Low Unemployment In Western Europe Helps Poland

Germany's unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent marking a low of only 4 million unemployed workers nationwide, the lowest since October 2002. Similar declines in the rest of Europe are tokens of gathering health for those nation's economies.

Germany's unemployment rate was a factor in the election defeat of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's center-left government last year. That was after the jobless rate soared to a high of more than 5 million last year. It was the first time for such a high rate since World War II, BusinessWeek.com reported on Thursday.

Therefore, Germany's unemployment rate was high on Chancellor Angela Merkel's priorities.

"This is a good, outstanding and wonderful development, but one that also challenges us to even more efforts" to combat unemployment, Vice Chancellor Franz Muentefering told Germany's parliament.

The jobless rate also was lower in France, down to a five-year low of 8.8 percent in October. Those lower Western European rates could explain why even though Poland's unemployment rate stands at 15 percent that nation has a shortage of manual laborers.

Poland's skilled laborers are having no problem crossing borders and finding work in Western European countries. That means some construction projects in Poland are having trouble meeting deadlines, USA Today reported Thursday.

"Everybody's left for Britain or Ireland," said Filip Wilczynski, who runs a gravel and construction company in Ostroleka, a small city some 75 miles north of Warsaw. "There's nobody left to hire."

Source:By Linda Young,


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Poland likely to export meat to China next year

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Andrzej Lepper said here Thursday that chances are high that Poland may export meat to China starting June, the PAP news agency reported.

Lepper made the remarks after he returned home from his Nov. 23- 29 visit to Beijing, where he held talks with senior Chinese officials over the issue.

During his stay in Beijing, he met Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu and Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin.

Source: english.people.com.cn

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Need a dentist? Fly to Poland!

WINDON has joined the dentistry jetset. A new company is offering patients the chance to avoid NHS waiting lists and costly bills by flying them for treatment in Poland.

Dental Prestige, based in Old Town, is the first medical travel firm to set up in Swindon, It says that in some cases patients can fly to Poland, stay in a hotel and have their treatment and still save hundreds of pounds on what their treatment would have cost in their local dental surgery.

But, Swindon dentists have urged people to be wary of what firms like Dental Prestige offer.

Paulina Motylewska, who runs the recently-opened Swindon office of the firm, insists that patients have nothing to worry about and that treatments provided by the firm are of the highest quality.

"We feel that the cost of dental care in the UK is very prohibitive to many people because of its high cost both privately and on the NHS. We wanted to provide an alternative which is cheaper. And there is no waiting list.

"But we don't want to compete with British dentists, we want to work with them as well."

The company - which also helps German people with dental problems - sends its patients to a clinic in Poznan designed to cater for travelling patients.

It has six operating theatres manned by English-speaking staff and the dentists have, according to the company, the latest dental technology.

Ms Motylewska said: "Patients who come to us have nothing to worry about. We organise flights, accommodation and transfer, and there is no need to worry about the language barrier as all our staff speak English.

"Every visit is tailored to the needs and expectations of the patient, and we can take instructions from the patient or take details from their own dentist and work from that."

The company offers all kinds of treatment, from tooth extractions to root canals and prosthetic treatments like crowns and dentures. In the UK one crown treatment can cost up to £550.

Dental Prestige says that a crown treatment in Poznan using the same methods can cost around £180.

Such prices are possible because labour, material and rent costs are considerably lower in Poland than in the UK.

Flights are also cheap because of the advent of low-cost airlines, several of which fly into Poznan from London including Ryanair and Wizzair.

Dental Prestige will book all flights and accommodation, but a flight from Stansted to Poznan can cost as little as £15 return.

But Swindon dentist Patrick Holmes, who runs the Seven Fields Health and Dental Centre, said he would urge people to be cautious about using such firms.

He said: "For some people who are looking for a bargain, this is a great idea, but there are one or two problems that people should be wary of.

"For complex operations people should look carefully at their options, particularly crown operations.

