Aviva Launches Direct Auto in Poland

The UK's Aviva Group announced that its Polish operation, Commercial Union Poland, will enter the country's direct motor insurance market. Aviva noted that the "burgeoning growth in car ownership and the population's rapidly rising levels of disposable income," has created a situation that it can take advantage of.

"Car ownership has grown exponentially in Poland over the past 15 years," said the bulletin, "with 43 percent of the population now owning cars (a similar level to the UK), and the car insurance market - worth £1.9 billion [$3.76 billion] - is expected to double within the next 10 years."

Policies will be sold direct to customers via the telephone and Internet. Commercial Union Poland already provides home insurance, as well as its life and pensions business, which has more than three million customers in total.

The growth in demand for insurance cover is underpinned by "the influx of European vehicles onto the used car market" since Poland joined the European Union. The average age of used cars bought in Poland is decreasing, as sales of new cars increase. Aviva noted that "currently only 26 percent of those insured have comprehensive cover, or "casco" policies, compared with 80 percent in the UK, providing a major opportunity for insurers."

Aviva already sells direct auto in the UK, as well as Ireland and the Netherlands. It plans to "draw upon this expertise in launching our Polish operation."

Adam Uszpolewicz, Commercial Union Poland group chief executive, commented: "Direct motor insurance is a relatively new concept in Poland, but we predict the market will take off in much the same way it did in the UK in the early 1990s. More than half of UK motorists buy their policies direct today, and we expect that in ten years time a third of motor policies in Poland will be sold via phone or Internet. We already have a sizeable customer base in Poland and our brand enjoys high recognition, giving us a significant advantage in the market."


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Poland's PGE plans to invest PLN 12-14 bln in building country's first nuclear power plant

Poland's largest consolidated power producer Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) plans to invest PLN 12-14 bln into constructing Poland's first nuclear power plant (NPP), which should become operational in 2021, according to company plans announced Thursday.
"In 2021 the first unit of the nuclear power plant with capacity of 1.6 GW will be built in Poland," the company wrote in a press pack.

Poland could make a decision on where to build a potential nuclear power plant within five years of the decision to construct the plant, Poland's Deputy Minister of Economy Krzysztof Tchorzewski told reporters in March.

Expanding power production capacity will be PGE's priority domestically, with investments of PLN 35 bln seen by 2016, the company also said Wednesday.

According to its current plans, PGE expects to build six power production units with total capacity of 3,000 MW, which will gradually become operational between 2010-2019.

Currently PGE's total production capacity is 11,800 MW. The group produces some 40% of Poland's domestic power and its share of energy sales on the Polish market stands at nearly 30%.
Source: biznes.onet.pl

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Millions Of Polish Workers Want To Leave Poland - Poll

Warsaw, Poland 17 May 2007 As Poland tries to attract workers home, a recent survey shows that more than 3 million additional Polish workers want to leave Poland for better pay and a better life.

It is not that people leaving Poland hurts the country. The departed have been an economic boon to the Polish Government

It has been riding an economic wave caused by the influx of money from Polish workers that have already left the country and those who commute to work in Western Europe. It was estimated that they would send 2.5 billion zloty to Poland but that has turned out to be 7 billion.

The money has caused increased sales of almost everything. The economy is booming.

And so are prices.

The departing people have left a labor shortage in Poland that makes it difficult for companies to satisfy the surge in demand for products and services. The shortage is driving wages up rapidly as companies compete for what labor there is available.

Cities like Wroclaw are advertising in London to bring people back to work. Wroclaw has attracted companies to its city but now that they are there they cannot find enough workers to fill the positions available. The companies that had expected a work force from Wroclaw have taken to to advertising all around the country to find people.

In a sign that Wroclaw does not feel that Poles will come back, in addition to the campaign in London, Wroclaw is renting billboards in Ukraine. It is also developing versions of its web site in Ukrainian and Russian which versions are targeted at students.

