Polish official: Referendum needed on US anti-missile plan

Kiev - A senior Polish official on Thursday cast additional doubt on US hopes to base anti-missile defences in the country, saying Warsaw had not given its final approval of the plan, and suggesting a national referendum on the proposal.

Andrzej Lepper, Polish deputy prime minister, made the remarks during a live interview with the Ukrainian Channel 5 television. He was in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on a private visit, the news channel reported.

The US last month announced a plan to base anti-missile defences in East European countries, among them Poland.

'There is the general opinion that Poland has given its approval (to US anti-missile installations in Poland),' Lepper said. 'But Poland has not officially agreed.'

'It (the US plan) should be decided on in a national referendum,' he said.

A recent nationwide poll showed close to 60 per cent of Poles oppose the US idea, called 'Son of Star Wars' by its critics.

Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga on Tuesday confirmed Polish experts were currently analysing a US proposal to install US National Missile Defence (NMD) bases in Poland, but insisted 'we are not ready to make any decision.'

The US has suggested building ten so-called missile shield bases in EU and NATO member Poland, and an unspecified number of radar stations in the Czech Republic.


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Poland: changes in structure of apple production

Poland is the largest apple producing country in Europe. In 2005, the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) published results of the latest survey conducted in 2004 (last one was published in 1998 ). The results clearly show changes in varietal structure of polish orchard between years 2004 and 1998. ‘Cortland’, ‘Lobo’ and ‘Jonathan’ varieties became less important and was replaced by newer ones: ‘Jonagold’, ‘Sampion’, ‘Ligol’ and ‘Gala’.

The old variety ‘Idared’ is still has the largest acreage (19%), with ‘Jonagold’ in the second (12%), ‘Sampion’ – in the third (9%). ‘Lobo’ – in the fourth (5,5%) and ‘Cortland’ – in the fifth place. Despite the large total acreage of ‘Idared’ production, the share in young orchards decreases (see tabel). Most of the apple crop in Poland - 36,9% - comes from the orchards which are 5-9 years old (10-14 years old - 31,7%, up to 4 years old - 8,8% and over 25 years old - 7,1%).

In case of the most important varieties – ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Sampion’ – 80% of the trees is younger than 10 years. In 2004, 56,4% of apple trees were grown on semidwarf rootstock (in case of 5-9 year old trees – almost 70%). Dwarf rootstocks accounted for 17,4% of plantations and were the most popular in the youngest orchards (41% of trees up to 4 years old).

Structure of Polish apple orchards according to varieties and age of the trees in 2004

Apple variety
Share (%)
Share according to age of the trees (%)

0-4 y 5- 9 y 10-14 y 15-24 y >25 y
Total 100,019,227,824,915,512,6
Golden Delicious1,837,235,214,17,26,3
McIntosh 1,42,88,520,431,037,3
Red Delicious 0,620,341,119,315,73,5
James Grieve0,48,518,736,919,616,4

source - Central Statistical Office of Poland


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NBP: Poland's Economic Future In The Pink - 5.7 Growth This Year

European Union member Poland can expect a rosy economy in the coming years, according to a Polish central bank (NBP) report issued Thursday.

Poland's GDP will grow by 5.7 per cent this year and around a 5 per cent in 2008-9. This compared to the 5.8 per cent GDP growth recorded in 2006 by Poland's Central Statistical Office (GUS).

Unemployment, currently hovering near 15 per cent and among the highest in the 27-member EU, is expected to drop to 10 per cent by 2009, according to the NBP report.

It also predicts strong investment in 2007-8 as well as growth in exports tallying at an average 8 per cent year-on-year in 2007-9. Imports are also expected to grow by 11 per cent annually.

Stable economic growth creates ample opportunity for a long promised reform of Poland's public finances, the NBP report notes.

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Poland: growing production of sweet pepper

Warsaw - Sweet pepper is a relatively new vegetable crop for Polish growers, because first plantations appeared about 25 years ago, when one of the farmers brought pepper seeds from the Netherlands and tried to grow it. Since than, sweet pepper became important in vegetable production, specially in one region of Poland, around the city of Radom. Most of the plants are grown in unheated plastic tunnels (with a wooden construction), and some – even in the open field.

Nowadays, almost half of the peppers sold in Poland comes from the mentioned region, where the total acreage of pepper production is estimated at 1000 hectares (more than 23 thousand individual tunnels) and a total annual crop of 70 thousand MT. These numbers make Radom region not only the largest „pepper region” in Poland but probably amongst the largest in all of Europe. Almost all of sweet pepper plantations are drip irrigated. Initial investments are estimated at about 4 thousand €, but returns during last years are lower than before, because of growing import.

Most of Polish peppers labeled as Extra Class are sold to export companies (Polish sweet pepper is exported to Germany, United Kingdom, Finland and East European countries). The rest is destined for the domestic market and processing plants (for freezing or marinating). According to growers, the costs of pepper production account to 0,60-0,70 €/kg.