"Here we would do one at a time, to make sure they work properly so if things don't go properly patients can come back and we can sort it out.

"But some firms like this will try and squeeze as many operations as possible into one. If something goes wrong will patients have to go back to Poland to sort it out.

"Sometimes such operations can end up costing patients more than they bargained for."

  • Dental Prestige is at 41 Bath Road, and can be reached on 01793 574549.

    Your dental bill

    Medical Prestige says it can provide cheaper dental treatment than dentists in the UK - in spite of travel expenses.

    For example it says six porcelain veneer crowns in the UK will cost £2,400.

    But according to them the treatment in Poland will cost £636.

    If you add on three star hotel expenses costing £130, flights £60 and airport transfers £50 in total you will have to pay £1,026. This is a total saving of £1,374.

    Dentistry phrasebook

    Although Dental Prestige's dentists speak English, here's a guide to some basic Polish dental phrases:

  • Open wide - Otworz szeroko
  • This might hurt a little - To moze troszke bolec
  • Sit down and make yourself comfortable - Usiadz wygodnie na fotelu
  • You've been eating too many sweets - Jadles za duzo slodyczy
  • I'm afraid I'm going to have to remove all your teeth - Obawiam sie ze bede musial usunac wszystkie twoje zeby
  • Source:By Anthony Osborne , swindonadvertiser.co.uk

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    Poland Looks to Join Methane Partnership, EPA Says

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Poland has requested membership in the International Methane to Markets Partnership. Poland would join the United States and 17 other countries in efforts to advance the cost-effective, near-term recovery and use of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - as a clean energy source.

    The Methane to Markets Partnership, launched by the Bush Administration in November 2004, is a public-private partnership that brings together the technical and market expertise, financing, and technology necessary to advance methane recovery and use projects at landfills, agricultural operations, coal mines and oil and gas systems. Joint commitments under Methane to Markets help meet the shared goals of reducing global methane emissions while enhancing economic growth, promoting energy security and improving the environment. By 2015, Methane to Markets has the potential to deliver annual reductions in methane emissions equal to planting 55 million acres of trees or eliminating emissions from 33 million cars in America. The United States has committed $53 million to this initiative over the next five years.

    Member countries work in collaboration with the private sector, multilateral development banks, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations through the Partnership's Project Network. In high-level meetings Nov. 28 at the White House, Poland's Minister of Finance expressed a strong desire to join EPA's Methane to Markets Partnership. Currently, more than 350 organizations from around the world have made commitments to this partnership. Current Methane to Markets partner countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. All countries that want to be a part of Methane to Markets must receive approval from the Partnership's Steering Committee.

    EPA is coordinating the actions of several federal partners including the State Department, Department of Energy, US Agency for International Development, US Department of Agriculture, and the US Trade and Development Agency.

    Source:By Staff axcessnews.com

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    Poland shrugs off EU 'troublemaker' image

    With the Polish veto still hanging in the air after last Friday's EU-Russia summit misfire, the EU continues to invent ways to break the deadlock while Polish politicians are deflecting criticism they are becoming the biggest "troublemakers" in the EU.

    This week Brussels offered Poland a written guarantee Warsaw could suspend EU talks on an EU-Russia "Permanent Partnership Council" on energy if Russia misbehaved on trade in future, but Warsaw declined sticking to its request for a guarantee it can suspend the much grander EU-Russia "Strategic Partnership Treaty" talks instead.

    With delicate negotiations still ongoing, the big EU member states such as the UK, Germany and France have not attacked Poland openly on the veto.

    Privately however, diplomats say the EU should do more for Poland on trade but that Poland should not hold the EU-Russia treaty hostage over vegetables and meat.

    In the background, Russia's threat to slap food export bans on the Baltic States, Romania and Bulgaria has bolstered the Polish argument that the old EU15 must show "solidarity" with the new EU10+2 states or risk seeing Russia bully other EU countries as it has done Poland.