So Poland finds itself in an interesting cycle. The more people leave, the more money will come back into the country to stimulate demand and increase the labor shortage. The stimulated demand cannot be filled unless more foreign workers are admitted to work legally at low wages. And more people leave for higher wages.

What would happen to the Country if another 3 million people left would be an interesting question to ponder.

It may be a moot question. What people want to do and what they do are two different things. One can expect that the number who say they want to leave are not likely to leave.

Poland's leaders do not see a problem. They even expect those who have left to come back.

President Kaczynski, however, does not want them to come back quickly. He said that he wanted workers to come home after they gained experience abroad.

When questioned about whether they will come back, Prime Minister Kaczynski said confidently that they will come back when conditions get better in Poland.

But millions saying that they want to leave does not seem idicative that things are getting better. And that may make it less likely that those who have left are going to come back.

Source: masterpage.com.pl

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Poland's Krakow revives Jewish district

Local authorities and Jews are trying to revive a medieval district of Poland southern city of Krakow to prevent Jewish culture from falling into oblivion.

The city hall of Krakow and Jewish organizations in Poland and abroad began working on plans some 15 years ago to renovate buildings and bring life back to Krakow's Kazimierz district, Polish Radio reported Thursday.

The World Jewish Relief Organization plans to build its center in the Kazimierz district.

To help tourists learn about Poland's Jewish history, the Krakow Galicia Museum is organizing exhibitions, concerts and lectures about Jewish life and culture and the Jewish genocide during World War II.

Most of the 60,000 Jews who lived in the Kazimierz district were killed by Nazi troops.

Now, 60 years later, Krakow's Jewish community is down to 150, the report said.

King Casimir the Great founed the Kazimierz district for Jews in 1335, granting them rights they could enjoy only in a few European countries.

British photographer Chris Schwarz, who helped create the Galicia museum, said it keeps Jewish culture alive, honors those killed and helps build bridges between Poles and Jews.

Source: upi.com

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Universal Pictures, ITI Neovision Launch PictureBox in Poland

UNIVERSAL CITY/WARSAW, May 16: Universal Pictures has reached a deal to launch its subscription-video-on-demand service PictureBox on ITI Neovision’s “n” platform in Poland this September.

Poland is the second country to launch PictureBox, following the U.K.’s worldwide premiere of the service in December 2006 on TOP UP TV’s Anytime service. Subscribers to the PictureBox service in Poland will pay a monthly fee to view feature films that will be delivered and stored in the PVR built into the “n” decoder. At launch, the service will initially offer 16 feature films, many of which will be available prior to airing on free-TV channels in Poland. Highlights of films that will be featured on PictureBox include The Bourne Supremacy; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; The Interpreter; Ray; Along Came Polly; King Kong and Van Helsing, among others. Films will be refreshed often with new titles being uploaded weekly.

“We are proud to be the second country in the world to launch PictureBox,” said Maciej Sojka, the chairman of the “n” television platform. “It will grant easy access to a huge number of films spanning all genres for Polish viewers, always making new titles available at any given time. The service will also help our clients embrace the advanced technology of the “n” decoder, allowing viewers to watch the best movies from Hollywood without ever leaving the comfort of their own home.”

“This deal underscores the tremendous growth occurring in the Eastern European television market, and we’re excited to be launching PictureBox on the ‘n’ service for Polish viewers,” said Belinda Menendez, the president of NBC Universal International Television Distribution.
Source: worldscreen.com

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Poland wants its workers back from Western Europe

Warszawa.Lukasz Gruzla, a university graduate from southwestern Poland, loads planes at Luton Airport outside London. He has no plans to return to his hometown near Wroclaw.

"Come back to what?" Gruzla, 25, asked as he waited for a flight to London after visiting his family in Poland. "The work I have there allows me to live. I can buy a car, pay my bills."

But Gruzla, one of at least 400,000 Poles who have emigrated to Britain since 2004, is just the type of worker that Wroclaw is trying to lure back. While Poland has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union, this statistic masks a growing shortage of skilled workers.

