Breaking Bond Records

Record High

Record High

Poles are buying increasingly more bonds. Polish Minister of Finance Teresa Czerwińska is announcing yet another record high as for the last four months securities worth PLN 4 billion have been sold. Open Finance estimates that by the end of the year this amount may increase to PLN 12-13 billion. The most popular are debt securities which, since the beginning of the year, have made over PLN 2 billion zloty according to the Ministry of Finance. Interestingly, a special offer is being addressed to the 5,000 families who take advantage of so-called “500+” child benefit every month. These families can buy 6- or 12-year bonds. However, it seems that these types of bonds have not proved overly popular.
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Around the World in 9 Months

Szymon Kuczyński

Szymon Kuczyński

In August last year, the Polish sailor Szymon Kuczyński decided to sail around the world in a boat from Plymouth. His aim was to sail around the world without calling at any ports. On Thursday he set a new world record by sailing into Plymouth. Szymon Kuczyński circumnavigated the globe on board a 6m-long yacht. It is a new world record given the fact that he accomplished the voyage on the smallest yacht ever with no engine at sea and without any port calls. This was his second trip around the world. In 2012, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on his self-built 5m-long yacht “Lilla My”, as part of the “Call to the Ocean” race. In addition, he is founder of the “Ocean Call” project, which arranges marine expeditions on small yachts. There have been two other Polish seafarers who have sailed around the world alone without calling at any ports: Henryk Jaskuła and Tomasz Lewandowski.

World Famous Horses

Arabian

Arabian

The renowned stud farm in Janów Podlaski was established in 1817, and initially employed Enrico Marconi, a famous Italian architect to design the buildings. Andrzej Krzyształowicz was the farm’s director who brought prominence to the stud farm, and helped it become one of the most important stud farms in the world. Krzyształowicz initiated auctions of Polish Arabian horses in 1956. The farm enjoyed its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s when the stallion El Paso was sold for $1 million dollars and the mare Penicylina went for $1.5 million. The farm continued to be successful until the end of 2015 when Director Marek Trela was dismissed. Shortly after, three prized mares died in unexplained circumstances, including Pianissima owned by Shirley Watts, wife of Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts. This resulted in a drop in sales during successive auctions with figures not even coming close to those in 2015.
Rzeczpospolita

Article 7 Invoked Against Poland

Frans Timmermans

Frans Timmermans

The Deputy Head of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans claims that some progress has been achieved in the dispute between the EU Commission and the Polish government, but there are still issues to be resolved. They are related to problems with the independence of courts and a clear separation of powers. Law and Justice (PiS) wanted to paralyze the Polish Constitutional Court by making it dependent on PiS politicians and then pretending to withdraw from these proposals for two years. Such a scenario is not acceptable for Brussels. The Commission does not accept the illegal dismissal of Małgorzata Gersdorf, President of the Polish Supreme Court. At the moment, PiS is seeking only to find a compromise with Brussels. However, the invocation of Article 7 has taken PiS politicians by surprise as they expected a more moderate approach. The EU Commission has drawn conclusions from previous experiences with Hungary, and it is now acting more firmly. PiS finds itself in a difficult situation. Despite a cabinet re-shuffle, and a new prime minister, PiS has come under fire about the way it has handled the ongoing protest of disabled people in parliament; changes in the law on the Institute of National Remembrance; and high bonuses granted to members of its government.
Gazeta Wyborcza

Polish Perception of Woman

Polish Female Archetype

Polish Female Archetype?

