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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Polish European Parliament

July 4, 2014
Ryszard Czarnecki

Ryszard Czarnecki

Law and Justice (PiS) MEP Ryszard Czarnecki has been chosen as one of fourteen vice presidents of the European Parliament. “I will work for the good of Poland because that is my main goal in the European Parliament,” he declared. Czarnecki was chosen in the third round of voting by secret ballot, winning 284 votes. The PiS MEP will be the only vice president of the European Parliament from Poland. The primary role of vice presidents is to support the head of the European Parliament. When the President is not in the chair, vice presidents chair plenary sessions. They can also represent the President during various ceremonies and are members of the Bureau of the European Parliament. Several Polish MEPs will perform important roles. Jerzy Buzek will be chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Janusz Lewandowski will replace Buzek in the second half of the term. According to unofficial sources, head of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) will be Czesław Siekierski and Danuta Huebner will be head of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).
tvn24.pl

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Students Call for End of Government

June 25, 2014
PM Tusk and Marek Belka

PM Tusk and Marek Belka

Anti-government demonstrations are scheduled to take place this week to put pressure on PM Donald Tusk and establish an investigative committee to look into the recent government wiretapping scandal. Thousands of people will participate, according to the organisers. The Students’ Union of Poland insists that the government should resign. Michał Sadłowski, a union member, says: “The Council of Ministers has brought Poland into disrepute.” He adds: “There is ironclad proof that the politicians in power have broken the law, especially in the conversations between Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and Marek Belka, head of the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Furthermore, the Prime Minister did not even replace the minister.”
wiadomosci.onet.pl

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Ukrainian Children Wanted

June 19, 2014
Ukrainian Children Wanted

Ukrainian or Polish Children?

The most depopulated counties in province of Subcarpathia (Podkarpacie) have taken steps to attract young Poles living in Ukraine to Poland. The Tadeusz Kościuszko high school in Lubaczów is offering young Poles living in the Ukraine free sets of student books, a scholarship and subsidised accommodation and board, according to Gazeta Wyborcza. “The counties of Przemyśl and Lubaczów are the most depopulated counties in the province of Subcarpathia. Thankfully, we cannot complain about a lack of candidates for school and this year we have six first-form classes, but we need to think about the future and have therefore begun advertising ourselves in Ukraine,” says Zbigniew Hypiak, the headmaster of the high school in Lubaczów. This offer is addressed to Poles who live in Ukraine and who possess a Polish Card (Karta Polaka), which affords people with Polish roots, who cannot obtain Polish citizenship, certain rights that would otherwise not be available to them.
polska.newsweek.pl

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Polish GDP Doubled in 25 Years

June 7, 2014
GDP: Darker is Richer

GDP: Darker is Richer

From 1990 the annual production value of goods and services per capita in Poland has doubled. The last twenty-five years has also seen a huge influx of foreign investment without which the Polish economy would have beem less competitive. The transformation of the Polish economy is sometimes referred to as ‘shock therapy’ because of its pace and social costs. In the early 1990s, Poland had high unemployment and hyperinflation. While not all observers agree on the positive consequences of these changes, the figures (without taking into account the social difficulties of individuals or even entire groups) show what progress Poland has made. According to Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS), from 1989 to 2013 the country’s GDP rocketed 103%. The OECD reports that in 1990 the annual production value of goods and services in Poland was $312 billion. In 2013 it was $717 billion. GDP per capita has also increased significantly, in fact this indicator of affluence has more than doubled in the period. According to the World Bank, GDP per capita in 1990 was $8,100. dollars, in 1991 it was even less: $7,500. Initially the situation in Poland improved very slowly with GDP per capita at just $10,00 in 1997. EU accession brought faster growth. In 2012, GDP per capita was $18,300. The Polish economy also opened up to the inflow of foreign capital. UN Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data shows that in 1990 foreign direct investment (FDI) in Poland amounted to $109 million (in previous years it was zero). Yet a year later, FDI had increased to $425 million. In subsequent years this increased and in the 1990s the cumulative value of FDI in Poland almost doubled every year; in 1995 it amounted to $7.8 billion, in 2000 it was $34 billion. According to UNCTAD, in 2012 FDI was $230 billion. The growth in interest in Poland can also be noted when the percentage of world investment undertaken in Poland is taken into account. In 1990 it was barely 0.005%, a year later it was 0.018%; in 2008 this figure stood at 1.011%. In comparison, 3.14% of global FDI was in Germany and 1.56% in Italy in the same period. Foreign companies have become an extremely important part of the Polish economic landscape. In 2010, 52 out of the 100 largest companies (with regards to sales) operating in Poland were foreign companies. “In many sectors there are simply no Polish investors who would like to and would be able to make investments. There are many reasons for this: they do not have the capital or technology and do not want to take risks,” said Professor Zbigniew Zimny, a UNCTAD specialist.
finanse.wp.pl