Higher pay and the availability of low-cost airline flights are siphoning off the country's best-educated young people to Western Europe.

Wroclaw, in Lower Silesia, is the fourth-largest city in Poland. It is a hub for technology research that has attracted companies like Hewlett-Packard and Google, and it benefits from road and rail links built when the area was ruled by Germany and Austria. The city, which nearly as close to Berlin as it is to Warsaw, is nonetheless struggling to fill 125,000 jobs created over the past two years.

Poland's booming cities may push the country's economic growth to 6 percent this year, the fastest in a decade, according to the Finance Ministry.

The government sponsored 43 investments by international companies last year. A dozen were in Wroclaw's province, more than in any of the 15 other regions in Poland. Wroclaw has attracted more than €5 billion, or $6.7 billion, of foreign money in the past decade.

Last month, Google that said it would join Siemens of Germany and Credit Suisse in the city. Google plans to create 200 jobs and Credit Suisse expects to hire 400 people in Wroclaw, a city on the Oder River that features a baroque city hall and a 6,000-seat auditorium that is on the United Nation's list of World Heritage sites.

To avoid becoming a victim of its own success, Wroclaw put up billboards in Britain that beseech Polish workers to "Come back! Wroclaw loves you."

"If we manage to maintain bridges with people who have emigrated and they start coming back, then the emigration will be only a good thing," said Tomasz Gondek, who heads the investment support unit at Wroclaw's development agency.

In November, President Lech Kaczynski of Poland acknowledged that his country was having a hard time finding qualified workers to participate in the country's rapid economic development.

"I can only hope that they will eventually return to Poland," he said during a visit to Edinburgh. "If Poland continues to develop at the present pace, then the process of Poles going abroad will phase out."

Of the people who have left for Britain since Poland joined the EU in 2004, about 80 percent are under 35 and a third are college graduates, according to the Labor Ministry.

The exodus helped cut Poland's jobless rate to 14.4 percent in March from almost 20 percent three years ago. In Wroclaw the rate is 8.7 percent, lower than that of Germany.

Ewelina Kazubska, 22, who manages a nightclub in London, says Polish companies cannot match the cash offered by British employers. Salaries in Poland average about 2,780 zloty a month, the equivalent of £504 or close to $1,000, and a little more than the weekly average in Britain.

"My salary is the same number as it was in Wroclaw, except it's in pounds, not zloty," she said at Wroclaw airport, before boarding one of the 54 weekly flights to Britain and Ireland. "In fact, I'm thinking of emigrating further - to the U.S."

Wroclaw created 125,000 new jobs in 2005 and 2006, and the number of new positions is set to increase this year and next, Gondek of the development agency said. The city of 635,000 is the capital of a province with a population of 2.9 million.

Emigration has not stopped Hewlett-Packard from planning to double the size of its Wroclaw operation to 2,000 employees. The center provides administrative services like tax reporting for the company's other offices.

Joanna Kotyrba, in charge of recruitment for the facility, is focusing on finding workers in other parts of Poland.

"There's a lower number of applications now, so the company has to be more engaged," she said.

President Kaczynski said that he wanted workers to come home after they gained experience abroad.

"They'll bring the Anglo-Saxon business culture, money, and contacts in the West," said Gondek, who spent two years in Australia before returning to Poland. "We didn't run the campaign because we wanted 300,000 people to come back the day after we launched it.

In addition to the campaign in London, Wroclaw is renting billboards in Ukraine, and developing versions of its Web site in Ukrainian and Russian, targeted at students.

Gruzla, for his part, is sticking with his decision to leave. He says life in Britain is just easier than in Poland.

"Recently I had to change my Polish national ID card, and there was so much running around just for one piece of paper," he said. "Over there they don't have those kinds of problems."


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Brammer enters Poland to start buying spree

The pan-European industrial group Brammer has bought a controlling stake in a Polish industrial services business and has signed letters of intent to buy a total of five businesses with a combined turnover of €35m.