    But at the same time, Poland's veto comes as the latest in a line of annoying moves for Paris and Berlin if not London - the previous bad boy in the class - while the Kaczynski twins' awkward handling of internal issues such as gay rights and free press has also raised eyebrows in Brussels.

    In the past 12 months Poland's cry of "solidarity" has erupted over labour market access, the services directive, a German-Russian gas pipeline and the Schengen zone. Its budget deficit is breaking EU rules. Its plan to hold a referendum on eurozone entry is unpopular and in January it alone vetoed VAT reforms.

    Solidarity or death
    Polish ex-diplomat Pawel Swieboda - who now runs a think-tank in Warsaw - told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza earlier this week the Russia veto "will see the EU opinion of Poland as a classic troublemaker get stronger" seeing its "political capital" reduced in upcoming EU discussions on the constitution and enlargement.

    "It hasn't helped [to get EU support on the Russian ban] that since summer Poland has not had its own EU ambassador. It's a big difference reading out instructions from Warsaw at EU ambassadors' meetings and having somebody who really takes care of [Polish] interests in the EU capital," he added.

    But the opinions of Mr Swieboda - who ran the Polish foreign ministry's EU department until August - seemed to carry little weight with Polish parliament speaker and ruling Law and Justice party vice-chairman Marek Jurek when interviewed by EUobserver in Brussels this week.

    "I agree that a much better method is that of consultation and compromise," Mr Jurek stated, but went on to blame the European Commission for the breakdown, saying "this situation could have been avoided if the commission had intervened against Russia earlier in a more energetic way."

    'Verbalism' not enough
    Mr Jurek - a confidante of the Kaczynski brothers - also blamed the Finnish EU presidency for giving Poland flimsy political promises on the Russia trade ban instead of written guarantees on treaty vetoes, saying "One should not confuse solidarity with verbalism."

    "We expect there will be no differentiation in the EU of countries new and old and in particular that there won't be appeasement of a politics of the decomposition of the EU by external partners," he commented on the long-term political impact of the Polish veto row.

    Meanwhile, the European Commission is still trying and failing to get Russia to agree to hold three-way Brussels-Warsaw-Moscow talks on meat and German diplomats are reportedly talking to Russia on dropping the embargo before the EU summit on 14 December or by 1 January at the latest.

    "It is necessary first of all to lift the embargo and this would then open the way to [EU-Russia treaty] negotiations," Mr Jurek said, showing no signs that Warsaw is planning to budge before Moscow even if it gets what it wants from its EU colleagues in Brussels.

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    Almodovar and Penelope in Poland for European Film Awards

    Warsaw.– Almodovar’s latest film ‘Volver,’ starring Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, will be a hot contender at the European Film Awards, to open tomorrow in Warsaw, Poland.

    According to the organizing commitee, the most disputed category will be Film of the Year, which includes Pedro Almodovar's Volver, Breakfast on Pluto by Neil Jordan, Wind That Shakes the Barley by Ken Loach, and others.

    The best European actress award has Penelope Cruz, for her performance of Raimunda in Volver, and Sarah Polley for her role in The Secret Life of Words, as the main contenders. Nathalie Baye, Martina Gedeck and Mirjana Karanovic also have a chance for winning.

    The award for the best european actor seems to be at Irish Cilian Murphy's hanhd for his performance in Wind That Shakes the Barley.

    The ceremony will be held at the Warsaw International Expocentre, one of the most modern and multipurpose centers in Poland.
    Source: dominicantoday.com

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    Railway in Poland: Polish freight market results in Q1-Q3 2006

    According to the data collected by Rynek Kolejowy and Railway Market - CEE Review the rail transport volumes in Q1-Q3 of 2006 are better in comparison to the analogical period in 2005.
    The December issue of Rynek Kolejowy focuses around the topic of providing rail passenger and freight services in Poland. In Rynek Kolejowy you will find all the necessary info about the companies providing rail transport services on 1435mm tracks.

    Currently in Poland the number of licences for providing rail transport services reached 80. Still the number of companies actually being rail operators circulates around 25. And what is interesting, more and more companies express their interest in possessing the operating licence, even though the Office for Rail Transport threatens to take the licences away from those who aren’t using it.

