risk hardening anti-EU forces in central Europe, they also risk pushing Hungary into a deeper alliance with Russia.
Hungary’s foreign affairs spokesman, Peter Szijjarto, said on Wednesday that Orban would meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow next Tuesday to discuss energy supplies and infrastructure investments.
“[Our] long-term gas supply deal with expire at the end of 2020 or already at the end of 2019 – we will see the Russian position on that,” Szijjarto said.
“We have to find a way in order to minimise our losses … which were caused by the regime of the sanctions in the last years,” he added, referring to EU sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
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
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
If This Is a Man (1947) · Night (1956) · Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)
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. 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. 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.
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.
…”Challenges in Hiring Portugal Workers” says Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA Soares dos Santos CEO…”
“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…
(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.
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
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.
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) 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) 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) 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) 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.
(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.”
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.”
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) 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.