Poland loses 1 million euros daily due to Russia embargo

Poland is losing around one million euros (1.28 million U.S. dollars) daily due to Russia's embargo on imports of Polish meat, meat products and agri-products, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Andrzej Lepper said.

The Polish side had done everything possible on this issue, Lepper was quoted by the PAP news agency as saying.

Lepper said an EU inspection in July revealed only minor phitosanitary weaknesses. He added that these had now been eliminated.

The deputy PM said Russia did not have to open its borders immediately but it had to define when the embargo would be lifted.

In November 2005, Russia imposed a ban on imports of Polish meat and meat products.

Poland says it will oppose the launching of negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and Russia until the import embargo is lifted.

The current agreement on partnership and cooperation between Russia and the EU became effective in 1997, and will expire next year. The launch of negotiations on a new one has to be approved by all EU member states first.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Poland picks Lockheed F-16 in $3.5B deal

Poland on Friday named Lockheed Martin's F-16 Fighting Falcon the winner of a three-way tender to supply 48 combat jets in a $3.5 billion deal, eastern Europe's largest ever defense order.
Lockheed, with its block 52 F-16 C/D model powered by F-100-229 engines from United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney, beat two European rivals to land its first major contract in post-communist Europe.

The F-16 fought off French Dassault Aviation's Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 and the Anglo-Swedish Jas-39 Gripen, built by BAE Systems and Saab.

The order is a triumph for a lobbying drive led by President George W. Bush and deals a blow to Europe's aerospace industry just two weeks after the European Union invited Poland and nine other countries to join in 2004.

Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski dismissed criticism that Poland, a NATO member since 1999, had bowed to U.S. pressure and said the best package of planes and reciprocal investments in Polish industry had won the day.

"Poland based its decision on merit, not politics," he told a news conference. "This deal guarantees our ability to participate in NATO operations and increases our security."

The F-16s will be delivered between 2006 and 2008, enabling Poland to scrap its obsolete Soviet-built MiGs, some of which have been in the air since the 1960s.

Lockheed, backed by a $3.8 billion U.S. government loan which foresees interest-only payments through 2010, said it won fair and square on technical and financial grounds.

Under Polish law, reciprocal investments, or "offset," must be worth at least 100% of a defense order. Warsaw's government hopes the capital injection will revive industry and help cut an 18% jobless rate.

Lockheed put together over 100 projects it valued at $9.8 billion, although Polish officials said they were worth about $6 billion.

That compared with 7.5 billion euros ($7.8 billion) from Gripen and just 3.8 billion euros ($3.9 billion) from Dassault.

Defense experts rate the F-16 and Mirage roughly equal as fighting machines, with the cheaper Gripen third, but gave the French poor marks for their offset proposal.

Contracts for the planes should be signed in March 2003, conditional on finalizing the offset package within a further 60 days. Polish officials estimated the total cost of the deal at $4.7 billion, including interest.

The F-16 comes equipped with Northrop Grumman Corp's APG-68(V)9 radar and ALQ-211(V)4 electronic warfare suite.

The fighter jet's weapons systems comprise the AIM-9X air-to-air missile, the AIM-120C AMRAAM missile, as well as Joint Stand-Off Weapon and Joint Direct Attack Munition Bombs.

Another triangular contest is under way between the F-16, Mirage and Gripen in Brazil, which wants 12 planes.

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Poland Would Welcome Marcinkiewicz Party

Many adults in Poland would support a political organization commanded by a former prime minister, according to a poll by GFK published in Rzeczpospolita. 63 per cent of respondents would consider voting for a party led by Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.

In September 2005, voters in Poland renewed their legislative branch. Final results gave the Law and Justice Party (PiS) 26.9 per cent of the vote and 155 lawmakers in the 460-seat lower house. In October, economic expert Marcinkiewicz took over as prime minister and Lech Kaczynski won the presidential election.

In July, deputy prime minister Andrzej Lepper of the Self-Defence of the Polish Republic (SRP) announced that Marcinkiewicz would resign after he made some decisions without consulting his coalition partners. Polish president Lech Kaczynski appointed PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski—his twin brother—as the country’s new prime minister.

In November, Marcinkiewicz was defeated in Warsaw’s mayoral election, losing to Civic Platform (PO) candidate Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz in a run-off. Earlier this month, Marcinkiewicz ruled out a return to the current cabinet.

Polling Data

If Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz decided to start his own political party, would you consider voting for it?