Brammer has bought a 51% stake in Poland’s Fin SA group, which sells components such as motors, belts, couplings, bearings, and chain. Brammer has made a commitment to acquire the remaining 49% by 2012.

The acquisition gives Brammer a market-leading position in Poland, and increases the number of countries in which it operates to 12. Fin, which reported sales worth £17.5m last year, has 165 employees working at 11 branches.

Chief executive Ian Fraser told the Reuters news agency that he hopes to confirm the five planned acquisitions "in the next few months". He declined to say where the target companies are based.

Source: drives.co.uk

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EU backs Poland in trade standoff with Russia

A senior EU official said on Tuesday that Poland is honoring all food regulations, and should be exempt from Russia's ban on the import of Polish meat, opening the way to a new Russia-EU partnership agreement.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, said last week it had received a letter from the Russian agriculture minister reiterating Moscow's refusal to lift its ban on meat imports from Poland, imposed over claims that the meat was re-exported from third countries, violating sanitary rules. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU commissioner for external relations and European neighborhood policy, said in an interview with RIA Novosti ahead of a Russia-EU summit on May 17-18, that since Poland fully complies with EU and Russian veterinary and phyto-sanitary laws and regulations, Russia should lift its ban on the import of Polish meat and agricultural produce, and that Poland should lift its veto on the start of talks on a new Russia-EU cooperation and partnership deal.

The talks on the agreement will address Russia's dispute with Estonia over the removal of Soviet WWII monument from central Tallin, but will not include discussions on US plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe, the commissioner said. The European Commission's vice-president, Gunter Verheugen, said last Thursday that the commission expected Russia to give a clear signal and an exact schedule for lifting the meat embargo, even if time-phased. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it will not ratify the treaty since some of its provisions are discriminatory against Russia. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Monday that his country would maintain its veto on a new Russia-EU partnership deal. Benita Ferrero-Waldner said a new agreement should reflect, among other things, the key principles of the Energy Charter Treaty.

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, who arrived in Moscow Tuesday to tie up loose ends ahead of the summit, said it is critical for Russia and the EU to "return to positions based on common sense," and that the guiding principle would be sensible "proposals instead of rebukes." Ferrero-Waldner said the EU does not intend to raise the issue of Russia's possible moratorium on the implementation of the adapted CFE Treaty or the deployment of US missile defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland. She said that since national defense matters, as well as agreements on the deployment of troops in Europe, are addressed at the Russia-NATO Council, and will not be raised by the EU. The CFE was concluded in 1990 by the then-22 NATO members and the now defunct Warsaw Pact to enhance arms control in Europe, and amended in 1999 to take post-Cold War realities into account. NATO countries have not ratified the new version, demanding that Russia first withdraw from Soviet-era bases in Georgia and Moldova under the so-called Istanbul Agreements.


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Poland: fruit growers afraid of apple imports

After the frosty beginning of spring, apple prices already rose in Poland. Since most of the summer varieties are damaged, fruit growers closed the CA storage facilities hoping for higher prices later. Experts are sure that volume of domestic apples in the coming months will be much lower than usually. But will the prices grow up? Fruit growers are already afraid of import, which can lead them to bankruptcy, informs www.echodnia.eu.

Some growers believe that smaller domestic crop doesn’t have to influence prices – less apples means that it will be very difficult to have large quantities for export and as a result apples will end up on domestic market. The same situation was seen with sweet cherries 3 years ago.

But in the case of problems with domestic supply, Poland will probably start to buy imported apples, since the difference in price of apples in Poland and in Germany is already small.

May frosts damaged orchards, but this is not the end of bad news. Next problem can be drought. The last winter wasn’t very snowy, and lack of water is already seen. Without rain Poland can see the next dry summer in row.

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Poland, Knights of Malta ink pact on health care

The Knights of Malta and the government of Poland have signed an agreement to cooperate in the field of health.

Polish Lech Kaczynski and Fra’ Andrew Bertie, the head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, met in Warsaw, where their deputies-- Polish health minister Zbigniew Religa and the Grand Hospitaller, Baron Albrecht von Boeselager-- signed the accord.

