Richest Place in Poland

April 19, 2014
Growing on Trees?

Growing on Trees?

Poland’s Ministry of Finance has estimated the income of Poland’s munipalities, counties and provinces based on the tax declarations of each inhabitant in Poland’s three administrative areas: the municipality (pol. gmina), county (pol. powiat) and province (pol. województwo) for 2014. The average tax income for a single inhabitant in all municipalities in Poland is the so-called “Gg” indicator and has been estimated at PLN 1,358.98 this year. However, there are huge differences between municipalities. The tax revenue of the most wealthy municipality in Poland is almost 100 times higher than the revenue of the poorest local government. At present, Kleszczów, near Bełchatów, is Poland’s richest municipality. The poorest is Łukowica in the province of Mazovia.
biznes.onet.pl

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Downsizing Polish TV

April 12, 2014
Not Cultured

Not Cultured

On Wednesday, 9 March, Leasing Team won a tender for taking up to 550 employees from the Polish Television (TVP) payroll. The employment agency offered the highest bid. Allegedly, the changes will be implemented in June. According to the plan, coordinating editors will still be employed by TVP, however, employees whose duties do not require an employment contract, e.g. make-up stylists and graphic designers, editing staff and journalists, will be employed by the agency. Staff enrolled by the employment agency will be guaranteed a two-year contract, with no changes to the contract guaranteed only for the first year. The transfer of staff to the outsourcing company is the first stage of restructuring at TVP. The plan involves changing employment contracts to task-based contracts thus encouraging some staff to become self-employed. Naturally, trade unions strongly oppose the changes. On 7 February, the Wizja trade union declared a one-hour warning strike. The organisers also sent a letter to the Prime Minister informing him about the restructuring plans of the TVP management board. TVP wishes to cut costs and the Ministry of Treasury expects progress in the restructuring programme. Rafał Baniak, deputy minister at the Ministry of Treasury, has praised the methods employed by the management board. “The net income of TVP for 2013, although negative, will improve by PLN 200 million compared to last year. Such an improvement in the financial state of the company is a result of the efficient restructuring programme. We expect TVP to continue restructuring whilst assuring high-quality programming and improving financial performance,” declared the minister.
Wyborcza.biz

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Eurolot and LOT Problems

April 6, 2014
Taking Off?

Taking Off?

Positive change will be affected in Polish aviation through personnel changes in Eurolot and National Airports. The Ministry of Treasury expects that Eurolot will cooperate more effectively and successfully with LOT and that National Airports will become more commercialised. The establishment of a Polish Aviation Holding can only take place after transforming National Airports into a joint-stock company. “Cooperation on the stock market between Eurolot and LOT in order to improve the financial situation is the main intention of the board of supervisors. “The current poor standard of both aviation companies is a result of a host of factors,” says Rafał Baniak, deputy Minster of Treasury. In February, Tomasz Balcerzak, the new CEO of Eurolot, was until December a member of the LOT board. Balcerzak replaced Mariusz Dąbrowski, who resigned for personal reasons before his term of office was completed. Baniak emphasises that Balcerzak has great experience in aviation and his future in LOT will have a positive effect on cooperation with National Airports.
biznes.newseria.pl

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Euro for Poland

April 1, 2014
Euro Soon for Poland?

Euro Soon for Poland?

Janusz Palikot’s party, Your Movement (TR), wants to change the Constitution and introduce the Euro in Poland as fast as possible. Palikot wants the amendment to be a joint initiative of Civic Platform (PO), the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and TR. He said that the proposed amendment was prepared in 2008 by the former Speaker of the Lower House and current President Bronisław Komorowski, so it has already been consulted within PO. The head of TR has proposed holding a referendum to convince Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Law and Justice (PiS). “Changing the Constitution without a referendum is not possible,” said Palikot. He added that by introducing the Euro, Donald Tusk and the fast-imploding PO will at least leave a legacy behind after they are gone. TR MP Wincenty Elsner claims that the main change they want to introduce concerns the National Bank of Poland (NBP). The Constitution would read: “The central state bank of Poland is the National Bank of Poland which is part of the European system of central banks.” In order to change the constitution a two-thirds majority vote is needed. The ruling coalition would not have a majority even with the backing of SLD and Twój Ruch.
Gazeta Prawna

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PM Tusk Faces PR Disaster

March 31, 2014
Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises

The Polish government is looking for money so it can keep its own promises but the budget cannot afford any more unexpected costs. Last year the government cut funds for the renovation of local roads in order to save money. The government did this at the last moment when local governments had already made preparations for their investments. What is more, the cuts were high and amounted to PLN 750 million. The PLN 250 million that remained is not enough for the most important investments. So, the government has started looking for money and found additional funds in the State Forests National Holding, which will boost the budget coffers by several million zlotys. Thanks to this financial boost, the funding for the renovation of local roads will increase. However, the Polish government is now planning to transfer these funds to finance an increase in benefits for the parents of disabled children. This is necessary but why should it take place at the expense of public roads? Why did the Prime Minister not look for the money as part of the reform of miner pensions or social insurance for farmers? Is he afraid of them? At present, the parents of handicapped children are causing a PR disaster for PM Tusk in their quest for higher benefits. These parents have only been shouting, screaming and crying to fight for their rights. On the other hand, miners and farmers have more effective weaponry in their arsenal: burning tyres, blocking roads and going on strike.
Gazeta Prawna