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Thomson lays out plans for Wal-Mart, China, Poland

At the second-annual Screen Expo Europe in London, Julien Marcel, Thomson Out-of-Home Media Services vice president, discussed his company's holistic view of digital signage, before delving into a few specific plans for 2007.
Thomson, which operates in 30 countries and holds more than 50,000 patents, is a world leader in broadcast technology and out-of-home media. Its clients include Disney, Universal, DreamWorks, ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, Sky and Microsoft.
While he stopped short of giving specific figures, Marcel said out-of-home ad sales represent "hundreds of millions of dollars" for his company.
He then went into specifics on the revamped, next-generation Wal-Mart TV network. He noted that the current iteration of the network is fifth-ranked in the U.S. in terms of reach — the largest television network after ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
The next generation will be entirely IP-based, he said, allowing for a much greater level of planning at the ad buying and scheduling level. He said it will roll out on 100,000 screens in the next few months, built around "multiple highly targeted channels."
Thomson made news earlier this month with the announcement of a partnership with CGEN, a leading out-of-home network in China. Marcel said OOH ad spending in China has zoomed from $5 million in 2003 to $360 million in 2006, now representing 3 percent of overall ad spend.
The company's first efforts in China revolve around the Big Cafe chain of premium Internet cafes, whose screens serve ads to more than 1 million visitors per day — primarily, he said, in the coveted 15-to-34 demographic.
Marcel also said the coming year would see a push by Thomson into the OOH market in Poland, which he dubbed one of the 10 fastest-growing ad markets in the world.
"In Poland, we find two critical success factors," he said. "Number one, there is a very strong presence of leading international retailers. Number two, it is a very strong ad market."
James Bickers,kioskmarketplace.com

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FIFA threaten to get tough with Poland

World governing body FIFA on Wednesday threatened “dire consequences” in their continuing standoff with the Polish government.

“Polish football could face dire consequences should Polish Minister of Sport Tomasz Lipiec not reverse his decision to appoint a commissioner to head the Polish Football Association,” read a statement after a FIFA Associations Committee meeting in Zurich.

“Such non-compliance with FIFA principles would prevent the Polish FA from establishing an executive board in line with the new statutes ratified by its general assembly on Jan 7, thus risking a suspension of the federation and all of its members from all international contact.”

Lipiec suspended the Polish Football Association board on Jan 19 and appointed a temporary commissioner, saying the board could not continue in place in the midst of a corruption scandal.

As many as 70 referees, club bosses and FA officials have been detained by prosecutors after a two-year investigation into allegations of bribery and match-fixing in the Polish game.

FIFA consistently reject any interference by politicians in national associations’ affairs.

In a separate issue, Wednesday’s FIFA meeting also decided that the ban on Kenya, suspended from international competition last October, would stand for the foreseeable future if the Ministry of Sport did not clearly commit to fully respect FIFA rules by Feb 28.

The meeting also decided to recommend to the Executive Committee that the Montenegro FA be put forward as FIFA’s potential 208th member at the FIFA Congress in May 2007.


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Ford Ka to be produced in Poland

At least 120,000 Ford Ka cars will be produced in 2008 by the Fiat Auto Poland car factory in Tychy, a city in southern Poland, the Polish Dziennik daily reported on Thursday.

The Polish government and the American concern are just about to sign an agreement.

In the fight for the investment worth 800 million U.S. dollars, Poland has beaten Spain, the to date producer of former Ford Ka models, and Slovakia. And production of Fiat 500 will start in Tychy in 2007.


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EU partners Poland, German ministers tackle WWII-era claims

Warsaw - Poland and Germany have agreed to prepare a joint policy stance on compensation claims against Poland by a group representing Germans forced to leave Polish territory after the Second World War, according to the Polish and German foreign ministers who met Wednesday in Warsaw.

'It is likely we'll be ready to prepare a joint bilateral political declaration, which is a significant step forward in our positions,' Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga said following talks with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The Prussian Trust, an organization representing Germans forced to flee lands in Germany's eastern wartime empire, now belonging to Poland, launched a compensation claim in the European Court of Human Rights against Poland in December.

Poland rejects any compensation claims from German expellees, arguing it had no part in the post-WWII decision to re-draw Europe's borders, a move which caused a mass exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe.

'The German Federal Government rejects the claim,' German Minister Steinmeier told reporters of the Prussian Trusts lawsuit, adding that 'honest dialogue' on the sensitive issue with Poland was appreciated.

With Germany currently holding the EU's rotating presidency, Steinmeier and Fotyga also addressed EU issues including the revival of work on the proposed European Constitution and new EU agreements with Russia and Ukraine.

Late last year Poland torpedoed the opening of talks on a new EU-Russia agreement, demanding that Russia first remove an import ban on Polish meat and plant product exports.

