Wizz Air to launch new Ireland to Poland link

Wizz Air is to begin a route between Gdansk in Poland and the southern Irish city of Cork.

Initially to be run three times a week, flights will begin on December 15 with prices from €38.99 one-way, including taxes and charges.

The route will build on Wizz Air's other link between Ireland and Poland, from Cork to Katowice, which is set to begin flying in a week's time.

Gdansk, a historically important seaport, lies on the northern coast of Poland and Wizz Air expects its promise of low cost travel to attract many tourists.

"We are proud to announce another great low-fare route from Cork to Poland," said the airline's director of corporate communications, Natasa Kazmer.

"[Gdansk's] beauty and affordable living will soon make this region one of the most exciting places to be."

Cork Airport's chief executive, Pat Keohane, welcomed the new connection, saying: "Cork Airport is fast becoming a gateway to eastern Europe and Poland in particular."

Tickets for the route are on sale now. For flight schedules customers should check the Wizz Air website, as departure days vary.


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Unemployment in Poland drops to 16%

Unemployment in Poland has dropped to 16%. The June figure is by half a percentage point lower than the May rate. Still some 2.5 million people in Poland remain unemployed. This year the unemployment rate has been decreasing faster than in 2005. Experts are cautious about the drop because June is generally a time when unemployment decreases the most.
Source: www.polskieradio.pl

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Poland asks EU to ease trade conflict with Russia

Poland has called on the European Commission (EC) to mediate in its dispute with Russia over Moscow's "unjustified" food imports ban, the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish Senate on Thursday passed a resolution on the Russian ban, appealing to the EC to take "effective action" to ensure all European Union (EU) members received equal treatment when it came to protecting their interests.

The resolution, which was adopted with 85 votes for, none against and two abstentions, described the eight-month ban as unjustified.

Last November, Russia imposed restrictions on imports from Poland of beef, pork, poultry and some other meat products, as well as some fresh vegetables, amid allegations of fraudulent practices by Polish exporters, including falsification of health and hygiene certificates.

But in Warsaw the restrictions have been seen as being politically motivated and a contrived test of the conservative government that came to power last year.

Source: Xinhua

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Poland keeps city moving

It most is certainly a reflection of the changing times in Preston. Bosses at Preston Bus have turned to Poland to recruit new drivers to the city.
There was a time in the days before deregulation when the city's bus company was a integral part of the fabric of local life.

Many councillors and county councillors were employed on the buses and the service has provided mayors and civic leaders.

Indeed in the past 10 years Preston Bus leaders of both authorities have come from Preston Bus.

But the overseas recruitment drive is not a reflection of any lack of passion locally to work on the buses.

The problems Preston Bus faces surround the red tape would-be drivers need to cut through to get a licence.

The 10-week wait to get the necessary paperwork has left the bus company with a headache to maintain services in the city.

While English hopefuls are forced to twiddle their thumbs, already qualified drivers from Poland have stepped in to provide a first-class service.

Having won over passengers with their courteous manner and professionalism perhaps some of the newcomers will turn to civic life as well.

And then maybe in a few years we could see a Polish mayor take his – or her – place in the town hall.

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Can Poland woo back its emigrants?

The mass exodus of Poland's best and brightest young people to Britain - about half a million are estimated to have come here - is beginning to cause alarm back home.

A Polish family says goodbye to their father before he leaves for England

The main Polish current affairs magazine, Polityka, has launched an incentive scheme called Stay With Us, sponsored by some of Poland's biggest companies, to persuade the country's leading young academics to resist the pull to emigrate.

About 100 scientists and researchers have each received a one-off payment of £5,000, equal to 10 months' pay on average, to stay put.

Hi-tech interest

But the mayor of the country's fourth largest city, Wroclaw, Rafal Dutkiewicz, is going a step further: he is planning to visit Britain in the autumn to persuade Poles who have already left to come home.

Rafal Dutkiewicz, Mayor of Wroclaw
The possibilities for improving your professional career are much greater here than in Western Europe
Rafal Dutkiewicz, Mayor of Wroclaw
Already, he says, shortages of skilled construction workers and IT specialists are threatening his plans to bring dozens of hi-tech foreign companies to the region.