There appear to be two major concepts of womanhood in Poland. The first concept of the ‘Polish Mother’ originated in the 18th century when Poland was partitioned with most Poles fighting for the country’s independence. Consequently, the ‘Polish Mother’ took care of the family and was also responsible for the patriotic upbringing of her children. This concept has now become more radical. Namely, a woman is supposed to sacrifice her life for the good of her family bravely bearing her cross, even if such bravery means forcibly giving birth to disabled children. This concept of heroism was recently discussed in the Polish Parliament by right-wing parties who want women to devote their lives to their family by all means necessary. The second concept is that of the ‘All-Powerful Mother’ who has to cope with all of life’s difficulties, hardships and misfortunes. Such women are advised to deliver babies by any means necessary in the belief that they will manage all of life’s problems somehow. They will struggle but they will not break. The newest concept which has developed most recently as a result of the protest of women and their disabled children in the Polish Parliament is a new phenomenon. These women are referred to as the ‘Suspicious Mothers’ and fight for a better life for both their children and themselves demanding more benefits for their children. They are criticised by right-wing politicians who have been blatantly abusive of them. These mothers are perceived as being suspicious and unpredictable, manipulated by the opposition, and for this reason right-wing politicians believe they should be punished.
Polityka

No Offence, Poland

Alicja Biala (c) Agencja Gazeta

Alicja Biała (c) Agencja Gazeta

The “No Offence, Poland” exhibition will tour Poland in celebration of the country regaining independence 100 years ago. Alicja Biała, the young Polish artist responsible for the exhibition decided to play on the Polish President’s words. In his ‘independence’ speech, President Andrzej Duda said that he hoped this anniversary would be a celebration for the entire Polish community. He also said that, “each of us is invited not only to participate in the celebrations and anniversary events, but also to create them.” Alicja Biała’s work was initially created as the illustrations for a book of poems by Marcin Świetlicki (a well-known Polish poet, journalist, and frontman of Świetliki) entitled “Poland (Some Polish Patriotic Songs).” The idea behind the exhibition is to renew people’s aesthetic and moral interest and encourage reading. “It was really important for me that we could take this around Poland and provoke Polish people to talk about their country. This is really important for Polish people because we are extremely sensitive when it comes to our Polishness,” said Alicja Biała. “I would be most happy if my works could reach different places across Poland, to places frequented by both Catholics and Protestants, to important places for vegetarians, to schools, to offices and the suchlike. Let them bring a smile or perhaps some reflection,” she added. Indeed, the works of Alicja Biała evoke both smiles and reflection. She comments on life in Poland. In one of her pieces we see the leader of right-wing PiS (Law and Justice) wearing a raincoat with the Polish national emblem in the company of naked women swimming with shark fins on their backs. There is also one of Polish President Andrzej Duda with his wife, on a background showing the Virgin Mary with the logo of Catholic TV station TRWAM.
wysokieobcasy.pl

Top Holiday Places for Poles

Poles Away

Poles Away

Greece has for a number of years now been the number 1 holiday destination for Poles. What stands out are the small islands, the cuisine and sunny weather. Other key factors include Greek culture, architecture and hospitality as well as frequent flights from most Polish cities, the short distance and reasonable prices. The most popular Greek destinations are Crete, Rhodes and Zakynthos. One week in Greece costs from PLN 664 with an all-inclusive holiday costing approximately PLN 1,134. The second most popular destination is Turkey. It may not be the best destination at the moment for security reasons, but the large hotels, beautiful beaches and great weather continue to attract Polish tourists. The high standard of Turkish hotels, the variety of food and great, professional service see Poles returning to Turkey time and again. The majority of tourists (77%) choose the Turkish Riviera. One week in Turkey costs from PLN 1,080. Third place goes to Bulgaria, one of the cheapest summer destinations in Europe. Bulgaria has 400km of coastline (one third of this area has sandy beaches). A one-week stay in Bulgaria costs from PLN 655 with an all-inclusive holiday costing PLN 1,119. Another popular destination is Spain with most Poles (27%) travelling to the Costa Brava, 23% relaxing in Mallorca and 11% holidaying in the Canaries or resting in Tenerife. Polish people pay approximately PLN 979 for one week in Spain and from PLN 1,393 for an all-inclusive package. Next on the Top Five list is Egypt with most Poles (63%) travelling to Hurghada. The price of a one-week stay starts from PLN 1,138. Other popular destinations for Poles include Albania, Tunisia, Italy, Croatia and Cyprus. It is worth noting that Tunisia, like Turkey, is coming back in a big way. Ten times more tourists chose this destination than they did last year.
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