    Polish rail market is being scanned by foreign companies like Freightliner, who . Also several everal successful private Polish operators already applied for passenger licences and even organised pilot runs of passenger trains under their logo.

    In October 2006 PTKiGK Rybnik organised a trial reactivation of Silesia – Podbeskidzie connection. The train consisted of 1st class passenger cars provided by PKP Intercity hauled by Siemens 1822 two system locomotive.

    PCC Rail organised two pilot runs of passenger trains. For the first time it was in January when the company rented a rail bus and made a 330 km tour over the network supervised by private Silesia companies. In September 2006 PCC Rail made a run of ET21 passenger locomotive hauling two passenger cars from Wrocław to Brzeg. PCC is currently competing with PKP Regional Services in the tender for providing passenger services on te route Bytom – Gliwice.

    The analysis of the increasing number of licences is bringing experts to a conclusion that the Polish Railway Market is getting better. Operators complain that they had to cut their prices by 10% to survive in the business. PKP Cargo complains that the current transport policy in Poland does not support competition between different modes of transport, railways are loosing their business and the only thing that changes is the name of the company on the locomotive.

    But according to the data collected by Rynek Kolejowy the transport volumes in Q1-Q3 of 2006 are better in comparison to the analogical period in 2005.

    The current increase of transport volumes by rail is directly related to the economic growth Poland is witnessing, partly due to the prolonged autumn time. The trend is not of permanent nature (in 2005 the mass of loads in freight fell by 4.4m tonnes).

    In 2006 the number of tonnes carried increased by 8%. PKP Cargo noticed 0.5% increase and still cannot dinamise its performance. Private operators managed to keep up the good results and currently have 16.33% share in the market in tone kilometers.

    In total rail freight carriers lifted 213.57m tonnes, 107.87% in comparison to the same period of 2005, 107.33% tone-kilometres in comparison to the same period of 2005).

    After three quarters of 2006 the leaders among private operators are:

    CTL Logistics - 34,4% (share in the performance of private operators).
    PCC Rail Szczakowa - 15,5%
    PTKiGK Zabrze - 12,7%
    Lotos Kolej - 11,6%
    PTKiGK Rybnik - 9,1%.

    Passenger operators carried 196.23m passengers, which is almost 4% more than in Q1-Q3 2005. All operators, besides the debt driven PKP Regional Services, noted passenger number increase.

    Read more about the results of Polish railway market in 2006 in the December issue of Rynek Kolejowy and Railway Market – Central and Eastern European Review 1/2007.

    (Source: Railway Market - Central and Eastern European Review, 1 December 2006)

    Railway in Russia: Throughput of the First Container Terminal increased
    In January-November 2006, the throughput of First Container Terminal (the port of Saint-Petersburg) amounted to 806,745 TEU, 22.8% up year-on-year.
    In November, the terminal handled 81,223 TEU (or 47,217 units), 26.8% up year-on-year.

    Last month the turnover of refcontainers in the First Container Terminal amounted to 8,803 TEU, 23.4% up year-on-year.

    37,730 TEU was exported, and 43,493 TEU was imported via the terminal.

    During 11 months of 2006, the terminal serviced 61 vessels, reports the press-service of National Container Company.

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    Unilever Expects to Grow in Poland and Indonesia

    Food giant Unilever is seeking to invest more in Poland and Indonesia and strengthen its market presence, say press reports from both nations.

    In Poland, the company is planning to build a new research & development centre, which will be specialised in ready soups. In Indonesia, Unilever is aiming to launch 60 more products in 2007 and plans to acquire more brands.


    According to the Polish financial media, Unilever is a leader in many of Poland’s “fast moving consumer goods” (FMCG) markets, such as ice-cream (Algida), tea (Lipton, Saga), and margarines (Rama, Flora). The firm reportedly wants a leading share in the ready soup segment, which, according to Unilever Polska management, is a booming market.