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American Medal for Jerzy Gut

June 6, 2014
Special Medal

Special Medal

Brigadier General Jerzy Gut has been awarded the US Special Operations Command Medal. He is only the second ever Polish officer (after General Włodzimierz Potasiński) to receive the prestigious medal. Few soldiers are awarded it. The Commander of Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) was decorated by Admiral William H. McRaven, head of US Special Operations. The award was granted at the request of General Marshall B. Webb, Commander of US Special Forces in Europe. US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) honoured General Gut for “outstanding service in the field of building regional cooperation of special forces”. The Polish general was also commended for his great abilities in generalship during the “Cobra-13″ military manoeuvres in which he commanded 1,500 soldiers from 12 different countries.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

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Amaro Cooks for Obama

June 3, 2014
Presidential Feast

Presidential Feast

Wojciech Modest Amaro, one of the most renowned chefs in Poland, owner of the only Polish restaurant with a prestigious Michelin Star, Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen TV star, will be surely facing his toughest test yet. On 4 June, Poland’s capital, Warsaw, will play host to the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first (partially) free elections in Poland after WWII and decades of communist dominance. Many world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, will visit Poland. Modest Amaro has the honour of preparing a gala dinner for them. “I feel extremely proud and honoured to have the chance to prepare and serve meals to so many illustrious guests who will come to Poland to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary with us. Despite all my years in the profession, I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed. On top of that, I have to prepare everything according to the strict rules of diplomatic protocol, which is a lot more complicated than most people realise. The dishes that I’ll serve will be quintessentially Polish. I intend to delve into the past and use ingredients that have been long-forgotten by many but will show the richness of our culture and traditions.”
pap.pl

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Poland Best Place for Investment

May 31, 2014
Investing Time and Money

Investing Time and Money

Although last year Poland witnessed a decrease in foreign direct investment (FDI), there were far more working places created than in 2012. Poland upheld its position as the most attractive place for investment in Central and Eastern Europe. According to research by Ernst & Young, in 2013 and 2014, one out of three foreign businesses chose Poland as a good place in which to invest. In the whole of Europe only Germany, with 40% positive endorsement, was better than Poland in 2013. The closest competition was far behind Poland. 11% of companies wanted to invest in the Czech Republic and only 9% in Romania. For the first time in 12 years of research, Europe has beaten other continents regarding attractiveness. Europe has even overtaken China, which for many years was the leader.
Gazeta Prawna

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Leaders Meet in Poland

May 28, 2014
Orban and Tusk

Orban and Tusk

The presidents of Poland and the USA have invited the leaders of Central and Eastern Europen states to a meeting that will be held in June when Poland will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first post-war (partially) free elections. Jaromir Sokołowski, a mnister in the Presidential Office responsible for foreign affairs informed the public of the meeting. The presidents of the NATO states Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia all received invitations to the meeting. It will take place in Warsaw on 3 June and will focus on the Ukrainian crisis and Russian aggression towards Ukraine, security in the region, including energy security, as well as preparation for the upcoming NATO summit in Wales.
wiadomosci.onet.pl

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New Rules for Foreigners

May 28, 2014
New Rules

New Rules

Beginning 1 May 2014, a single permit is now only needed for a foreigner to stay and work in Poland. Previously, employers had to apply for a work permit for foreign employees, and only after such a permit was issued could the alien apply for a residence permit in Poland. The new rules also extend the maximum period for which a foreigner can obtain a temporary residence permit in Poland from two to three years. These new rules are part of the Aliens Act of 12 December 2013, which came into force on May 1. According to these regulations, the alien has to meet several conditions to be eligible for temporary residence and an employment permit. The alien needs to have appropriate health insurance and a stable and regular income that will cover his basic needs and that of family members. In addition, the alien needs to have accommodation available in Poland. The prospective employer, in turn, needs to demonstrate that it is not possible to find an employee of that type and skills on the local market. Finally, the remuneration for the alien, as stipulated in a written agreement, cannot be lower than that given to Polish employees undertaking comparable work.
biznes.onet.pl

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