The minister also discussed the issue of EU energy security.


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Poland to participate in construction of new nuclear power plant in Lithuania - Polish Foreign Min

Poland will take part in the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga said in Vilnius.
"Poland expects that a decision on signing an agreement on this issue at government level will be made in the near future," Fotyga said at a Tuesday press conference summing up the results of her meetings with Lithuanian government officials.

Last spring, the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian prime ministers signed an agreement formalizing their intention to jointly build a new nuclear power plant on the site of the current Ignalina plant, which is subject to closure under Lithuania's EU accession agreement. Warsaw later expressed its desire to join the project.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's press service reported that Fotyga and her Lithuanian counterpart, Petras Vaitekunas, agreed that "the four countries involved in the construction of a new nuclear power plant should make a final political decision [on Poland's accession to this project] at the governmental level and instruct energy companies to immediately start implementing the project."

Lithuania's Vaitekunas admitted the importance of Poland's involvement in the construction of the nuclear power plant, saying that "this four-party energy project is significant not only in commercial, but above all in geopolitical terms and in terms of national security."

The heads of the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, and Polish energy systems agreed at a meeting in Warsaw in early January to take specific steps to integrate Poland into the project. They signed a joint protocol on forming a four-party working expert group to clear the way to the inclusion of the Polish energy company Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE) into the project. However, no political decision has yet been made on this issue.

Lithuania stopped one of the two power units at the Ignalina nuclear power plant at the end of 2004 and pledged to completely shut the plant down by 2009. The Lithuanian leadership made the decision to build one or two new Western-made reactors on the basis of the Ignalina plant by 2015.

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USAK(ISRO) Paid Visit to Embassy of the Republic of Poland

Today (on 31 January 2007), the researchers of ISRO Fatma Yılmaz and Hasan Selim Özertem paid a courtesy visit to Mr. Grzegorz Michalski; Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Ankara. Mr. Michalski expressed his opinions about the EU-Turkey and Poland-Turkey relations. He once again stated that Poland supports Turkey's membership to the European Union and in this regard they are ready for cooperation with Turkey.

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Poland: growing interest in vineyards

Warsaw - Due to its unfavourable climate, Poland isn’t the best place in Europe to grow grapes. But since wine is produced even in Canada, more and more Polish growers are interested in grape production, mostly for wine. According to the Polish Ministry of Agriculture, the total acreage of vineyards in Poland doesn’t exceed 150 ha, but is continuously growing.

Until 2004 grape production wasn’t taken seriously. However, in 2005 the EU decided to include Poland in the list of European wine countries, which actually opens the door for domestic wine production. Since then Polish growers started to think about growing grapes. Some of the new vineyards have already a dozen or so hectares, but most are much smaller.

Most of the plantations are located in the western and southern part of the country. According to EU law, Poland has the right to grow 39 varieties of grapes used for white wine production, 32 – for red wine and 5 for rose. The maximum limit of production amounts to 3 million bottles per year until 2010. Poland has no chance to become an important wine producer, but vineyards can be a good alternative for some farmers.

About 10 thousand bottles of wine can be produced from one hectare of vineyard. If somebody sells it for 4-5 € per bottle only, it is still 30 time more profitable than potato production. But initial costs are also higher – 12-25 thousand €/ha on average and the first profits can be expected in 4-6 years. Polish wine probably won’t be attractive abroad but can be appreciated as domestic speciality in Polish restaurants, hotels and agrotouristic farms. In case of table grapes, domestic production isn’t profitable in Poland, since fruits have to be grown under covers and will always be more expensive than grapes imported from southern countries. But some producers still try to grow table grapes in Poland, there is even the first Polish variety registered in 2004 and called ‘Danmarpa Polonia’.


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FIFA renews threats to Poland, Kenya over political interference

FIFA warned Poland and Kenya that they faced serious sanctions unless their governments stop interfering with the running of the national soccer federation.

After a meeting of its associations committee Wednesday, FIFA said Poland could be suspended from international events unless league president Andrzej Rusko is removed as temporary head of the Polish soccer federation.

Rusko was appointed by sports minister Tomasz Lipiec on Jan. 19 as part of an anti-corruption drive, a move which FIFA described as being in contravention of its rules.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said last week that "even if we pay a price — I hope we will not — the price is worth paying."

The appointment of Rusko followed the suspension of all of the Polish federation's board members, including president Michal Listkiewicz, on corruption allegations in recent months.

On Kenya, which is currently suspended from international soccer because of what FIFA describes as government interference, the committee accused the country of systematically obstructing attempts to resolve outstanding issues.

FIFA said that meant the country would continue to be banned "for the foreseeable future," unless the Kenyan government committed itself to complying with the federation's statutes, and agreements signed in Cairo, Egypt, last January.

The committee said it reviewed similar cases concerning Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Macedonia, Peru, Senegal, Togo, Turkey and Tunisia, and was satisfied with their progress.

