Komorowski visits Berlin

September 29, 2014
Improving Relations

Improving Relations

In September Polish President Bronisław Komorowski made a two-day official visit to Berlin. In a session devoted to marking the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the Polish President gave a special address to the Bundestag. The extraordinary meeting of the German parliament was attended by German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the Bundesrat Stephan Weil. Komorowski is the first Polish president to be a guest speaker at the German Bundestag; earlier two Polish foreign ministers spoke in the German parliament: Władysław Bartoszewski in 1995 and Bronisław Geremek in 2002. At the beginning of September, President Bronisław Komorowski and his German counterpart Gauck took part in a ceremony at Gdańsk’s Westerplatte. During the event, the two presidents stressed that the experiences of World War II are a lesson in the face of today’s conflicts, among others, in Eastern Europe. Komorowski gave a speech stressing that World War II was preceded by concessions to the aggressive policy of the Third Reich, revisions of borders, violations of international law, the use of military pressure as well as violations of   disarmament agreements. “You have to remember that the German-Polish conflict quickly turned into a European war, which then escalated into a world war,” said the President Komorowski. Gauck warned against territorial concessions and the escalation of international tension. “History teaches us that territorial concessions often feed the appetite of the aggressors. History also teaches us that the uncontrolled escalation of such situations can lead to a point where things get out of control,” he said. The Polish and German presidents also emphasised the importance of Polish-German reconciliation. In July, Joachim Gauck together with his Polish counterpart Bronisław Komorowski opened an exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising. The exhibition will be on display until the end of October. The project was prepared in cooperation with the Topography of Terror Documentation Center in Berlin and the Warsaw Uprising Museum in.Warsaw.
tvn24.pl

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PLN 6,000 to Eat with Al Pacino

September 23, 2014
Cancelled

Cancelled

The price of tickets for an audience with Al Pacino and Arnold Schwarzenegger was PLN 2,500. Unfortunately, the events were suddenly cancelled and it is not clear whether punters will get their money back. Stage Production had been promoting an audience with the two famous American actors for quite some time. Al Pacino was supposed to meet Polish fans on 22 September in Warsaw’s Congress Hall, whereas Arnold Schwarzenegger was lined up to speak at the Centennial Hall in Wrocław on 17 October. Tickets were extremely expensive, as much as PLN 2,500. Moreover, those fans who wanted to buy tickets for a dinner with the actors had to pay over PLN 6,000. Despite the price, tickets were snapped up instantly. In the meantime, it appeared that the actors would not come to Poland. Stage Production issued a statement stating the events had been cancelled due to reasons beyond its control: “Despite huge interest, we are unable to undertake the AN EVENING WITH series due to unexpected circumstances. Therefore, we would like to thank all the people, co-workers, partners, sponsors and patrons, who were working on the realisation of this dream. Thank you to all the people who bought tickets. Refunds should be undertaken at the point of purchase.” It is not known why the two events were cancelled; none of the organisers wanted to provide explanations. The reasons were also unknown even to the PR agency hired by Stage Production.
wp.pl

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Namesakes Run for Mayor’s Office

September 23, 2014
The Real Grobelny?

The Real Grobelny?

In Poznań, two candidates with the same name are running for the mayor’s office. The electoral commission received two applications for the registration of an electoral committee with the name ‘Grobelny’ in it. First, on 29 August, the current mayor of Poznań registered his Ryszard Grobelny’s Time for Wielkopolska committee (Teraz Wielkopolska Ryszarda Grobelnego); however, under two weeks later, Grobelny’s List (Lista Grobelnego) showed up on the electoral commission’s doorstep. The mayor reacted immediately, asking if Civic Platform (PO) feared another defeat so badly that they had decided to reach for an old trick they tried over a decade ago when PO a businessman by the name of Ryszard Franciszek Grobelny took part in local elections. The mayor, who has held the office for four terms already, was not far off in his suspicions, however, this time the deception is the doing of the Real Politics Union (UPR). The electoral commission refused to register the second committee on the grounds that it would create confusion, so the committee agreed to change its name by adding the candidate’s given name, Bogdan. The current mayor has boldly declared he is not afraid of the competition.
tvn24.pl