Mr Dutkiewicz says 100,000 jobs will be created around Wroclaw over the next few years as companies such as LG, Phillips, Siemens, Volvo and Hewlett-Packard invest hundreds of millions of pounds.

They are attracted by a highly-educated workforce in a city which produces more than 20,000 graduates a year. But with computer programmers, for example, able to earn more than seven times as much in Britain, many leave as soon as they finish their studies.

"Most probably not today, not tomorrow, but the day after, we will need more people," the mayor told Newsnight.

A construction site in Wroclaw
Investment by foreign companies could create 100,000 jobs
He admits it will take 10 years before Polish wages even approach those in Western Europe, but says migrants should come home for other reasons.

"The quality of life here is quite high," he says, "and will be much higher in the future. And the possibilities for improving your professional career are much greater here than in Western Europe."

Ending the brain drain

But recruiting for jobs in Western Europe is one of Wroclaw's fastest growing businesses, and construction firms are already refusing orders because of a lack of skilled workers such as welders, plasterers and plumbers.

Wroclaw, Poland's fourth largest city, wants to end the brain drain
Mr Dutkiewicz believes that if the economy grows as fast as he is predicting, Polish migrants will return.

"It happened in Ireland," he said. "In the 1980s many young people left, but they came back in the 1990s, when Ireland really started to prosper."

But in the meantime, Poland 's right-wing, nationalist government has warned emigration could have a damaging effect on the country's social fabric.

"This is why I was against joining the EU," said the education minister and deputy prime minister, Roman Giertych.

He says measures must now be taken to end the brain drain. The exodus has set off a debate about the country's failings, epitomised by a recently-released film, sarcastically called Ode to Joy, which contrasts Poland's lack of opportunity with the near-paradise that is Britain.


Although Poland was oversupplied with dentists and ordinary doctors, who understandably leapt at the chance to earn many times more than the £200 a month that can be the salary of a GP with seven or eight years' experience, there are now fears of imminent shortages of nurses and specialists.

Kasia Tabor
For now we just can't have a normal life in Poland
Kasia Tabor
In the Lower Silesia region around Wroclaw, a quarter of the anesthetists have emigrated.

In some cases, those that remain are having to deal with more than one operation at once - putting patients at serious risk.

It's not just the money, though. More and more migrants praise Britain for being a more tolerant society than Poland, and say they're staying longer because it's easier to get promoted on the basis of ability.

"The higher you rise in the professional hierarchy," one doctor wrote back to a Polish paper, "the more you can take advantage of life in an advanced democracy, and the harder it becomes to decide to go back home."

'No plans to go home'

In one recent survey of Polish migrants to Britain, nearly half of those questioned wouldn't say when they were returning home, suggesting they were at least considering staying long-term.

Kasia Tabor and her two children are preparing to leave Dzierzoniow, the town in Lower Silesia where she has lived all her live.

Close to 1,000 of the 35,000 inhabitants have already emigrated, including her husband Adam, who packed his bags on 1 May, 2004, the day Poland joined the EU.

As a primary school teacher at home, he earned 900 zloty a month - about £180.

After starting on a building site in Nottingham, he is a supervisor in a recycling plant, taking home between £1,200 and £1,300.

He intended to stay only a few months, but now has no definite plans to go home.

"We're not saying we'll never return [to Poland]," said Kasia. "But for now we just can't have a normal life here."

Source: By Tim Whewell,

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Turkey, Poland discuss Nabucco pipeline

Polish Speaker Marek Jurek discussed energy cooperation with Turkish officials during a visit to Ankara Thursday.

"The most important information I will bring to Poland is that such strategic projects as Nabucco, which seemed so far away in Poland, now turns out to be quite possible to be implemented in the near future," he said during a news conference following his meeting with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Mehmet Hilmi Guler.

The comments were reported by Poland's PAP news agency.

The Nabucco gas pipeline is designed bypasses Russia and is to provide natural gas from Asia to Central Europe.

Guler said the meeting dealt with energy security, including resources such as coal and nuclear energy.

"Poland showed interest in investing in nuclear energy projects. It seems that we will be able to launch a joint activity in this field," he said.
Source: www.upi.com

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PSE energy group to build Poland's largest company

Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE) will build the national champion energy giant which in 10 years will have PLN 3.5 billion of net income.