Meanwhile, an application by the federation of Montenegro to join FIFA was passed on to its executive committee for consideration in May.

Montenegro would become the 208th member of FIFA if approved.

Source:Herald Tribune, iht.com

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Poland leader signs 2007 budget into law

Poland's president on Tuesday signed into law the 2007 government budget, which foresees a slight reduction in the country's deficit.

This year's budget deficit is projected to be 30 billion zlotys (US$10 billion; euro8 billion), or 2.7 percent of gross domestic product.

That is a slight reduction from last year's 2.8 percent as Poland moves to meet European Union requirements to adopt the euro, which it is not expected to do until some time in the next decade.

The budget foresees spending of 257.8 billion zlotys (US$88.8 billion; euro67.8 billion).

The bill already had been passed by parliament. The office of President Lech Kaczynski -- the twin brother of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski -- said the head of state has now given his final approval.


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Poland tipped for stag party boom

Based on the number of orders taken so far, Stag Republic the leading stag party organiser in Eastern Europe, expects more stag groups than ever to arrive in Budapest in 2007. The company also launched tours to Warsaw and Krakow in 2006 and sees Poland as the next boom area for stag tourism.

"The market is growing rapidly throughout Central Europe," says Josey Walker, Stag Republic managing director. "Where ten years ago, it was just Prague, people can now choose from dozens of destinations, many of them attracting over 1,000 groups a year." He expects up-and-coming cities like Budapest and Bratislava to attract more weekenders than ever in 2007.

"Bookings for Budapest stag weekends this year are already 50 per cent up on the same period last year, and this reflects a general trend in the market," he says. Stag Republic organised tours to Budapest for over 400 groups in 2006 and, based on the level of interest so far, is looking to break 600 this year. Walker also expects more of the same in the Slovak capital. "Although Bratislava is only a quarter of the size of Budapest, it looks set to keep pace, with the number of groups exceeding 1000," he adds.

The rise of the Eastern European stag weekend has been well publicised in cities like Budapest, Bratislava and, more recently the Baltic States. Strangely, Poland has yet to be discovered. "Poland has certainly been left behind and is only just starting to catch the wave," says Walker. He blames this partly on a public perception of Poland that has failed to keep pace with the realities of a fast-growing, vibrant economy. "It's very difficult to explain, Poland offers everything a stag group could ever want," he says.

Stag Republic started offering tours to Warsaw and Krakow last year and is hoping to add Lodz this spring. "Poland is not really on the map at the moment, so it definitely has huge growth potential. People will be really surprised at how modern, stylish and cosmopolitan these cities are - and they will be blown away by the nightlife," says the stag organizer with a twinkle in his eye.

He believes that groups adventurous enough to steer clear of overcrowded stag destinations like Prague and Vilnius will be richly rewarded by choosing Warsaw or Krakow. "Budapest will continue to grow in popularity, but you will be hearing much, much more from Poland in 2007," predicts Walker.
Source: easier.com

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Poland: fruit and vegetable reform disadvantageous for growers

Miroslaw Maliszewski, the President of the Association of Polish Fruit-Growers and member of Polish parliament, stated that European Commission proposals concerning fruit and vegetable reform are unfavourable for Poland, since they assume withdrawing of some of the EU help used by Polish farmers so far. This is statement concerning abolishing of export refunds and refunds for growers of processing tomatoes. According to Maliszewski, these are major sources of financing the fruit and vegetable sector in Poland. He also noticed that Polish proposition of refunds for soft fruits assigned to processing, not only didn't gain approval but it isn’t considered at all.

The main idea of fruit and vegetables reform - presented during press conference on fruit and vegetables reform in Brussels on 24 January 2007 – is decoupling of current European Union support for processed fruit and vegetables (and therefore transferring it to the Single Payment Scheme) and strengthening Producer Organizations. But, according to Maliszewski, the European Commission didn’t consider Polish proposition of double increase of support for Producer Organizations. In his opinion, Poland will not benefit from EC’s proposition concerning greater co-financing of the PO's operational programmes, since Poland has a relatively small number of them. Such a solution will only increase disproportion in EU fruit and vegetable market, since countries which used the most of the support so far (Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and France) will receive in future even more help than before. “Countries with the highest number of POs will be beneficiares of the reform, and Poland has one of the smallest number of POs within the EU”. Only 2% of total production is marketed via POs in Poland, in contrast to about 80% in Denmark.


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Foreign minister confirms Poland's participation in nuclear project

Poland will sign a deal with the three Baltic states on building a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, Poland's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"We are very interested in this project. Poland hopes that, in cooperation with the Lithuanian government, this deal will be finalized and signed as soon as possible," Anna Fotyga said after meeting Lithuanian counterpart Petras Vaitiekunas.

