Tax-Free Smoking

Tax-Free Trend?

Tax-Free Trend?

Entrepreneurs who sell products that do not contain nicotine and are suitable for inhalation, but not to smoke, do not have to pay excise tax, as confirmed by  the Director of Katowice Tax Chamber. A company that sells blend of unprocessed herbs (such as melissa, coltsfoot) and nicotine put the question to the tax chamber. Their product does not contain tobacco and is intended only for inhalation (commonly known as ‘vaping’). The product is not suitable for smoking without further industrial processing. The company believes that such a blend should not be taxed as smoking tobacco. They indicated article 98(1) 5 of excise duty law which state that taxed tobacco must be suitable for smoking without needing to be further processed. Meanwhile, the blend sold by the company does not meet these conditions and is suitable only for inhalation. The company’s product is similar to a e-cigarette refill (which is untaxed), in which herbs and nicotine helps customers reduce their craving for nicotine. This was confirmed by the Director of Katowice Tax Chamber.
podatki.gazetaprawna.pl

Śląsk Coal Gone in 25 Years

Shape of Things to Come

Shape of Things to Come

The coal deposits in the Upper Silesia region in Poland will be depleted in 25 years. “The cities located in the Katowice region should prepare themselves for the depletion of coal deposits in 25 years,” according to participants of the “Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia” conference in Katowice. According to the conference participants, in terms of employment perspectives for the region, local cities and towns should begin moving over to services and technologies provided for and developed by local scientists and regional enterprises. What is more, they should avoid global companies. “You should prepare for what has already occurred in the Ruhr valley in Germany. The coal will practically disappear in Upper Silesia in 25 years. You will have to prepare for it in economic terms,” said Christoph Zoepel, a lecturer at TU Dortmund University. He noted that currently renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly more significant in the field of energy production.
pb.pl

Dream Fountain Pens

For a Lifetime

For a Lifetime

The Polish fountain pen market is growing. The “Pen Show” held in Katowice, akin to similar events in western Europe, is already in its second year and has attracted both distributors and collectors from all over the world. The third such event is scheduled for April 2015. Wrocław, in turn, has its “Pen Salon Steinhaus”. Kings and politicians have always liked pens. Writers, unsurprisingly, have often found their writing instruments of extreme significance. It was, however, only in the late 19th century that Lewis Edison Waterman, an insurer in New York, invented the fountain pen after he lost a lucrative contract because of an ink blot. Some people collect vintage pens, frequently giving them a new lease of life, while others centre their interest on contemporary rare series and unique editions adorned with gold, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and even mammoth tusks. Collecting pens does not greatly differ from collecting paintings or drawings. Each pen has a number, is often decorated by hand, and the equipment used for its manufacture is destroyed to guarantee that there will be no more pens in a given series. And a series of pens can be very short. Visconti produced a limited series of 17 pens studded with diamonds which now fetch as much as PLN 80,000 apiece. To collect pens or invest in them you need not only a fat wallet, but also patience. The prices of contemporary limited editions typically start at a few thousand złoty, but there is no shortage of buyers and many limited editions are now sold out or can only be bought if you place a special order which might take months to be fulfilled. Then there are specialist auctions. Good fountain pens have guarantees for the life of their first owner. The first pen with a perpetual guarantee was the Scheaffer Lifetime model produced in 1920. Such durability does not mean, though, that pens do not require meticulous care. The pen should be well-suited to the hand, stored and cleaned  properly. Only then will it serve its owner for years without losing value.
pulsbiznesu.pb.pl

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Journalists Die in Gas Explosion

Dariusz Kmiecik

Dariusz Kmiecik

Dariusz Kmiecik, his wife Brygida Frosztęga-Kmiecik and their two-year-old son Remigiusz died in what appears to have been a massive gas explosion in an old tenement building in the heart of Katowice. The tragedy took place on Thursday before 5 a.m. The explosion caused three stories of the building to collapse, leaving only the ground floor relatively intact. Fifteen residents were evacuated; five of them had to be hospitalised, one with severe burns to over 60 percent of his body. More than 150 firefighters armed with specialist equipment and trained dogs took part in the subsequent rescue operation, looking for the missing family of three. However, after nearly eighteen hours, their remains were found under the rubble. According to the prosecutor’s office, the most likely cause of death was suffocation. Dariusz Kmiecik was a 34-year-old journalist for Fakty TVN. His main interests were football and the problems of Silesia. His 33-year-old wife Brygida worked for rival broadcaster TVP Katowice and was interested in social issues. Both journalists had been recognised for their work. Following a recommendation of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), President Bronisław Komorowski announced that the journalists will be awarded Gold Crosses of Merit.
tvn24.pl

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Amnesiac Patient Goes Missing

Empty

Empty Bed

On 27 June, Teodor Majowski underwent brain surgery in a Katowice hospital. Ten days later, he slipped out of the medical facility and has not been seen since. While the police have been investigating the man’s disappearance, his family have not been idle either: “We keep looking everywhere: in shelters, restaurants, empty buildings, and on the streets. We have been checking in all surrounding cities as well, because we have no idea where he could have gone. The worst part is that we do not know what his present condition is,” says Artur Majowski, son of the missing 56-year-old. After suffering a stroke, Teodor had been experiencing serious memory problems. His family blames hospital staff who knew about the man’s condition but allowed him to go in and out of the building as he pleased. “He didn’t need constant supervision and would wander around the hospital, but would usually find his way back. Occasionally, he went out for a smoke. He was completely lucid,” said Piotr Bażowski, head of the hospital’s neurosurgery department. Teodor Majowski has been missing for over four weeks. He is 175 cm tall. On the day he went missing, he was wearing a yellow T-shirt, navy blue shorts and a pair of slippers. His head was half-shaven, bearing the visible marks of recent surgery.
tvn24.pl

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Largest Amusement Park in Poland

Shape of Things to Come

Shape of Things to Come

The Energylandia amusement park in Zator, Lesser Poland, will open on 14 July, although some of the attractions will not be available until 2015. The park covers an area of 26 hectares and employs 250 people. It contains Europe’s two largest rollercoasters and many other rides, which should attract at least 170,000 visitors this year alone. The man behind the investment is Marek Gocał, owner of the Energy 2000 chain of nightclubs. The location of Energylandia is not random, as Zator lies on the border of Lesser Poland and Silesia, less than half an hour from the important cities of Kraków and Katowice. The investment cost PLN 73m, and was partially funded by the EU (PLN 42m). Although the plan was accepted in 2009, constructors received European funds four years later. Energylandia will have three sectors: for children, teenagers and adults/parents, and will feature, among others, rollercosters, a large river drop and a ‘pyramid of fear’. Entry will cost PLN 49-89 for a day, but people from Zator, only have to pay a nominal fee of PLN 1.
wyborcza.biz

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Removal of Soviet Monument

Enough for Katowice

Enough for Katowice

Workers in Katowice have taken down the Soviet Soldiers monument that stands in Plac Wolności (Liberty Square). City councillors decided to do this in 2000, but officials were reluctant to complete the task. A city authorities spokesman has said that the operation will be expensive. In December 2000, the Russian authorities were happy for the monument to be relocated to the Soviet soldier’s cemetery in Katowice, however, nothing happened despite representatives of Law and Justice (PiS), Civic Platform (PO) and the Silesian Autonomy Movement (RAŚ) unanimously calling for its removal. The monument has been the focal point for many demonstrations and recently the former leader of the Confederation of an Independent Poland (KPN) Adam Słomka painted a swastika on the monument. In January this year the Pokolenie (Generations) Association organised a demonstration near Katowice City Hall reminding them of the resolution they passed several years ago. Protesters carried banners criticising the city mayor: “Piotr Uszok is a friend of the Soviet occupiers”. “The monument needs to be restored which will take several months, and then it will be taken to the cemetery,” says Jakub Jarząbek, a city spokesman.
wiadomosci.gazeta.pl

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