Late on Tuesday, the government has finally decided that PSE will integrate the country’s energy companies into Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), which in the future will be the biggest energy holding. The government plans also to create a similar group in southern Poland but decision has not been made yet in this case. Today, special committees responsible for the integration and the evaluation of consolidated companies will be built. Although the scenario of PSE building the holding seemed certain, two months ago Pawel Skowronski, the new CEO of BOT energy company criticized it. He believed that the financial situation of his company was endangered as well as Poland’s energy security.

However, according to analyses made for PSE by a group of consulting companies, the future PGE will have no financial troubles. On the contrary. There are two scenarios. The real one provides that in the first years after the consolidation, the energy prices in Poland will grow 3 percent over the inflation and in the next years – equally with inflation. Then the dynamics will fall. It was assumed also that the privatized energy producers will not give up their long-term contracts with PSE and the group will have to fulfill these agreements. Then, PGE would have PLN 870m (EUR 215.8m) of net income in the first year after the consolidation and PLN 1.8 billion in 2009. In ten years, the group should generate over PLN 3.5 billion of net income annually.

In the first five years after the consolidation, PGE should have PLN 3.4 billion for investments annually . The group will be able to invest PLN 17 billion in this period. Part of those funds will have to be spent to develop and modernize the transmission network of distribution companies which will enter the group, i.e. six electric energy distributors from eastern Poland and two energy firms from around Lodz.

“According to our analyses, PGE integrated by PSE will manage to pay back debts and invest in all entities building the group. Many PSE companies are liquid assets. It is easy to e.g. sell Polkomtel telecom. The operator must have transmission assets”, Jacek Socha, PSE CEO said.

“I hope we will build a strong group finally. BOT will need at least EUR 2 billion in the first five years after the integration”, Pawel Skowronski, BOT CEO commented.


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Milmex Systemy Komputerowe Ltd. to Launch Poland's First Mobile WiMAX-Ready Network in Poland

Milmex Systemy Komputerowe announced the launch of Poland's first mobile WiMAX-ready network based on technology from SOMA Networks, Inc. This advanced network, branded in Poland as "NetMaks", will allow Milmex to use SOMA's new FlexMAX Wireless Platform, based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard.

The company will offer its customers affordable, primary-line voice, data services and innovative broadband applications in dense urban neighborhoods and underserved rural areas. Milmex will initially deliver services to residents of Krakow with plans to extend the service to other major Polish cities and establish a reliable nationwide broadband infrastructure to meet the nation's escalating demand for broadband connectivity.

Following Poland's integration into the European Union in 2004, the country has quickly gained recognition as one of the fastest growing broadband markets in Europe. Poland became the first Central European country to pass 1 million broadband lines and reported 23.8% broadband growth in 2005.

However, compared to other nations in the EU, Poland's broadband penetration rate is still relatively low. In crowded urban neighborhoods such as Krakow, broadband services are often unavailable, unaffordable or unreliable. Milmex seeks to change this paradigm by deploying its new 3.5 GHz broadband network. Availability of affordable wireless broadband services will rapidly improve Poland's contribution to both the European Union and broader global economies.

"Broadband wireless technology is easy to deploy and the most economical solution for Poland's broadband needs," said Zbigniew Krzysko, CEO of Milmex. "Offering reliable, easy-to-use service is critical in order to make broadband access ubiquitous nationwide. Connectivity also needs to be affordable for both service providers and our customers. SOMA's WiMAX solution was the only system to cost-effectively address the stringent performance requirements of this market. It is also unique in the ability to deliver fully integrated voice and innovative applications that enable us to deliver wireless VoIP services that rival wireline voice, and seamlessly introduce compelling new services. Broadband connectivity is a leading economic indicator of a country's advancement, and through our new infrastructure, we expect to contribute to Poland's economic growth by quenching the demand for advanced services in residential and SoHo markets."

"Milmex is well-positioned to lead Poland's broadband market," said Greg Caltabiano, President and Chief Operating Officer of SOMA Networks. "Their incentive in deploying the nation's first mobile WiMAX-enabled network is not just financial -- Milmex is also delivering on its vision to boost broadband penetration rates, improve Poland's connectivity to the rest of the world, and enhance the lives of its customers."