The agreement guarantees the Order of Malta’s assistance in improving the quality of health care, in particular for the poor and needy. The Polish Association of the Order of Malta will provide financial assistance for the project.

The Order of Malta administers a medical station at the Marian Shrine in Czestochowa, Poland. One of the primary missions of the Order is to help pilgrims.

Fra' Andres Bertie is the first Grand Master of the Order of Malta to visit Poland since 1931. He made the trip on an invitation from President Kaczynski.

Source: cwnews.com

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Stones add Poland to Europe tour

LOS ANGELES: The Rolling Stones will play Poland for the first time in nine years during their upcoming European tour, the band confirmed.

The July 25 date at Warsaw's Sluzewiec Hippodrome was posted at the band's website www.rollingstones.com), and takes place one day before singer Mick Jagger turns 64.

It substitutes for what would have been the band's first show in Ukraine. No new date has been slotted for the country. A spokesman for the band did not respond to requests for information on the switch.

The Rolling Stones have played in Poland on two other occasions: in 1967 at Warsaw's Palace of Culture, when riot police fired tear-gas at thousands of fans who tried to storm the building; and in 1998 in Chorzow, a more genteel event attended by the wife of the Polish president.

The band had scheduled a show in Warsaw last year, but it was one of many that were pulled after guitarist Keith Richards hit his head while on vacation in Fiji.

The Rolling Stones begin their European tour on June 5 in Belgium.


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Russia swipes at Poland in row with EU

Petroleumworld.com 05 16 07

Russia's foreign ministry responded angrily Tuesday to Polish demands on energy security made ahead of a tense European Union summit, accusing it of holding EU-Russian relations hostage.

"It is unacceptable for relations between Russia and the European Union, which are vital to the future of the European continent, to be taken hostage by the position of one of the European Union countries," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said, quoted by Interfax.

Kamynin was responding to a warning by Poland that it would maintain its veto on talks on a new EU-Russia accord unless EU members form a united front on the issue of energy security.

It was one of a number of issues set to overshadow an EU-Russia summit scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday in the Russian city of Samara.

Germany, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, is struggling to save
the summit, notably after criticism from Warsaw.

On Tuesday German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was due in Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin to try to smooth out disagreements.

Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga was sharply critical of Germany in an interview with the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, saying "I am not satisfied with the way the German presidency has prepared the Samara summit."

In Warsaw, Polish foreign ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski told AFP that Poland wanted the EU to issue a declaration confirming that the 27-country bloc stands together on energy.

Poland, which joined the EU in 2004, is concerned that Moscow is increasingly exploiting its domination of regional energy resources for political ends.

Polish officials have said they want fellow EU members to pledge to protect the energy security of Poland and other EU newcomers that rely heavily on Russian oil and gas.

Szaniawski said the declaration was a precondition for talks on an overarching EU-Russia partnership agreement.

The warning came in addition to Polish demands that Moscow end a ban on Polish meat, fruit and vegetable imports.

Moscow imposed the ban at the end of 2005, alleging breaches of food certification rules in Poland. Warsaw says the embargo is political.


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Poland says EU energy declaration is price for lifting its Russia veto

WARSAW (THOMSON FINANCIAL) - Poland warned it will maintain its veto on talks on a new EU-Russia accord unless EU members form a united front on the issue of energy, beefing up existing demands tied to a trade dispute with Moscow.

Warsaw wants the European Union to issue a declaration confirming the 27-country bloc stands together on energy, said foreign ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski.

'The shape of the declaration remains up for discussion,' Szaniawski said.

However, Polish officials have said they want fellow-EU members to pledge to protect the energy security of Poland and other EU newcomers which rely heavily on Russian oil and gas.

Poland has refused to give the green light for talks on an EU-Russia partnership agreement, which would govern key areas, including energy supplies, and is meant to update an existing accord that expires this year.