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Church Facing Test Case

September 22, 2014
All Saints in Warsaw

All Saints in Warsaw

The Roman Catholic Church in Poland is facing a test case which – if lost – could lead to its financial ruin. The case has been brought by Marcin, who at the age of 12 fell victim to sexual abuse at the hands of a priest. In 2012, the priest was convicted of the crime, and now Marcin is suing the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg diocese for damages. The court will have to ascertain whether the then diocese’s officials had been made aware of the priest’s crimes even before the original trial and chose to ignore the signals, as it would appear from the testimony of a local journalist. On Friday, the court listened to the testimonies of Archbishop Marian Gołębiewski and Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, both of whom admitted only to having heard rumours about the homosexual propensities of the priest but claim they had had no prior knowledge of his paedophilia. This is the first time such high-ranking Church officials have testified before court in Poland. The Church is pulling out all the stops, hiring top-notch defence lawyers and trying to convince the public that the trial is an affront to the Church, in order to minimise the risk of sharing the fate of the American Church, which, upon taking responsibility for its priests’ crimes, has been flooded with civil lawsuits, losing a fortune on settlements.
tvn24.pl

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Gdańsk Burns

September 21, 2014
Gdańsk Burns

Cars Burn

Several weeks ago, Gdańsk was in shock after a spate of arson attacks. A 33 year-old Gdańsk resident, suspected of setting fire to 19 cars, has been caught. TVN24 informed that the man pleaded guilty during a police interrogation. On one night in Gdańsk’s Suchanino district, over a dozen cars were set alight. It seems the vehicles were chosen at random, in a radius of approximately 5 km. According to preliminary police reports, the cars were set alight between 1:00 to 3:30 in the morning. The area has already been secured by police together with CCTV recordings from nearby buildings.
wp.pl

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International Dachshund Parade in Kraków

September 20, 2014
Dachshunds in Kraków

Dachshunds in Kraków

The annual Dachshund Parade took place in Kraków for the 20th time. It was established back in 1973, when Mieczysław Czuma, editor in chief of Przekrój, the weekly cultural magazine, organised a dachshund parade in celebration of the 28th anniversary of the magazine. At the time, the event was regarded as a parody of the May Day parade by the communist authorities and was not repeated until 1994. According to Mieczysław Czuma, Leszek Mazan and Michał Kozioł, the authors of “To jest Kraków, Mości Książę” [This is Kraków, Your Highness the Prince], a popular history of Kraków, the presence of dachshunds in the city goes back 500 years, when the first dog of this breed arrived at the court of King Sigismund I the Old. The parade marched through the streets of Kraków’s Old Town and ended at the Main Square, where the king and queen of dachshunds were chosen. The title of Dachshund Queen went to Neferteeny, who came to Poland all the way from Tennessee, USA. A Polish dog, Amalfini, was crowned this year’s King. During the event, veterinarians, dog trainers, and behaviourists offered free advice to dog owners, who could also take advantage of free grooming services or have their dog microchipped. Moreover, representatives of a dog welfare foundation and the police were on hand to talk about dog adoption and steps to be taken, if one witnesses animal cruelty. The 20th Dachshund Parade was organised under the auspices of the Mayer of Kraków by Radio Kraków and the local authorities.
gazeta.pl 

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Szczecin Opens New Philharmonic

September 18, 2014
Szczecin Shines

Szczecin Shines

Szczecin can boast a new cultural landmark on its map. The new philharmonic orchestra building, designed by Spanish architects Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga, was recently opened. During the inaugural concert, the orchestra played “Fanfare”, a piece by Krzysztof Penderecki, specially composed for the occasion; “In principio” by Marek Jasiński; a native of Szczecin; “Returning waves” by Mieczysław Karłowicz, a 19th century Polish composer, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski and the architects of the building were in attendance at the opening concert. President Komorowski arrived in Szczecin straight from the NATO Summit in Wales. He said that the new philharmonic orchestra is a symbol of Polish freedom and independence. “We know how to use favourable conditions, such as peace, freedom and our membership in the EU, to create great and beautiful things which will serve the lofty goals of the local community,” the President added. The modern white building of the new philharmonic orchestra was inspired by medieval architecture. It replaces the old concert house, which was the musical centre of pre-war Szczecin. The new philharmonic orchestra has two concert halls, which can seat 1,200 people in total. The construction of the building took a little over three years and cost PLN 120m, of which PLN 40m has been provided by the EU.
Rzeczpospolita.pl and mmszczecin.pl

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