In addition to high-speed Internet access and wireline-quality voice service, Milmex will offer a range of data, voice and other in-demand applications to drive mass adoption. Milmex and SOMA Networks are collaborating on several applications designed to reduce costs for end-users and local cities. One such application integrates remote power-reading capabilities into the customer wireless gateway. SOMA's "plug and play" gateway device will support the mobile WiMAX, IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard, which can increase an operator's service reach in both densely populated and remote rural areas.

Milmex is helping Poland's leading companies to optimize administration, production and market management. As a leading supplier of ERP and CRM solutions to companies of all sizes, Milmex enables manufacturing, services, publishing, and government organizations to optimize the development of physical and information products. With Milmex, customers are winning by improving their time-to-market, quality, and productivity. Milmex' support allows them to quickly adapt to changing market conditions, helping ensure the success of their enterprise in a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Now, NetMaks puts the power of Broadband communications within reach of residential, business and government customers by offering superior SOMA Networks' technology that delivers affordable, adaptable, and scalable services, ensuring NetMaks' customers always have exactly the internet and telephone solution they need.

Source: By Rober Hoskins, bbwexchange.com

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Poland's new role as a hub for the labor market

Since joining the European Union and the opening of labor markets in the West, Polish people have been flocking to Western European countries to do work that the people of those countries have been unwilling to do. Even though they have been leaving the country and reducing the number of people in Poland in the labour market, the unemployment rate in Poland has remained high. Ironically, there still exists a labor shortage in Poland.

Polish strawberry farmers are considering turning their fields under because they are unable to get labor to pick their strawberries. The people who normally pick their strawberries are going to other countries to pick strawberries because they make more money. And the remaining unemployed in Poland have no desire to pick strawberries.

Polish farmers want to open the Polish labor market to Russian and Ukrainian strawberry pickers. There are apparently some workers in Poland now, illegally, but the illegal workers are not in Poland in sufficient numbers to satisfy the demand of the farmers. They want more.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Andrej Lepper has seen the problem and is attempting to get the Polish government to open the market to the Ukrainian and Russian workers.

If Andrej Lepper succeeds in this quest, it will leave Poland in a rather interesting situation. The people from Poland who want to work will go West, the people in Poland to do not want to work will continue being supported by the government and people from the East will move west into Poland to work.

Of course, there is another solution to the problem and that is to either raise the price of the strawberries and/or make it possible for the farmers to pay higher prices to the strawberry pickers for the amount of strawberries that they pick. But since there is little likelihood of either of these things happening, Poland will become a labor trading hub and labor importer- exporter in Europe.

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EU Emissions Trading Scheme: Poland's National Allocation Plan is uploaded to the Community registry system, total verified emissions are made public

As announced last week, 5 July, the Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL) will show the 2005-7 approved allocations of Polish installations as of 14:00 today, 5 July. The verified emissions of individual installations will appear on the CITL once their accounts are created by the Polish registry Administrator. The Commission is reporting today the total verified emissions of the installations included in the CITL.

A total of 459 installations are being included today, which have already submitted their 2005 verified emissions to the Polish government. These 459 installations have been allocated 90% percent of Poland's total annual average allocation, amounting to 213,6 million allowances. The total verified emissions of these 459 installations in 2005 amounted to 184,9 million tonnes of CO2.

The remaining 10% of Polish allowances have been allocated to 629 other installations, and their emissions will be included in the CITL by the end of September.

Allocations for 2005-2007 were made on the basis of data that were not independently verified. Now, that a full set of verified data exists the Commission expects it to be used as a basis for the next allocation plan covering the period 2008-2012, and will assess all plans in this context.

Poland's overall greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 were 386.4 million tonnes, 31.6% below their Kyoto baseline of 1988 emissions. Poland's Kyoto target is -6%, and it is therefore on track for meeting this target.

Source: europa.eu.int

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Ties between Pakistan, Poland stressed

Pakistan and Poland can benefit from each other due to their strategic location, trade, commerce, energy, agriculture, textile and many other sectors.