Fotyga stressed that special agreements must be signed among private companies that plan to participate in the project, which could cost up to $5.3billion. The new plant is expected to be completed in 2015.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a memorandum last year to build a new nuclear power plant to replace the aging Ignalina plant, which Lithuania is phasing out under orders from the European Union. Poland expressed its interest in joining the project in December.

Fear of reliance on Russian energy after the planned closure of the Ignalina plant in 2009 has sparked a flurry of activity in the regional energy industry, with Baltic leaders rushing to integrate their energy systems with those of other EU countries.

Also in December, Poland and Lithuania signed an agreement to connect their power grids.

The Ignalina plant, which provides some 80 percent of Lithuania's electricity, is similar in design to he Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine that became the site of he world's worst civilian nuclear accident in 1986.

Etykiety: , , , , , , ,

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Poland's economy grew 5.8 percent in '06

Poland's gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 5.8 percent in 2006, up from 3.5 percent in 2005, according to estimated preliminary figures issued Monday by the government.

The figure released by the Central Statistical Office, or GUS, met with economists' expectations, Dow Jones Newswires said.

The strong economic growth resulted from increased consumer spending and rising exports.

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Ukraine says Poland undermining Euro 2012 bid

Ukraine football federation (UFF) president Hrihory Surkis has accused Polish Sports Minister Tomasz Lipiec of undermining the two countries' chances of staging the Euro 2012 finals.

Last week Lipiec suspended the Polish Football Association after a match-fixing investigation, angering the world and European governing bodies.

"Mr Lipiec, with his actions, simply stabbed us in the back," Surkis told Reuters while attending a six-team invitational tournament in Israel.

The $8 million (4 million-pound) tournament, involving top teams from Russia, Ukraine and Israel, is sponsored by Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

"You would believe that in his high government position, being his country's sports minister, he should refrain from doing something that would severely damage not only his own country's bid but also ours."

Both FIFA and UEFA, who resent government involvement in football matters, have condemned Lipiec for his actions. FIFA also warned Poland they would be banned from international competition unless the government reversed its decision.

The joint Ukraine-Poland bid is one of three being considered by UEFA along with a solo bid from Italy and a joint bid from Croatia and Hungary.


"We had a very strong bid going, maybe the best of all three," said Surkis, who was elected as a member of the executive board at last week's UEFA Congress in Duesseldorf, Germany.

"I strongly believed that we were the front runners for Euro 2012 because UEFA's visiting commission was very impressed with what we have done," he added.

Surkis's views were echoed by Poland's Euro bid committee, which urged the government to reach a deal with Poland's suspended football association, saying "guests don't want to come to a house where the cleaning has not been done."

"This is the third biggest sporting event in the world," bid committee head Adam Olkiewicz told reporters at a news conference. "We would be idiots if we did not to use (this chance)."


Surkis said that a proposal at the congress to increase the number of teams competing at Euro finals from 16 to 24 starting from 2012, could cause problems for Poland and Ukraine.

"Obviously it would add extra work, maybe cause some problems, but on the other hand, nothing is impossible," he said.

"As it is right now, Poland and Ukraine would host two first-round groups each, but if they decide to go with 24 teams, each of our countries would only have to host three groups. That's not such a huge burden."

Despite the setbacks, Surkis remained optimistic.

"I really hope that Mr Lipiec and his government would soon find a consensus with UEFA and solve the problem," he said.

"Besides some of our rivals, Hungary and Croatia, also have problems.

"In any case, I still believe in our bid and still have hope. In the next few months we must convince everyone that not only we want Euro 2012 but, more importantly, that we are very capable of staging the competition."

UEFA will announce the winning bid in April.

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Ukraine says it can move quickly on pipeline linking Poland to Black Sea

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Ukraine is ready to move quickly on extending an oil pipeline from the Black Sea into the European Union if Poland and other countries sign up to the project, which could help ease the EU's dependence on Russian imports, officials said Monday.

Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev said during a visit to Brussels that "whatever is necessary on our side can be done in three months."

"But we have to receive precise signals from our partners that they are ready to proceed with us," he told reporters in Brussels, where he was holding talks with EU officials.

The prime ministers of Ukraine and Poland agreed in November that the pipeline running through Ukraine from the Black Sea port of Odessa to the northwestern city of Brody should be extended some 500 kilometers (300 miles) to the Polish city of Plock.

With such an extension, oil from Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan could be shipped across the Black Sea to Odessa, and then carried by pipeline through Poland to Western Europe, bypassing Russia. From Plock, the pipeline could be connected to an existing network, carrying oil to the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk.
But plans have been bogged down in details. Klyuyev complained of delays in forming an international consortium to build the pipeline, and said the Poles had yet to move forward on allocating land for the extension.

The pipeline, built in 2001, has long been the subject of geopolitical jostling in the former Soviet Union. It remained largely idle amid political bickering over its use until 2004, when the pro-Russian president of Ukraine at the time, Leonid Kuchma, opened it for oil flows in the opposite direction from what originally was planned — taking Russian oil southward to the Black Sea for export.