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Poland Protecting Forests

March 30, 2014
Future of Poland

Future of Poland

The 90th anniversary of Poland’s State Forests National Holding (Lasy Państwowe) has taken place in the Polish parliament. During the celebrations, Ewa Kopacz, the Speaker of the Lower House (Sejm), highlighted the fact that forests need special, constitutional protection. She hopes that this initiative will find the necessary majority in parliament. Kopacz is of the opinion that there should be a paragraph in the Constitution about the privatisation of Poland’s national forests. The Minister of the Environment Maciej Grabowski added that the government will back the initiative. He is of the opinion that “it might enhance the good economy of forests”. The Forest Research Institute is the main partner which will be working on changes to legislation. The head of the institute Janusz Czerepko said that the draft has already been finished. It covers the public nature of forests and the banning of their privatisation. There are over 9 million hectares of forested land in Poland, and the foresting sector employs 400,000. The foresting market generates 2% of Polish GDP.
Gazeta Prawna

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Euro Good for Security

March 28, 2014
Makes Sense?

Makes Sense?

“Integration with eurozone countries will increase Poland’s security,” according to economist Piotr Bielski. However, he highlights that in order to say ‘farewell’ to the Polish złoty, the economy has to be ready for the change. Marek Belka, chairman of the National Bank of Poland (NBP), recently claimed that the Ukrainian crisis demonstrates how important it is to invest in the European Union and it may be worth taking another look at joining the eurozone. However, Piotr Bujak, chief economist at Nordea Bank Poland, believes that, as opposed to tight integration with eurozone countries, accepting the Euro will not increase Poland’s security per se. Bujak claims that in order to benefit from the Euro, it is important to prepare the economy first. In his opinion, Poland will not resign from the złoty until at least 2020. To compare, as far as security is concerned, Latvia relies more on NATO than on membership in the eurozone, according to Latvia’s former president, who introduced the Euro in Latvia at the beginning of the year. Valdis Dombrovskis highlights the fact that the eurozone is chiefly an economic structure.
biznes.onet.pl

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Treasury Expectations

March 26, 2014
Bag of Money

Bag of Money

Mr. Prime Minister, why does a man who has worked in private business for his whole life suddenly decide to manage the State Treasury, which by its very nature will be subject not only to political supervision, but probably also political pressure? Expectations placed in Polish Development Investments (PIR) are unusually high and appeared well before the establishment of the company. The fact that the project was created in the Prime Minister’s Office and was announced as part of its policy will lend support to the whole idea of ​​a new approach for making use of the State Treasury. From the very beginning it was obvious that PIR will be a company that serves a particular role.
se.pl

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Polish Class System

March 17, 2014
Is Poland Similar?

Is Poland Similar?

The employment and vocations of Polish people has changed in recent times. Increasingly more people find employment outside agriculture; for instance in trade and services. Data from the beginning of the 21st century shows that 54% of the workforce was employed in services, 29% in industry and 16% in agriculture. Such a decrease is an indicator of changes in society. In 2000, the percentage of people who were economically active was 44% of the whole population. In comparison, this was 51% in the USA. What is more, the structure of Poland’s social strata has changed since 1989. There has been a noticeable decrease in the number of ‘working class’ people and members of the ‘intelligentsia’, while the ‘economic elites’ connected with the business and political classes have grown. Currently, the following classes can be identified in Poland: upper class – highly qualified specialists, owners of large companies, senior government officials, politicians, artists, scientists; middle class – the owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises, skilled workers, merchants and craftsmen, academics; lower class – the owners of small farms, workers, the unemployed, unskilled workers; underclass – people permanently living on unemployment benefit.
wosna5.pl

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USA and NATO Against Russia

March 16, 2014
New Cold War?

New Cold War?

“The groundless threats of the USA and NATO against Russia regarding its policy on Ukraine are seen by us as an unfriendly gesture which permit us to talk about an act of God,” according to an anonymous member of a Russian ministry. He is quoted in a communiqué published by all of Russia’s press agencies. “We are doing this as a reply to the statement by the Pentagon regarding the suspension of cooperation between the Russian and US ministers of defence,” he added. Recently, the Pentagon announced that it will suspend all military contact between Washington and Moscow. Regular inspections took place as part of a new arrangement between the US and Russia regarding the restriction of strategic nuclear weapons, as part of the START Treaty (and new START) and a deal which was signed in 2011 in Vienna by countries who are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
onet.pl

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