These were stated by the Polish Consul General, Mr Ireneusz Makles at a launching ceremony of the Pakistan Poland Friendship Association (PPFA) at his residence here on Wednesday.

Addressing the seminar he said that the trade value had already doubled between the two countries and it stood at $135 million in 2005. He said that the Polish people wished to promote culture, education, textile and tourism between the two countries.

Poland, he said, had many achievements in culture and arts, and he wished to share the same with the people of Pakistan.

The Chairman of Pakistan Poland Friendship Association, Mr Sharjeel Inam Memon, said that Poland was an important member of the European Union and Pakistani people had great admiration for the people of Poland.

He said the PPFA would promote friendly relations between the two countries. Later, he announced the office bearers of PPFA and introduced them to the media.


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Artificial Life Launches Mobile 3G & 2G Products in Poland

Artificial Life Inc., a Hong Kong-based provider of mobile technology and applications, has signed a contract with Polish telecom carrier Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa to launch its portfolio of 3G and 2G content and games in Poland including 3G "V-girl - your virtual girlfriend" product.

Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa Sp. Z o.o. is the major mobile carrier in Poland, providing 2G, 2.5G and 3G/UMTS services.

As of December 2005, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa had over 10 million customers and holds a leadership position in the Polish mobile market with a 35.1% subscriber share.

"We are excited to launch our V-girl now also in Poland. It is our first East European launch. Over 55% of the Polish population is using mobile phones hence it is a very interesting growth market for us.
We are preparing further launches in East Europe in the coming months," said Eberhard Schoeneburg, CEO of Artificial Life Inc.

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Railway in Poland: Warsaw - Krakow Rail Mainline Has to Wait for Modernization

ll of those who hoped to ride a 250 km/h train from Warsaw to Krakow or Katowice have to learn patience. They wishes will come true after 2013.

It is almost certain now that the 2007- -13 Operational Programme "Infrastructure and Environment", in which all EU co-funded project are listed, will not include fund for modernising the Central Rail Mainline (CMK) to 250 km/h .

The national infrastructure manager PKP PLK and the ministry of regional development are now finishing the negotiations on the amount of funds scheduled for rail investments. The previous government, headed by Marek Belka, promised EUR 10bn from the EU budget.

In the beginning of April 2006 the new minister responsible for transport applied for EUR 5.4bn from the EU Cohesion Fund. Then this sum was limited to EUR 4,75bn.

When the ministry of regional development prepared the Operational Programme it occurred that it includes EUR 4bn (85% of the amount applied for by the transport ministry), including EUR 3.6bn for infrastructure and 400m for rolling stock.

Representatives of the ministry say that this limitation was caused by the current absorption of EU funding by PKP PLK and the fact that the company experiences some serious troubles with arranging money for co-financing the EU projects.

PKP PLK hopes that the sum proposed by the government will increase.

The reductions made in the Operational Programme eliminated CMK modernisation plans. EUR1.2-1.4 are needed only for the last section.

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Commission authorises Poland to grant rescue aid for bus company Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Samochodowej w Olkuszu S.A.

The European Commission decided yesterday not to raise objections to planned rescue aid for Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Samochodowej w Olkuszu S.A. The aid is justified by serious social difficulties as 111 people could loose employment if the aid is not granted to the beneficiary.

Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Samochodowej w Olkuszu S.A. is a firm „in difficulty” according to the definition outlined in the Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty[1]. The aid will be granted by the Industrial Development Agency S.A. in the form of a loan under conditions similar to those applicable on the market. Polish authorities will submit a restructuring plan of the company to the Commission within six months after the approval of the measure.

The unemployment ratio in the region where the company conducts its business activity has already reached 18%. The Commission is therefore of the opinion that the aid has a profound impact on the social situation in the region.

The aid does not exceed the maximum aid amount permissible under the formula envisaged in the Guidelines.

[1] OJ C 01.10.2004, 244, p. 2


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Poland joins EU common arms market

Poland has joined the European Union market of arms contracts. Now Polish companies have the right to participate in arms tenders in 22 countries in Europe, just like companies from 21 states have simultaneously access to the Polish arms market. The goverment in Warsaw decided that Poland should join the common arms market despite protests from some cirlcles operating on the domestic one. Denmark, Spain and Hungary refrain from joining the common market.

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