From the beginning of the year around 77 garbage heaps have been set alight. In some cases, black smoke has been visible from a distance of several kilometres. One question still remains unanswered: who is to blame for this ecological disaster? Were these fires spontaneous or arson attacks although it is hard to believe that they were all caused naturally. Garbage is great business with Polish refuse centres being paid €50 to process one ton of waste. If you multiply the amount of garbage that the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection (GIOŚ) allowed in 2017, you get a figure of more than PLN 150 million. It is estimated that the illegal garbage business which aims to keep garbage in Poland is even worth PLN 1.5 billion. Waste in landfills should be recycled which involves huge costs. However, ‘spontaneous’ fires suddenly solve this problem, reducing costs and turning all income into profit. However, the detrimental consequences of these fires are effecting millions of Poles.
The owner of Polish store Mięsko Polish Deli in London has refused to pay a fine of ₤100. The shop was punished for throwing away garbage and rotten meat in a car park. Harrow district council lodged a complaint about the Polish store. “We gave the owner the chance to do the right thing, but she started to fight us,” said Graham Henson from the district council. Due to the fact that the fee has not been paid, the case went to court again. The court decided that the owner must now pay ₤1,530. Following the ruling, the car park was cleaned but the fine was still unpaid. The owners did not feel guilty and blamed the neighbours for the mess. The store posted the following message on their Facebook profile: “Our business has been attacked. Someone breaks into our rubbish and throws away their own garbage. Our employees have cleaned it up. We are now waiting for a reply to our complaint.” The court then re-investigated the case including losses incurred by the local council and came to the conclusion that the store should now pay a ₤6,316 fine.
Jerzy Owsiak is the first non-doctor to receive an award from the Polish Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons. It honors individuals who have contributed to the development of medicine. Although not a doctor by profession, he is the founder of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The charity was set up 26 years ago and one of its notable achievements includes the purchase of over 568 devices for cardiac surgeries worth over PLN 20 million. Three years ago, during the 23rd Orchestra Finale, Owsiak’s NGO managed to raise over PLN 53 million for the purchase of specialist pediatric equipment and for the improvement of medical care provided to elderly people in Poland. Jerzy Owsiak’s charity has collected and donated over PLN 951 million to support Polish healthcare during the last 26 years.
Polish people increasingly eat outside the home due to an ever-quickening pace of life. At the same time, Polish people are becoming increasingly more aware and appreciative of gourmet quality and service. They are also open to new culinary experiments and the niche popularity of restaurants has begun to increase. Thanks to research conducted by Makro for the seventh edition of Polska na Talerzu (Poland on a Plate), we are discovering the culinary preferences of Polish people. They answered questions such as “why they eat outside?” giving answers such as ‘convenience’ or ‘saving time’. Polish people usually eat at pizzerias (76%), fast food joints (65%) and restaurants with a particular kind of cuisine (52%). Their favourite type of cuisine is Italian (81%), Polish (80%) and American (63%). The study also addressed the most common irks at such locales. The most common ones being the inability to swap ingredients in dishes, poor wifi and no children-friendly areas. On average, during the working week, respondents pay PLN 35 for food (per person), and at weekends PLN 36.
100-year-old Zofia Kaczan has died. At the end of May, the woman was brutally attacked by a thief, who pushed her to the pavement and snatched her bag. The brutal attack on 100-year-old Zofia Kaczan from Normanton in Derby took place on 28 May. According to local police, the woman was brutally attacked near church. The assailant pushed the 100-year-old to the pavement and then tore her purse away. She broke her neck and had to be taken to hospital. The police recently reported that Mrs Kaczan has sadly passed away. In May, she celebrated her 100th birthday and was a “beloved member” of the local community. “Attacking her was something disgusting,” said Darren De’ath, the police investigator. According to ITV News, police in Derbyshire detained a 39-year-old suspected of attacking Zofia Kaczan. He was first charged with robbery, and now manslaughter. The police are for witnesses so they can continue their investigations.
Among many reforms carried out by the governing Law and Justice party (PiS), there are some targeted directly at children, or for the “good of the children” as the politicians in charge understand it. A recent proposal suggests that women who want to put their child up for adoption should have an additional two months to make their final decision (currently, it is 14 weeks). These extra 60 days will only prolong mothers’ suffering and deprive their children of the precious time needed to bond with their new families. Also, the number of international adoptions is dropping. This is due to limiting the number of adoption centres that can carry them out. Apparently, according to the ruling party such adoptions result in children losing their cultural roots. In other words, they want to preserve Polish children’s Polishness at all costs even if it leaves them suffering and alone. This cruel approach sees children as a ‘national treasure’ and it looks like PiS is willing to do anything to make them stay put.
Parents of disabled people have been protesting for over a week in the Polish Parliament in Warsaw. A picket of around 100-150 people took place to demonstrate support for the protesters in front of the parliament building. Protesters are fighting for a better life for their disabled children – they want to increase government benefits for their rehabilitation. On 24 April, government representatives concluded an agreement with some of the protesting parents, however, the “agreement” was in fact created without the parents’ knowledge. The protesters are urging the government to increase benefits paid to parents who take care of their young and adult disabled children. Polish President Andrzej Duda, PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy Elżbieta Rafalska met the protesters last week. The President promised to meet their demands, which gave the protesters hope; but soon after the PM’s statement it was clear that the government did not wish to fulfil their wishes. Parents of disabled people prepared a middle-ground proposal for the government, which assumes that the government will gradually increase allowances, from PLN 300 to PLN 500 next year. The protesters continue to wait until the government analyses their proposal and issues a decision.