The following year, Ukraine's current, pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko decided to revert to the original plan for moving shipments from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan north and west from the Black Sea port.

Klyuyev, in Brussels, held talks with EU officials on financing for developing energy and transport networks in Ukraine. He also stressed his country's potential as a producer of environment-friendly fuels made from plant crops.

Klyuyev said Ukraine had launched two projects that could produce 260,000 tons of ethanol a year, and added that the government was considering tax advantages to help boost the development of the alternative fuel.

"Ukraine has enormous agricultural potential, we have very fertile soil, thick soil in abundance," he said. However, "we will need at least two or two-and-a-half years to obtain practical results."

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Poland: future of fruit production

Warsaw - Polish fruit growers, researchers and scientists met in December last year in Lublin at the international conference called „Future of fruit growing in Poland”. According to professor Eberhard Makosz, a well known Polish fruit expert, scientist and President of “The Association for the Development of Stunted Orchards”, sweet cherries, plums, pears and strawberries will be one of the most profitable fruit crops in Poland during next few years.

Why not apples? Because Poland produces about 2 million MT of them already, but only 15-20% of fruits (300-400 thousands MT) can be considered as table apples according to EU standards. Many farmers start to grow apples, because of the low profitability of agricultural production. There is a chance that because of those “newcomers” apple crop in Poland can exceed 4 million MT in future. So many apples will cause significant troubles with marketing, especially when we consider that fruit export from Poland is not well organized yet, Russian embargo on fresh produce from Poland (implemented more than a year ago) is still in force and finally apple consumption in Poland (as well as in other EU countries) stagnates.

As mentioned above, the most profitable crops will be sweet cherries, strawberries, plums and pears, but not all varieties. Demand for sweet cherries grows and this trend will continue, but only for varieties with large fruits, which are more then two times expensive in Poland than small ones. In case of strawberries it is worth to develop production of table fruits only, specially strawberries for export (same with sweet cherries), since actual situation in processing market is difficult.

Pear production can also be profitable because acreage of pear orchards in Poland is still low and buyers from Eastern Europe are interested in fruit.

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Eco-tourism comes to Poland

Poland, with over one thousand years of history, is today a country at the crossroads. EU membership and the forces of globalisation promise a new era of modernisation, including a booming tourist industry. But the eco-tourism movement is also stirring, promising a gentler, more sustainable, way to experience the country's natural riches, as Agnieszka Gorczynska reports.

One of these eco-tourism pioneers is the Civil Affairs Institute, an independent foundation with its headquarters in Lodz, in central Poland. This non-profit outfit sees tourism not just as a product, but as a way of perceiving the way human activities and local communities relate to, and have shaped, the natural world.

To promote this idea the Institute has created a number of active holidays which help to protect the land and its natural resources as well as the local culture, history, tradition and customs. All its income derived from organised expeditions is assigned to campaigns aimed at protecting Polish nature.

For centuries many nationalities, cultures, religions have met in what today is modern Poland. The traces of this can be found everywhere. Folk art is still alive and Poles continue to foster their traditions. And, despite the ravages of war and past exploitation of resources, there remains an extraordinary natural heritage.

Bison and beavers

Sea and mountains, hills and lowlands, cities of art and natural parks, unique landscapes and craggy peaks, untamed and wild rivers, wetland terrain, swamps, and gorgeous natural forests are still largely unspoilt, and very beautiful.

It�s a place where you can find European bison, elk, and beavers. Poland is also a haven for hundreds of thousands of birds, many of which fly across on migration routes from north to south. It�s also a homeland of storks, a Polish national symbol that brings good luck.

A culture of local and personal hospitality is perhaps the best asset of the Polish tourism, in a world tending to level all differences, peculiarities and identities.

Ecotourism tours provided by the Institute include long back-packing trips on foot in the mountains, or canoeing all day long, making campfires, preparing food and cooking outdoors. The trips are organised in small groups of four to six persons, with experienced and qualified guides. The organisers make sure that local communities are involved. Accommodation is arranged by small local companies in family-owned guesthouses, using local seasonal food.

Two hiking tours take place in the Beskidy mountains and one canoeing trip with hiking in northeastern Poland (the so-called "Green Lungs" of Poland). This part of the country is a crossroads of cultures, distinguished by a harmonious landscape and unpolluted and well-preserved nature.

Beskid Zywiecki is the highest part of the Beskidy mountains, second after the Tatra mountains. The area offers vivid elements of mountain culture and the mountaineering way of life. Beskid S�decki is a picturesque mountain range covered with Carpathian forests and has traces of two cultures: Polish mountain dwellers and the Lemko's ethnic group.