Not sure


Source: GFK / Rzeczpospolita
Methodology: Interviews to 500 Polish adults, conducted on Dec. 20, 2006. Margin of error is 4 per cent.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland


Promotion of open standards in Poland

On 14 December 2006 a Coalition for Open Standards was established by a large group of IT companies and organizations in Poland with a view to promote open technological standards.

The coalition aims at taking measures to ensure freedom of choice for IT solutions for Polish citizens as well as businesses and administration bodies by enforcing open standards for information storage and exchange.

The use of open standards has numerous advantages among which the possibility to freely exchange information, the freedom of choosing the IT tool suppliers, an increased flexibility and interoperability in implementing IT solutions, an increased competitiveness and quality of systems on the Polish market.

The lack of open standards leads to higher costs, closed formats for sharing information requiring the use of specific software.

The Coalition for Open Standards includes companies present on the Polish market, such as Corel, IBM, Macrologic, Novell, Oracle, etc., but also organizations such as Aviary.pl, Internet Society Poland, the Professional Linux Association, the Cities Online Association and the PRO Polish Software Market Association. The new coalition intends to promote open standards through its website, as well as by educational and informational campaigns for the public.

Large interest on open standards has been shown in many EU countries. Thus, on 2 November, the Athens Internet Governance Forum hosted in Athens the Open Standards, Interoperability and Government Procurement event where one recommendation for Governments was to follow the example of countries such as Denmark or Belgium in adopting Open Document Format especially for public records.

During the IGF meeting, a Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards was created. This Dynamic Coalition wants to frame and define the most urgent problems related to open technology standards and application interoperability and suggest straightforward, workable solutions that can be implemented by all stakeholders.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Sample some parklife in Poland

Krakow might just be eastern Europe’s most evocative city, an enticing and moving urban narrative of Jewish and Catholic tragedy. But you can get so engrossed in its beautiful cobbled alleys and squares that the history becomes oppressive.

After a few days, you may need to breathe. The solution is to take a bus just 15 miles to the northwest, to the idyllic escape of the Ojcow valley national park. Spend half a day there and you will return to Krakow refreshed for your homeward flight.

The village of Ojcow is a perfect introduction to the park, an unspoilt farmers’ settlement with rustic cottages and a couple of places to sample decent beer and the inevitable Polish sausage.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the village enjoyed a brief spell as a fashionable health resort, although its two prestigious hotels are now used as a museum and a post office.

You are here for the great outdoors, though, and Ojcow is the starting point for some gentle hikes through neighbouring forests.

Most visitors follow the Eagle’s Nest trail, tracing a string of medieval fortresses in the area built on high land to keep an eye on the pesky Czechs. Pieskowa Skala castle is the newest (a mere 6½ centuries old) and easily the best preserved. It has borrowed some European art treasures from the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, but the scenery round about is a more enticing prospect.

With a little extra time, you can explore the cave complex that lines the valley. Some of them are reassuringly reminiscent of all those murky little basement bars you will have spent so much time at back in Krakow.

Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) has flights from Glasgow Prestwick to Krakow from £40.44 return.

Buses from Krakow in the direction of Olkusz will take you to Ojcow in about half an hour. By car, it is a 15-minute drive from the city.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Melly plans to return after €100m sale

Entrepreneur Sean Melly plans to get involved in a new business venture after selling his European telecoms firm Etel for about €100 million.

Entrepreneur Sean Melly plans to get involved in a new business venture after selling his European telecoms firm Etel for about €100 million.

Melly said he was ‘‘open to finding the next opportunity’’, and was particularly interested in firms in need of restructuring or with merger and acquisition potential. Although Etel was Melly’s second telecoms business, he said his interest was ‘‘absolutely not confined to telecoms at all’’.

Melly founded Etel in 1999 and the firm had turnover of about €135million from its operations in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It was bought late last week by Telekom Austria.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. The main beneficiaries of the deal will be private equity firms Intel, Argus, Greenhill and Darby Overseas, which had invested about €100 million in Etel since its foundation. It is not clear what Melly’s gain from the deal will be.

Melly is a non-executive director of Etel, which is chaired by his close associate, Bernard Somers. The company considered floating on the Alternative Investment Market earlier this year, but instead hired investment bank Lazard to review its options.

Source: sbpost.ie

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Conservative ex-PM to head Poland's biggest bank

Poland's ex-PM Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz is to be nominated as chief executive of the country's biggest bank, PKO Bank Polski.

