Ziobro and Gowin Join Forces

New Right-Wing Power?

New Right-Wing Power?

Zbigniew Ziobro’s United Poland (SP) and Jarosław Gowin’s Poland Together (PRJG) have decided to join forces and create a new parliamentary group. The new right-wing alliance under the leadership of Jarosław Gowin will have fifteen MPs. “For many weeks, we have been observing the deepening crisis of the state,” said Gowin, explaining the reasons for the parties banding together. According to PRJG leader, the ruling PO-PSL coalition has lost its political and moral right to rule. He sees establishing a partnership between various right-wing and patriotic political forces as the only feasible way to remove PM Donald Tusk from office. That being said, neither Ziobro nor Gowin attended the “uniting congress” of the right wing, which Law and Justice (PiS) held on Saturday. Both politicians have declared their willingness to continue negotiations between their political formations and PiS, but consider the celebratory congress premature. On Monday, PiS head Jarosław Kaczyński met with Ziobro in order to discuss the possibility of forging an alliance with his former Justice Minister’s party. Although the negotiations so far proved unsuccessful, Ziobro hopes that “an important step towards reaching an understanding has been made”.
tvn24.pl

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PM Committed Crime?

In Trouble?

In Trouble?

The leader of the opposition and head of Law and Justice (PiS) Jarosław Kaczyński has said that his party will notify the public prosecutor that a crime may have been committed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk. According to the PiS head, the PM knew about the irregularities of Amber Gold, but did not notify law enforcement agencies. Kaczyński was referring to one of the illegally taped conversations published by Wprost magazine between Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, the Interior Minister, and the head of the National Bank of Poland (NBP) Marek Belka. The latter says that he spoke with the Prime Minister about Amber Gold. “A few months before that affair, I called Donald and told him that the Amber Gold matter is quite serious, it is a financial pyramid scheme, but more serious due to the fact that they are the owners of the fast growing OLT Express airlines,” said Belka. The Prime Minister has defended himself saying that he spoke to Belka, while the public prosecutor was investigating the Amber Gold case.
wp.pl

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No Russian Gas Problems

Should Tusk Be Worried?

Should Tusk Be Worried?

Poland will be ready for Qatari gas by the end of this year. The Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk discussed Polish gas plans during a meeting with gas industry officials in Gustorzyn near Włocławek, where there is a gas distribution point. PM Tusk highlighted the fact that the new gas centre in Świnoujście should be fully-functional by 2015. He hopes that the Polish Parliament will embrace new legislation as soon as possible, which will enable the speedy construction of gas pipelines. Tusk has also ensured everyone that there will be no problems with gas supplies from Russia, regardless of Russian aggression towards Ukraine. The Prime Minister stresses that even if gas does stop flowing through the gas pipelines in Ukraine, Poland is still safe. “We have had confirmation from our Russian partners about the safety of supplies, although the situation is constantly changing,” said Tusk. According to initial plans, the LNG terminal in Świnoujście would begin operations by mid-2014 with the first Qatargas gas supplies reaching Poland this year. The Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) has already declared that they will be renegotiating the contract with Qatar.
Gazeta Prawna

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Polish PM Helping Ukraine

In Support of Ukraine

In Support of Ukraine

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has stated that IMF assistance for Ukraine will also come from Poland but this assistance cannot be used for Ukraine to repay its debt to Russia. The funds for Ukraine must be restricted so that they are well used. Prime Minister Donald Tusk explained that events in Ukraine are clear signs of hope for the country and also for Europe. “The ongoing revolution will result in the formation of new institutions, which will not only create the possibility of establishing a modern democratic state, but will also allow Ukraine to absorb foreign assets, which of course must be restricted and monitored so that they are used efficiently,” said the Polish PM. He stressed that Poland is well aware of the fact that the reduction of debt may not be enough to transform Ukraine. Ukrainians themselves must want changes, beginning with the need to tackle widespread corruption. “Ukraine needs to firmly establish the rule of law,” Tusk said. The Prime Minister believes Poland can help Ukraine take advantage of this historical moment. “It is a unique moment in the history of the whole region. Poland is not in a position to set any conditions for help to the Ukraine, because we are not the country offering it. Making Ukrainians believe that the latest events are only the beginning of their transformation can be Poland’s contribution to the cause,” he emphasised. The Prime Minister stressed that Poland will continue to support its neighbour.
tvn24bis.pl

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Alcohol Excise on the Increase

Going Up

Going Up

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has announced that the price of alcohol will rise. The excise duty on it will increase by 15%. Donald Tusk spoke of it as “making the prices of vodka more realistic, in line with inflation as compared with the last increase.” Excise has not gone up since 2009. It is calculated per hundred litres of 100% alcohol, which amounts to PLN 4,960, and will go up by 15% next year. This means that the cheapest vodkas will become more expensive by about PLN 2. The more expensive the high-proof alcohol, the greater the price rise. Donald Tusk made no effort to conceal the fact that this manoeuvre is all about the budget. He explained that this “additional income is not very socially harmful, but it could be annoying. I realise that for many consumers it is a serious issue. However, high-proof alcohol have become cheap over the years because of no changes in excise tax. Now it’s time to keep prices in line with inflation.”
Wyborcza.biz

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Will Putin Visit Katyń?

Ready to Talk?

Ready to Talk?

The Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is likely to accept the invitation of the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk and visit Katyń in 2010. Mr Putin will attend the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre commemorating the Polish officers executed by the NKVD, said Inessa Jazborovskaja, a respected historian from the Russian Academy of Sciences, claims Nezavisimaya Gazeta. According to Jazborovskaja, a member of the Polish-Russian Committee for Difficult Matters, such a gesture would be a significant step towards de-stalinising Russian foreign and internal politics. Jazborovskaja claims that the reluctance of the Russian authorities to take responsibility for Stalinist crimes is the main reason hindering the process.

When asked for a comment on the recent verdict of the Moscow Court which has ruled against Joseph Stalin’s grandson Yevgeny Dzhugashvili in a defamation lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta, the Memorial society and a former military attorney Anatoly Yablokov, Jazborovskaja stressed that this is the first time when the Katyń massacre was linked with the repressions of Stalin’s regime. “It allows us to assess that horrible crime based on a court verdict,” she said. Stalin’s grandson claimed that facts in the article infringed upon the honour and dignity of his grandfather and he demanded a disclaimer in the newspaper and 10 million rubles (around €234,000) in compensation. 73-year-old Dzhugashvili went to court with the lawsuit because of the article “Beria appointed guilty” published April 22 by Novaya Gazeta. According to Dzhugashvili it was offensive and unjust to call Stalin a “bloodthirsty cannibal”. The article was written by Anatoly Yablokov, who led the official military investigation of the Katyń massacre from ’90 to ’94, and the mass killings of Polish prisoners by the infamous NKVD. The article in a special edition of Novaya Gazeta was prepared together with the Memorial society, the NGO that monitors and documents crimes of Stalin’s regime.
Onet.pl

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Buzek Sacrificed For Cimoszewicz?

Firmly Behind Buzek

Firmly Behind Buzek

The Polish PM Donald Tusk has recently put forward two candidates for important positions in the EU structures: former PM Leszek Buzek for President of the EU Parliament and another former PM Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz for Secretary General of the European Council. Meanwhile, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has put forward his own candidate, Mario Mauro, to be appointed to the former position, whilst at the same time mentioning an unofficial deal on this issue with Poland. According to Mr Berlusconi, “an agreement is close”. Poland supports the Italian candidate for the EU Parliamentary President, Italy will return the favour and support the Polish candidate for the EU Secretary General. According to the ANSA agency, Mr Berlusconi has openly mentioned the agreement with the Polish government, though without stating any particular names. However, “there is no such agreement,” claims Paweł Graś, the Polish government spokesperson. He later reassured the public that the only candidate suggested and consistently supported by the Polish government is Mr Buzek. Last Friday, at the Civic Platform’s (PO) convention, Mr Tusk expressed his strong belief that if his party wins the EU Parliamentary elections, it will significantly increase Poland’s influence on EU politics. “If Civic Platform wins, I hereby vow we will have a Polish President of the EU Parliament,” he promised.
Dziennik

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