To find out more visit www.ecotourism.org.pl
Source:By Agnieszka Gorczynska, peopleandplanet.net

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EFL teacher

OPELAC Location Gliwice, Poland
Deadline Saturday 29. September 2007
Experience No experience required
Positions 2
OPELAC is a fast growing and well established language school in the South of Poland. We offer training to less experienced teachers. Details:OPELAC is ideal for teachers looking for the opportunity to embark on professional development. The school is situated in the South of Poland. Teachers are offered unlimited professional guidance on a daily basis. We are looking for 2 teachers ( native English speakers EU citizens preferred) to start in March or October 2007. This is what one of our teachers has to say: " The small class sizes, great students and friendly atmosphere make OPELAC an excellent school to work in. I would recommend this job to anyone interested in pursuing an ESL teaching career" Sean Drake - Australia . There is at least a 10-day induction period before the teacher starts work. Main terms and conditions: The school arranges for accommodation. Health care is the school's responsibility.Although accommodation and travel are included in the monthly salary, the school car is made available to teachers, therefore, a valid driving licence is required.

Much as no previous teaching experience is required, degree holders + CELTA , TEFL , TESOL cert. or equivalent are very much welcome

EU national preferred EU national preferred

3000 to 4000 Polish Zlotys a month depending on experience
Address ul.Kosciuszki 1c/402b
Gliwice, 44-100 - Poland
Click here to visit the OPELAC website
Telephone +48 508225 661
Fax +48 32 2388359
Contact person Jolanta Korfanty, Director


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Poland To Overturn Election Results And Oust 700 Democratically Elected Officials

Warsaw, Poland 27 January, 2007 Poland's Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski is planning to overturn election victories for over 700 Polish local government officials in order to get control of Warsaw, Poland. After threatening to use force to remove Warsaw's President, Hanna Gronkiewicz Walcz, he is now moving forward administratively to force Warsaw, and the country, into new elections. See Polish Prime Minister Threatens Force To Remove Warsaw President

After the first face to face meeting in a year with opposition party Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk, he announced that he would not agree to amending retroactively an election law, considered by many as probably constitutionally flawed, and would seek the removal and replacement of Warsaw's newly elected President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Walcz. He said that if the matter went to the courts they would continue planning the elections.

According to political commentators, Kaczynski does not want to force the replacement of 700 locally elected officials by temporary administrators who would serve only until the new elections. So he is delaying replacement until new elections.

Kaczynski acknowledged that the elections would be very expensive.

When confronted with the fact that when his brother and now President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, left his position of President of Warsaw after winning the presidential election, Jaroslaw Kaczynski ruled against new elections in Warsaw because they would be too expensive, he said that there were costs to democracy.

Commentators point out that when he had the advantage, elections in Warsaw alone were too expensive. Now when he is at a disadvantage, elections for 700 officials all over Poland, which will be much more expensive, are not.

Hanna Gronkiewicz-Walcz, at a somewhat raucous Warsaw City Board meeting held in Warsaw's Government Offices in the Palace of Culture, apologized to the voters for having filed her husbands financial statement 10 hours late. She said that she thought she was filing a week early. It is this late filing that, under the new election law, she has supposedly lost her mandate to govern.

Gronkiewicz-Walcz intends to take the matter to the courts. She claims, among other things, that she did not even have to file her husbands financial statement.

Kaczynski does not yet have a candidate to run in the new Warsaw elections.

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Immigration from Poland sets new record

Norway has been a popular destination for workers from Poland for years, and now their families are arriving as well. Children from Poland now make up the biggest immigrant group in local schools and day care centers.
"When the world changes, we see it here in the classroom," teacher Vigdis Glømmen at Bekkestua School in the Oslo suburb of Bærum told newspaper Aftenposten.

Pakistani and Somalian children were most prevalent at the school 30 years ago. Now Mikolaj Leksander, age 8, symbolizes the immigrant demographics of today.

Liberalization of European border restrictions and Poland's membership in the EU have made it much easier for Polish citizens to get work in Norway. A booming economy in Norway means Norway needs the Polish labour, and the Polish workers enjoy much higher pay in Norway than they do back home.

Many families stay behind in Poland when the father, most typically, travels to Norway for months at a time. Now, however, more Polish families are coming along.

Mikolaj has only been in Norway for four months, but already is gaining a grip on the language and enjoys going to school in Bekkestua. "And I like to go skating, along with drawing and mathematics," Mikolaj said.

The children attend a so-called "transitional" class until their Norwegian proficiency is good enough that they can join a regular class. The number of Polish children in such classes in Oslo was up 40 percent last year, over 2005.

Nearly 2,000 Polish workers applied to bring their families to Norway last year, double the number of applications the year before.

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Belarus, Poland: 1 $ for carrying a plastic bag of apples across the border

Apples are relatively expensive for Belarussian people, since the county doesn’t have almost any traditions in fruit growing. Since apples in neighbouring Poland are much cheaper in retail, small scale contraband can be seen lately across border region of two countries. But this kind of „trade” is not considered illegal according to Polish customs officers, and their colleagues from Belarus don’t see any problem either. People from Belarus buy apples at Polish markets and carry products in plastic bags across the border, sometimes several times a day.