According to Treasury Minister Wojciech Jasinski, Marcinkiewicz wants to head the institution and is capable of doing so that it continues to bring profits. PKO BP has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since the end of 2004, after it was privatised, but remains state-controlled.

The Polish government holds a 51-percent majority stake in the bank. There has been widespread speculation in recent weeks about the future of Marcinkiewicz after he lost the race for the prestigious job of Mayor of Warsaw to a liberal rival in local elections at the end of November.

Meanwhile, some experts expressed concern that Marcinkiewicz, who is a former school science teacher, lacks the professional background and experience necessary to run the country's top bank.

Marcinkiewicz was the current government’s first Prime Minister before he was replaced by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Poland's oil concern PKN Orlen to buy crude oil from Mideast

PKN Orlen oil concern does not rule out the possiblity of buying crude oil from the Middle East, said Igor Chalupec, CEO of Poland's PKN Orlen, on Friday.

PKN Orlen is importing crude oil from Russia and Venezuela, the PAP news agency quoted Chalupec as saying.

Talks are under way, but it is difficult to say when they will end and whether they will be successful, Chalupec was quoted as saying.

PKN Orlen is the largest petroleum product retailer in Poland and Central Europe. It finalized the transaction to buy a 30.66- percent stake in the Mazeikiu refinery from the Lithuanian government last week, thus making PKN Orlen's stake in Mazeikiu to 84.36 percent.

Mazeikiu is the biggest refinery in the Baltic states with a maximum processing capacity of 10 million tons annually.

Source: english.people.com.cn

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Opposition dissapointed at the extension of Poland's presence in Iraq

Polish opposition parties expressed their disappointment at the decision of President Lech Kaczynski to extend Poland’s military presence in Iraq till the end of 2007.

Speaking on Polish Radio, Bronislaw Komorowski of liberal Civic Platform said that it shows officiousness on Poland’s side. He also said that such a stand weakens this country’s position in contacts with the United States.

Meanwhile Ryszard Kalisz of ex-ruling social democratic party SLD called the extension “inadvisable”.

President Kaczynski approved the government motion to extend the presence of Polish troops in Iraq yesterday.

The Polish contingent is to number 1200 troops and auxiliary personnel. According to politicians from the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party it is a consequence of Poland’s earlier international obligations.
Source: polskieradio.pl

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland


Club for journalists from Poland and Belarus formed

A new club for journalists from Poland and Belarus has been formed in Belastok, Poland.

The club was setup by the Center of Civil Education, Poland-Belarus and its main aim is to facilitate discussion between Polish and Belarusian journalists.

Journalists from Belastok and the cities of Hrodna and Minsk in Belarus attended the first meeting. Various topics were discussed including the coverage of Belarusian events in Polish newspapers.

For more information, visit http://www.baj.ru/en/news/?id=394&page=1.

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Poland is biggest producer of black currants, but in crisis

Poland is the largest producer of black currants in EU, but the current situation in the sector is pretty bad because of overproduction. The worlds production of black currants is estimated on 320-360 thousand MT and acreage – on 70-82 thousand hectares (the largest producer is Russia with yearly crop of 100-120K MT, but there are almost no commercial plantations in this country). The majority of black currants used in the EU come from Poland, while the rest comes from Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom and France. Fresh and processed fruits are important in the European trade. They are used for juice and nectar production and as a component of dairy products. Fresh black currant fruits are important on the Swedish and German market only.

In the past years black currant production in Poland was profitable, so many growers started new plantations, sometimes as big as a few hundred hectares (the largest one was almost 500 hectares). As a result the 2006 crop exceeded 140 thousand MT and the grower prices were as low as 0,10 €/kg in 2004 and 0,18-0,26 €/kg in 2005 (the profitable price for growers in EU-15 is estimated at 0,5-0,6 €/kg), which didn’t even cover the cost of production. According to experts the production of black currants in Poland can be profitable only when the European crop does not exceed 200K MT (including up to 130K MT in Poland) and with the large scale promotion of black currants health properties in EU.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Russia opposes US missile base plans in Poland

Moscow objects to US plans to install its third missile defense shield in Poland, Russian Deputy PM and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said at the launch of a new radar system in the Leningrad region today.

In the minister's opinion, there is no political or military sense in the establishment of yet another missile defense center by the US. Commenting on statements that the system was being designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles from countries like Iran and North Korea, Ivanov assured that neither of these states had similar missiles.

Speaking on Russia's security, the deputy PM asserted that the new Topol-M ground-based mobile missile system could break through any ballistic missile defense systems, so these plans were of no concern to Russia.


Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland