Poland and Japan Stand United

July 13, 2014
Self-Defence Forces

Self-Defence Forces

The Japanese ambassador in Poland hosted a reception in his official residence on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces. Japan’s Self-Defence Forces are the unified military forces of Japan that were established on 1 July 1954. The reception helped Polish defence policymakers become acquainted with Japanese defence policy and the functioning of the Japanese defence forces. It was also an important opportunity at building greater mutual understanding between the two countries and strengthening the relations between both partners. This year more than 130 guests attended the celebration. Representatives of Poland’s Sejm and Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and military forces (ground, air, naval) were among those invited. In his speech, ambassador Makoto Yamanaka emphasised the progress made in the bilateral cooperation of Polish and Japanese forces. He also noted last year’s visit of Defence Minister Siemoniak to Japan and the treaty signed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The ambassador also explained Japanese defence policy to the participants and pointed out the significance of cooperation between Polish and Japanese forces.
pl.emb-japan.go.jp

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Palikot Calls for New Elections

June 24, 2014
Palikot Concerned

Palikot Concerned

“We are in a tight spot. On the one hand, the associates of PM Donald Tusk have been compromised and need to go, but on the other, no decent person could possibly wish for Law and Justice (PiS) to return to power,” said Janusz Palikot, leader of Your Movement (TR). “It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between PiS and PO (Civic Platform): they use the same methods and often the same people, and the same approach to the most important social issues,” he continued. According to Palikot, earlier elections are necessary in light of the wiretapping scandal. Palikot argues that it is impossible to continue in a situation where the government is losing sleep over every upcoming issue of Wprost, fearing new pieces of information and new scandals that might be released. When asked if his party will support the PiS initiative of a constructive vote of no confidence in the government, he replied that PiS is only trying to make it look like it wants this cabinet gone. “I will never form any government with Jarosław Kaczyński, neither a cabinet of experts nor any other. I would be disgusted with myself,” he declared.
tvn24.pl

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Vote of No Confidence

June 22, 2014
Much to Contemplate

Much to Contemplate

In the aftermath of ‘Vistulagate’, as the world’s media have christened it, Law and Justice (PiS) is calling for a constructive vote of no confidence in the government. This is not the first PiS attempt at replacing PM Donald Tusk with its own candidate. In all likelihood, the vote will fall through, just as the previous attempt did in March 2013. In order to succeed, the motion requires an absolute majority of 231 votes, whereas PiS has only 136 votes at its disposal, as opposed to the 235 votes of the government (the PO-PSL coalition). Jarosław Kaczyński, head of PiS, has invited potential allies to a meeting that will take place on Monday, but refused on principle to talk to Your Movement (TR), despite the fact that Janusz Palikot’s party could be willing to vote for the motion. What is more, PiS needs all the help it can get as even the entire opposition together would not secure enough votes to force the cabinet to resign. Due to this fact, PiS is looking to the junior government coalition partner, the Polish People’s Party (PSL), for support. However, PSL highlights the fact that the whole idea is unrealistic as the opposition will once again fail to stand united.
wp.pl

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Mysterious Briefcase

June 20, 2014
Mysterious

Mysterious

The officers of the Internal Security Agency (ABW) who recently visited the offices of Wprost magazine left behind four things: a) an absolute mess, b) a broken door, c) the very laptop that they came for, and d) one of their briefcases complete with official documents and stamps. Soon after the ABW left the premises, journalists informed the public about the mysterious black briefcase, encouraging the ABW to return and collect it. When there was no response, the briefcase spent the night with journalists, and resurfaced the following day during a press conference held by PM Donald Tusk. “Please, take it. We have absolutely no use for it back at the office,” said Wprost journalist Cezary Łazarewicz, addressing the Prime Minister. “We are truly at a loss as to what to do with the briefcase. Perhaps with your help we could return it to Interior Minister Sienkiewicz [incriminated in the recent hacking scandal]. There are some official stamps and secret documents inside. We really don’t need it,” he continued. Apparently, neither does the head of the government because as soon as the conference was over, he left without it. The rightful owner has yet to claim the object, but in the meantime the briefcase has become a ridiculed symbol of the botched raid on the magazine.
tvn24.pl

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ABW Looking for Secrets

June 19, 2014
Internal Security Agnecy

Internal Security Agnecy

On Wednesday morning, officers of the Internal Security Agency (ABW) entered the offices of Wprost weekly in order to collect all data storage devices containing recently leaked wiretap recordings. According to Michał Majewski, one of the journalists who revealed the contents of the recordings, editorial staff refused to hand over the original files because they could not be absolutely certain that their source would not be compromised. In accordance with Polish law, if the informer wishes to remain anonymous, journalists are obliged to protect his or her identity, which can also include keeping secret any materials in their possession that could lead to the person being identified. The recordings revealed Interior Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and National Bank of Poland (NBP) head Marek Belka discussing the possibility of the NBP helping the government with its budget problems before the next elections in exchange for the government introducing changes to the law concerning the central bank as well as the dismissal of the then Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski. According to Wprost, the conversation took place in July 2013. In November 2013, Rostowski was replaced by Mateusz Szczurek as Minister of Finance; in May 2014, the cabinet received a draft amendment to the law on the NBP.
tvn24.pl

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Pseudo-referendum in Ukraine

May 22, 2014
Same Again?

Same Again?