On the other side of the border, middlemen from Belarus are waiting. For carrying one plastic bag (same as used in supermarkets) filled with apples they pay 1 $ plus a price paid for apples in Poland. Smugglers come back to Poland with bags filled with 1 liter of alcohol and 1 carton of cigarettes (these products are much cheaper in Belarus than in Poland), which equals to legal duty free quantity. Most of the “smugglers” are older, retired people from Belarus, whose pensions are very low. Though one person can carry only several kilograms of apples at one time, significant amounts of Polish apples enter Belarus in this way. Same practice can be seen with Polish meat products, and the only difference is the price middlemen pay for carrying products across the border – 2 $ per bag.

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Poland: frozen products from Hortino conquer East

Warsaw - Hortino ZPOW Lezajsk Ltd. is one of the biggest fruit and vegetable processing companies in Poland, operating on the market since 1972 (from 2000 under the Hortino name). The company employs over 500 people and during the last season it purchased and processed about 91.000 MT of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is an all-time record in its history.

20% of the company’s production is exported to the east, with Russia being the largest importer – about 80%. In 2004, the leading company in the Russian market for frozen fruits and vegetables was Polish Hortex Holding S.A., with Hortino as the second-largest player (local Russian brands were in third place).

In December 2005, the company launched a new brand named POLTINO, replacing the old HORTINO brand existing since 2000. During last years Hortino has conquered the other eastern countries as well. During the last 6 years, the sales to Ukraine have risen almost 8 times, and now Ukraine is the second largest buyer of their products. Their frozen vegetables and fruits are already available in almost all Ukrainians supermarkets, being the most popular in the eastern part of the country.

Now Hortino prepares to enter the market of Belarus, waiting only for the official permission to start sales. Controllers from Belarus have already visited company’s plant in Poland and have confirmed fulfilling all Belarusian food standards.

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Report: Pentagon to build intercept missile systems in Poland, Czech Republic

The Pentagon is moving rapidly to build new missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic to counter the threat posed by Iranian long-range missiles, the head of the Missile Defense Agency told The Washington Times on Thursday.

“The immediate threat in terms of emerging threats that we see is obviously the Iranians, and they’re putting a lot of energy into that [long-range missile] program,” the paper quotes Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry “Trey” Obering, the agency’s director, as saying.

Obering told the Times that plans call for deploying 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland along with a tracking radar in the nearby Czech Republic.

“We want to have this in place by the 2011, 2012 time frame because we think the Iranians, for example, shortly thereafter will be able to have a long-range capability,” he told the paper.

The sites will cost about $3.5 billion and are part of a global integrated missile defense designed to counter “rogue” nations’ missiles, including those from Iran and North Korea, he told the Times.

Iran has no long-range missiles, but is working on Shahab-4, Shahab-5 and Shahab-6 missiles that have ranges from 1,240 miles to 4,154 miles, which also could be used as nonmilitary space launchers, the Times reported.

Obering sought to calm Russian fears that the European-based interceptors will be capable of shooting down Russian long-range missiles, the paper reported. He said the interceptors pose no threat to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles because they cannot intercept either the large numbers of Russian ICBMs, nor will they be capable of chasing them successfully from the Polish location.

But Russia on Friday harshly criticized U.S. plans to build the sites, shrugging off U.S. assurances.

A statement from Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin provided a detailed account of Russia’s opposition to U.S. proposals for Poland and the Czech Republic — former Soviet satellites that are now NATO members.

“We believe that plans for the creation of a U.S. missile defense in Europe are a mistaken step with negative consequences for international security,” Kamynin said.

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FIFA Warn Poland

FIFA have warned Poland they will be banned from international competition unless the government reverses a decision to suspend the Polish Football Association (PZPN) amid a match-fixing scandal.

Urs Linsi, general secretary of soccer's world governing body, told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that the decision by Polish Minister of Sport Tomasz Lipiec last week to appoint a commissioner to head the PZPN was totally unacceptable.

The government's action followed the detention by prosecutors of as many as 70 referees, club bosses and FA officials after a two-year investigation into allegations of bribery and match-fixing in the Polish game.

Linsi said FIFA would accept no meddling in FA affairs.

Meanwhile, Feyenoord will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne over their UEFA Cup exclusion, the Dutch club has said.

The Rotterdam-based claimed they believe they cannot be held responsible for the crowd disturbances before and during their group-stage match against Nancy in France in November for which they were banned.

Feyenoord qualified for the first knockout round but the UEFA ban handed their English opponents Tottenham Hotspur a bye into the last 16 of the competition.

“Pending our appeal we will continue our preparations for the matches against Spurs and we will urge the Court of Arbitration for Sport to make a quick decision,” Feyenoord said.

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