    “In 2005, the ready soup market in Poland grew by nearly 60%. This year, the dynamics are also very high. We also expect double-digit growth rates in upcoming years”, a Unilever Polska spokesperson said.

    The financial media adds that Unilever Polska has already opened a plant in Poznan for about zl.100 million (26 million euro) to produce soups which will mainly be exported to countries such as France and the Netherlands. However, the company says it will also gradually develop its presence in the Polish market.

    Furthermore, the company will also set up a research & development centre in Poznan for 5 million euro to help the firm carry out its growth strategy in the country. Initially, 70 people will be employed there, adds the media.


    PT Unilever Indonesia, the nation's biggest consumer goods firm, informed FLEXNEWS back in May 2006 that it was monitoring the snacks and flavoured tea market with a particular focus on vanilla tea.

    However, recently, PT Unilever Indonesia’s corporate secretary, Franky Jamin, has told the national press that his company is actively planning to acquire more brands in order to strengthen its presence in the Indonesian market.

    "We are negotiating with a number of companies," Jamin said.

    According to the press reports, the last brand the company acquired was Taro snacks, produced by PT Rasa Murni Utama, in 2003.

    In addition the press reports say that PT Unilever Indonesia will launch 60 new products next year and will maintain its products at 500 items.


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    Most Poles look with pessimism at developments in Poland

    According to sixty six percent of Poles, things in the country go in the wrong ‎direction. A survey by the OBOP Institute says that twenty two percent of the ‎respondents assess the situation in positive terms. These are mostly supporters ‎of the conservative Law and Justice. In a similar poll conducted a month ago, ‎the number of optimists grew by seven and the number of pessimists decreased ‎by nine percentage points. ‎

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    Poland’s Polkomtel Selects Intec Convergent Billing for Comprehensive Legacy Replacement Project across GSM, 3G and IP Services

    20 Million Contract Won after a Highly Competitive Tender Focusing on Performance and Convergence

    ATLANTA & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Intec, a leading BSS/OSS software vendor for fixed, mobile and next-generation networks, has won a major contract with Polands leading mobile communications provider, Polkomtel S.A., to implement a comprehensive, convergent rating and billing system to support its fast-growing user base of over 11 million GSM, 3G and mobile IP access subscribers. The contract, worth in excess of 20 million, was won after a highly competitive tender focusing on proven ability to deliver truly convergent real-time rating and billing functionality in a high-volume, multi-service environment.

    This is a key project for Polkomtel which will deliver many operational benefits for us and our customers, said Miroslaw Bielicki, COO of Polkomtel S.A. We have established a reputation for technical innovation in areas like next-generation services and we believe the capabilities of Intec Convergent Billing are important to our leadership in the Polish market.

    The competitive landscape in Polands mobile industry is evolving towards convergence of networks and services. With Intec Convergent Billing, Polkomtel will be able to eradicate the traditional division between pre-paid and post-paid services and replace it with a unified and convergent offer to our customers. This will allow us to achieve competitive advantage in the Polish market, added Jaroslaw Bauc, the CEO of Polkomtel.

    Intecs CEO, Kevin Adams commented, Convergence between fixed, mobile and IP services is inevitable. In the future, profitability and innovation will be defined by how quickly carriers can adapt to the convergent business model and how easily they can bill for services in near real time. This is why the Intec Convergent Billing solution we are delivering to Polkomtel will be not just for billing but also for real-time rating and charging.

    By choosing Intec Convergent Billing, Polkomtel is embracing the convergent business model that will enable our company to maintain a competitive edge over its rivals and to reinforce Polkomtels position as a true technology leader in Poland. It also will introduce operational and cost efficiencies, said Tomasz Kibil, IT Director of Polkomtel.

    Polkomtel S.A. is one of three mobile telephony operators in Poland, marketing its services under two brand names: Plus and Sami Swoi. Polkomtel has pioneered innovative GSM-technology-based services on the Polish market. Among other notable achievements, it was the first company to offer MMS messaging, voice-based access to text messages (SMS), and GPRS and EDGE based data transmission services. In September 2004 Plus was the first operator in Poland to launch 3G mobile telephony services including UMTS. Polkomtel S.A. reported a record number of new network users in the first half of 2006. The company acquired 1,369,000 clients, i.e. a 60% increase relative to the same period of the previous year. As at the end of June 2006 the total number of network users reached 10,400,000, i.e. up 32% relative to last year's figure.

    Polkomtel is a good example of the kind of operator where Intec Convergent Billing is an ideal choice for a major billing upgrade project, said Kevin Adams. It has a fast growing customer base, a wide range of convergent products, and a competitive, service-focused environment. It needed a flexible, scalable solution with a strong track record in convergent, mobile billing, supplied by a vendor with local expertise and a visible, long-term commitment to the Polish market.

    Intec Convergent Billing will be implemented at Polkomtel by a multi-national team with a large Polish representation based out of Intecs new Poland office.

    By signing the contract both Intec and Polkomtel have entered into a long-term and far-reaching partnership aimed at improving Polkomtels billing operations. The new billing system from Intec will allow Polkomtel to launch advanced, added value services. The implementation of Intec Convergent Billing will be the largest billing site for Intec to date in Poland, as well as Central and Eastern Europe. The contract testifies to our commitment to the Polish market, where Intec is planning to establish a Central European Billing Competence Center in the future, having a critical mass of billing implementations and an already well established customer base including leading operators such as Era, Exatel, GTS Energis and TPSA, said Iwona Golinska, Intecs Regional Director for Poland.

    Over 60 leading global carriers and MVNOs, in fixed, wireless, 3G and IP, rely on Intec Convergent Billing to deliver pre-paid, post-paid and real-time billing, from a single platform, for all their services. Built using modern, industry-standard technologies, Intec Convergent Billing is proven in production at some of the worlds largest and most innovative carriers. It is compatible with all major network technologies and services in use today and, as part of the wider Intec product family, is supported by carrier grade solutions in areas such as convergent mediation, activation and interconnect.

    About Intec

    Intec supplies solutions to over 60 of the worlds top 100 telecoms carriers and is one of the worlds fastest growing major BSS/OSS (business and operations support systems) vendors, offering a comprehensive and expanding range of products, solutions and services. Intecs 400+ customers include AT&T, Cable & Wireless, The Carphone Warehouse (UK), China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Eircom (Ireland), France Telecom, Hutchison 3G, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Vivo and Verizon. Founded in 1997, Intec is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: ITL) and has over 1,800 staff and 33 offices in 25 countries. For more information, visit the Intec website at www.intecbilling.com.


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    Poland to liquidate chemicals privatization agency Nafta Polska ASAP, minister says

    Poland's agency for fuel and chemicals industry privatization and restructuring, Nafta Polska, should be liquidated as soon as possible, Treasury Minister Wojciech Jasinski told a press conference Friday.
    "I wouldn't like to set any deadline but it should not take too long," Jasinski said. "The Nafta Polska management has been assayed to accelerate preparations to liquidate the agency as there is no rational reason for Nafta Polska to exist any more."

    Poland's government announced plans to liquidate the agency in February 2006 as part of its drive to slim down the bureaucracy, known as "the cheap state" program. "The Ministry of the Treasury has come to the conviction that Nafta Polska is a needless and costly cell for realization of the property rights from shares held by the Ministry of the Treasury and does not provide value-added to the economy," the ministry said in February.

    Fuel sector shares currently held by Nafta Polska, including those of PKN Orlen, Grupa Lotos, and fuel storage firm Naftobazy, will be passed to the State Treasury after a change in statute of Nafta Polska.

    Nafta Polska has just completed the privatization of chemical firms ZCH Organika-Sarzyna and ZCH Zachem and will continue privatization of ZA Kedzierzyn and ZA Tranow-Moscice chemical plants while the liquidation process is being conducted.

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