Warsaw first blocked the negotiations last November, saying it would not drop its veto until Moscow ended a ban on Polish meat, fruit and vegetable imports.

Moscow imposed the ban at the end of 2005, alleging breaches of food certification rules in Poland, but Warsaw claims the embargo is political.

'Lifting the embargo is no longer sufficient,' Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga said Monday, on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels.

Former communist countries such as Poland, which joined the EU in 2004, are particularly concerned that Moscow is increasingly exploiting its market clout for political ends -- by turning off the gas taps to 'recalcitrant' countries, for example.

They are anxious to ensure that more established EU members such as Germany do not shut them out of energy-related talks with Russia.

Warsaw, in particular, has accused Berlin of going it alone in negotiations on a planned gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Source: forbes.com

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Armani to open first store in Poland

Retail Update Poland has learned from Aleksandra Wiecka, the PR Manager at the Paradise Group, the exclusive distributor of the Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry and Emporio Armani luxury brands in Poland, that the company is planning to open its first Emporio Armani store in Poland in June this year. The 350 m² boutique will be situated in Nowy Swiat Street in Warsaw. It will sell collections for men and women, along with the Armani Jeans range and the A7 sports line and accessories.
In addition, over the next few months the distributor plans to launch another store with Church’s and JM Weston shoe ranges and more upmarket outlets under the Burberry and Ermenegildo Zegna names. Furthermore, the Paradise Group is planning to introduce the Max Mara group’s Max & co. brand to the Polish market.
Source: polishmarket.com

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Disney Channel Expands Distribution in Poland

Disney Channel has signed its second cable distribution deal in Poland, inking an agreement with VECTRA, which is slated to launch the kids’ network this month.

With the addition of VECTRA, Disney Channel is now available to over 2 million subscribers in Poland, where it is also on the digital platform CYFRA+, Cyfrowy Polsat and Aster. Disney Channel Poland is localized for the market with dubbed programming, promos and interstitials. It launched on December 2, 2006.

Rob Gilby, the managing director of Disney Channel UK, Scandinavia and Emerging Markets, commented: “I am proud to be announcing our second distribution deal within weeks of each other. Our programs hold universal appeal to kids wherever they are in world, and I am delighted that more Polish children and their families will be now able to enjoy Disney Channel’s unique mix of animation, live action and TV movies.”
Source: worldscreen.com

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Poland, Lithuania hang veto threats over EU-Russia talks

Poland and Lithuania threatened Monday to block talks between the European Union and Russia because of unresolved trade disputes, while another Baltic state, Estonia, though steeped in a bitter row with Moscow called for the talks to go ahead.

Poland said it would maintain a veto imposed on the talks because Russia has not ended an embargo of Polish meat and other food products.

"Our veto is still current. Russia has not lifted its embargo, so we will not lift our veto," Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Monday after holding talks with his Slovenian counterpart Janez Jensa.

Lithuania threatened to slap its own veto on the talks, due to begin in four days in the Russian Volga River city of Samara, unless Russia resumes the flow of oil to the Mazeikiu Nafta oil refinery in the north of the Baltic state.

"Without concrete, positive steps from the Russian side it would be premature to advance with the mandate" for a new partnership and cooperation agreement "at this stage," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas said.

The leak in the pipeline has forced the Mazeikiu refinery to ship in crude oil by sea, a more costly measure which has hurt profits.

Estonia, meanwhile, said that although it is the target of "hidden" sanctions imposed by Russia following a row over the removal of a Soviet war memorial from central Tallinn, the talks should not be blocked.

"We do not intend at the moment to veto the EU talks with Russia even though Moscow has launched a kind of economic blockade against Estonia," Foreign Minister Urmas Paet told AFP from Brussels, where he attended a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.

"Talking is better than not talking," said Paet, who at the height of the row over the Bronze Soldier war memorial had called for the key EU-Russia talks to be postponed.

Estonian Railways warned Monday it could be forced to lay off staff if an unofficial trade blockade imposed by Russia continues.