The ‘referendum’ is just another chapter in the division of Ukraine. Donald Tusk said that Poland will not recognise the results of any ‘pseudo-referenda’. “The Polish government and administration have no doubts that we are dealing with a sophisticated form of aggression,” he added. “When we met last time, after the annexation of Crimea, steps had been taken by external powers to attempt a partition of the Ukrainian state. Everything indicated that this was not the end of the Ukrainian drama. Unfortunately, it is still playing out before our very eyes,” said the Polish Prime Minister. Donald Tusk explained that the referenda held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions fail to comply with “any standards and they are just another step on the path to partitioning Ukraine”. According to Tusk, the referenda organised by separatists in eastern Ukraine have nothing in common with democracy. Moreover, they mock democracy, he added. “They are destroying our Ukrainian neighbour. I hope that, unlike Crimea, no one in the world has any doubt that we are dealing with interference by one country in the affairs of another,” noted Donald Tusk.
wiadomosci.gazeta.pl

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Hungarian PM Visits Poland

May 12, 2014
Partner for Poland?

Partner for Poland?

“Hungary, in cooperation with Poland, would like to shape the future of Central Europe and the EU,” according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He also pointed to the friendship between the two countries which he said, “has stood the test of time.” Orban also mentioned that Hungary and Poland not only share the past but also the future. PM Victor Orban decided to visit Warsaw soon after his recent re-election. At a joint press conference held in Warsaw with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk, Orban informed the press that he wanted to visit Poland to show Polish people that the Hungarian government is deeply tied to the historical friendship between Poland and Hungary. According to the Hungarian PM, his government wants lead on foreign policy and Central Europe, where Poland plays a key role. He also thanked Poland for the support and respect that Hungary has received from Warsaw and “the support that I have received personally,” he added.
fakty.interia.pl

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Mining the Key

May 9, 2014
Strong Community

PM Copying President

“Mining must become the basis of our energy security,” declared Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Katowice while opening the sixth European Economic Congress. Tusk admitted that in order to achieve this goal the country must support him. A large part of the PM’s speech was devoted to the crisis, which, he emphasised, had revealed many weaknesses in the modern economy. He also explained how the quest for a quick and easy profit may lead to a lack of responsibility for the community. “Here in Silesia you can clearly see that the term ‘community’ is not an archaic word,” Tusk added. The PM also stated that the challenges facing the energy sector have become even more relevant because of events in Ukraine. He stressed that the conflict has demonstated the importance of energy security for Poland. The PM explained that the government is working on become energy independent. Tusk also believes that focusing on the coal industry lies in everybody’s best interests. During the conference, issues such as energy security and industrial competitiveness were discussed. Negotiations also took place between the EU and USA concerning a revolutionary free trade agreement.
gazetaprawna.pl

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More US Soldiers in Poland

May 4, 2014
United Front

United Front

“On Wednesday, soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team will be landing at the military airport in Świdwin. The group of 150 soldiers together with Polish troops will receive training in Drawsko Pomorskie. The aim of the training is to improve their military and intuitive skills,” said the PM Donald Tusk. “The number of soldiers can be increased, if need be,” he added. Members of Civic Platform (PO) believe that only good cooperation with the USA can give Poland a guarantee of peace and safety. “Neither training nor the presence of American soldiers should be regarded as something temporary. We hope that in the future this presence will be much more visible. We want to create a strong bond between our countries so we can depend on each other in time of crisis,” stressed the Prime Minister before his flight to Brussels. In addition, he mentioned that the intensive cooperation with the USA can help Poland consolidate its defence policy. Tusk understands that due to the conflict in Ukraine, Polish people want to feel safe. Thus, Poland will become increasingly more involved in NATO activities. “The goal of this is to ensure Poland is not ignored by other members and is treated as a vital element of the organisation,” he explained. The American soldiers will be welcomed by Tomasz Siemoniak, the Minister of National Defence; Lech Majewski, the Supreme Commander of the Polish Armed Forces; Stephen D. Mull, United States Ambassador to Poland and Richard C. Longo, the Deputy Commanding General for Initial Military Training. The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team is best known for its activitied during the Vietnam War. The brigade headquarters are found in Vicenza, Italy.
gazeta.pl

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PiS Demands Olympic Audit

April 23, 2014
Gold for Kraków?

Gold for Kraków?

Law and Justice (PiS) Kraków MPs have filed a motion with the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) to audit the 2022 Kraków Olympic Bid Committee. Last Saturday, Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak, a Civic Platform (PO) MP, resigned as the Committee Chair. She said she was resigning due to a “media barrage” targetting her. Addressing media reports that her husband had allegedly lobbied the media to write favourable stories about having the Winter Olympics in Kraków, Marczułajtis-Walczak said she was sorry about the whole situation, but was unaware of her husband’s activities in this matter. “We want the CBA to audit the activities of the Committee, because, in our opinion, this is one way to safeguard public money earmarked for the bid,” said Andrzej Duda, PiS MP. He claimed that the issue of organising the Winter Olympics in Kraków “is beginning to look very grim” and that the activities of the Committee “have raised a lot of concerns.” Duda added: “In Kraków, some people have been openly saying that the whole thing is not about organising the Olympics, but about embezzling money earmarked for the promotion of the event.” According to Krzysztof Szczerski, another PiS MP, Kraków must not become “a small Sochi, i.e. a place where the Olympic ideal becomes corrupted by business, party politics and cliques.” The chairman of the Lesser Poland branch of PiS Andrzej Adamczyk has appealed to the Committee to publish a “white book” of all its expenses and liabilities incurred to date. In his opinion, the next Chair of the Committee should not be associated with PO. Prime Minister Donald Tusk recently said that despite the commotion caused by the resignation of Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak, Poland still had a fair chance of winning the Olympic bid. “It would be a truly great opportunity,” he stressed. Five cities, including Beijing, Almaty, Lviv, Oslo and Kraków, are competing to host the Olympics. The decision will be made by the IOC on 31 July, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.
rzeczpospolita.pl

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