Days after a row erupted at the end of last month between Tallinn and Moscow over the removal of the war memorial, the number of Russian cargo trains transiting through Estonia fell sharply.

Last week, the Russian authorities announced that heavy vehicles will be banned as of Tuesday from crossing the bridge that straddles the Narva River separating Estonia and Russia, officially to allow the span to undergo repairs.

Poland's gripe with Moscow stems from November 2005, when the Russians slapped an embargo on Polish meat and other foodstuffs, citing fraudulent safety and hygiene standards.

The Poles countered that Russia was playing politics because of differences with the conservative government in Warsaw.

In Lithuania, oil stopped flowing through the Druzhba-1 pipeline to Mazeikiu in July last year.

Moscow blamed the cut-off on a leak in the Soviet-era duct, but the Lithuanians suspected political reasons because the flow had stopped just weeks after Polish oil group PKN Orlen sealed a deal to buy the Mazeikiu complex from Russian oil giant Yukos.

Moscow was reportedly vexed by the sale of Mazeikiu -- which runs the only oil refinery in the Baltic states -- to a Polish group rather than a Russian one.

The talks in Samara between the EU and Russia are aimed at hammering out a new partnership and cooperation agreement covering a gamut of issues from energy and climate change to visa agreements and frozen conflicts.

Source: eubusiness.com

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Poland's president expects Caspian oil, gas deliveries via Ukraine pipeline to start in 2012

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski expects crude-oil and natural-gas deliveries from the Caspian, via a pipeline across Ukraine from the Black Sea port of Odessa to the city of Gdansk in Poland and on to Western Europe, to start in 2012.

The president named 2012 as the date agreed on during the weekend's energy summit in Krakow, southern Poland, for the launch of deliveries of Caspian oil and gas to Europe in an interview with Polish daily Dziennik Monday.

Yes, it is 2012, he said. We will be ready no earlier than around 2012.
The participants of the May 11-12 Krakow energy summit, hosted by President Kaczynski and attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania and Ukraine, as well as a special envoy of Kazakhstan, agreed to set up a working group to study the extension and reversal of the Odessa-Brody pipeline - which currently carries Russian crude southwards to the Black Sea port of Odessa - to the Polish city of Plock, from where it would connect to an existing pipeline to Gdansk.

During the first phase we have to construct our part of the Odessa-Brody pipeline. I mean the 100 km long [part of the pipeline] to [Poland's] Adamow, Kaczynski said. By 2012 the Polish section of the pipeline should be ready.

Kaczynski said he expects EU representatives to be present during another summit in Vilnus, Lithuania, at which the Krakow summit's project may be presented.

First we had to convince our friends that we can do something together, Kaczynski said. Now there is time for the EU. I think at the second part of the energy summit, in autumn, in Vilnus, high EU officials will be present.

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Worldspan Trip Manager(R) XE Becomes Poland's First Corporate Self-Booking Tool with Local Language Interface

Global travel technology provider Worldspan has introduced a new Polish language version of Worldspan Trip Manager XE, representing the first corporate travel management solution and Web-based self-booking tool to offer Polish business travelers a local language interface. Corporations and their travelers received the upgrade electronically, enabling travelers to select their native language and immediately enjoy the benefits of planning and booking trips online through the new graphical user interface (GUI). Corporations and their Worldspan partner travel agencies also benefit from a Polish language application for managing travel programs and expenditures.

"Our clients have been using Trip Manager XE with great success and the new Polish version is a complement to a tool that is already easy for our clients to use," said Aneta Montano, director of Travel Express, a Warsaw- based travel agency that subscribes to Worldspan. "This powerful e-commerce tool places global travel choices at the fingertips of corporate travelers, and enforces compliance with travel policy at the same time."

"Worldspan is pleased to introduce this Trip Manager XE system advancement. We will continue to enhance the product in ways that deliver exclusive benefits to Polish companies and their travel agency partners," said Albert Lange, Worldspan country manager - Poland.

Trip Manager XE provides business travelers with real-time connectivity to the products and services of airlines, hotels and car rental locations worldwide. It interfaces with the Worldspan global distribution system (GDS) and renowned global fares and pricing system, providing up-to-the-minute availability and bookings for millions of airfares daily, including low-cost carriers.

Trip Manager XE is recognized worldwide for its user-friendly features, which enable travelers to plan and book trips online in four minutes or less. It offers state-of-the-art shopping and booking features, including airline seat selection from Worldspan's popular live seat map displays, hotel and car images to help travelers make quick selections, and much more. Trip Manager XE is the first online corporate travel management solution built upon the .NET platform, which allows corporations in Poland and worldwide to easily integrate travel with their existing operating and expense management systems.

To help reduce corporate travel spending, Trip Manager XE enforces full compliance with corporate travel policy while travelers are booking trips online. In addition, Trip Manager XE integrates with exclusive fares and pricing technologies from Worldspan that significantly improve a corporation's ability to control air travel spending. These include Worldspan SecuRate(SM) Air for managing private and negotiated fares, and Worldspan e-Pricing(SM), a powerful suite of tools that continue to set global standards in low-fare shopping and booking technology.

About Worldspan, L.P.

Worldspan is a leader in travel technology services for travel suppliers, travel agencies, e-commerce sites and corporations worldwide. Utilizing some of the fastest, most flexible and efficient networks and computing technologies, Worldspan provides comprehensive electronic data services linking thousands of travel suppliers around the world to a global customer base. Worldspan offers industry-leading Fares and Pricing technology such as Worldspan e-Pricing(R), hosting solutions and customized travel products. Worldspan enables travel suppliers, distributors and corporations to reduce costs and increase productivity with technology like Worldspan Go!(R) and Worldspan Trip Manager(R) XE.

Worldspan is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Additional information is available at worldspan.com.

Statements in this release and any exhibits hereto which are not purely historical facts, including statements about forecasted financial projections or other statements about anticipations, beliefs, expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies for the future, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to Worldspan, L.P. ("the Company") on the date this release was submitted. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to: the Company's revenue being highly dependent on the travel and transportation industries; airlines limiting their participation in travel marketing and distribution services; airlines altering their content or changing the pricing of such content; or other changes within, or that may affect the travel industry or the Company.

Worldspan and all other Worldspan marks identified with a (R) or SM contained herein are either registered marks or service marks or trademarks of Worldspan, L.P. throughout the world.

Source: sys-con.com

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

China, Poland pledge to further railway cooperation

Chinese Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun has met with Polish Transport Minister Jerzy Polaczek for talks on ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in railway transportation.

At the talks, Polaczek praised the achievements China has made in its railway construction and modernization and said Poland was seeking technical assistance from China in this regard.

Liu, winding up a three-day visit to Poland on Saturday, said China was ready to provide first-phase technical assistance including a project feasibility study, and to recommend high-quality construction firms to Poland.

Both sides agreed to deepen their cooperation in railways on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. A memorandum of understanding was signed after the talks.

Under the memorandum, China and Poland will exchange information on each other's railway transportation and launch reciprocal cooperation in transport technology.

Source: Xinhua, english.people.com.cn

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland

Poland pledges to be a good host

The government is going to do everything to make EuroBasket 2009 in Poland an organizational success.

This was the message conveyed by FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos, Secretary General Nar Zanolin and Polish Basketball Federation President Roman Ludwiczuk at a press conference on Saturday in Warsaw. "We met with the Minister of Sports [Tomasz Lipiec] and he confirmed that his country will provide any financial support necessary," said Vassilakopoulos. Case in point is Lipiec's openness to the idea of a new state of the art arena in Warsaw. "Poland is a big country with a great history right in the center of Europe," explained the FIBA Europe President. "However Warsaw has no arena to host major sporting events. We asked the minister to consider the building of a modern arena in Warsaw and he accepted this request and promised to start with this project as soon as possible."
Source: todayszaman.com

Flights to Poland

Novea - Business in Poland