Wizz Air offers more flights to Poland

More flights to Poland are to be offered by low cost airline Wizz Air following the decision by airline Centralwings to discontinue eight of its flights to Poland.

Wizz Air, which has its headquarters in Hungary, says it will offer alternative routes to Centralwings passengers flying from the UK, France and Germany to Poland.

On Centralwings cancelled flights from Manchester airport to Gdansk and Warsaw, Wizz Air is offering alternative flights from Liverpool airport to these Polish cities with fares from £22.99 one way all inclusive.

As an alternative to Centralwings’ Birmingham airport to Krakow flights, Wizz Air has flights from Coventry airport to Katowice starting from £22.99. Glasgow Prestwick airport flights to Poznan priced from £14.99 are offered in place of Centralwings’s Edinburgh to Poznan flights.

For flights from Ireland to Poland, Wizz Air has Cork airport to Gdansk flights rather than Centralwings’s Shannon airport to Gdansk flights, and Cork to Katowice flights as a substitute for Cork to Krakow flights.

Wizz Air is the largest budget airline in Poland with 35% of the market in 2007. In the first half of this year it is launching 14 new routes. The airline has a fleet of Airbus A320s with 180 leather seats.

Following its launch in 2004, Wizz Air now has seven operating bases in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, with an eigth to open in Cluj in May this year. The airline now offers flights on 70 routes around Europe.

Wizz Air has adopted a “simple service model”, which includes ticketless travel, no seat assignment and the use of what it calls “cost- and time-efficient secondary airports” such as Liverpool airport and Prestwick airport.

Source: By Nick Purdom, www.holidayextras.co.uk

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Report: Poland's alcohol consumption rising

Poles consumed more alcohol last year than ever before, marking an economic boom by increasing their spending on drinks, especially hard liquor, according to a report released Wednesday.

Poles spent more than 21 billion zlotys (US$9.6 billion; €6.1 billion) on alcoholic beverages in 2007, a 15 percent jump from the previous year, the Polska daily said, citing a report by the Nielsen Media Research company.

At the same time, wages in Poland rose around 10 percent in 2007, the report said.

The average Pole now consumes around 9.7 litters (2.56 gallons) of pure alcohol annually, compared to 6.6 liters (1.74 gallons) in 2001, according to the report, which noted a particularly sharp rises in the consumption of hard liquors such as vodka and whiskey in the nation of 38 million.

Alcohol became more accessible after Poland joined the EU in 2004, as some taxes were lifted and makers cut production costs, Nielsen expert Pawel Frynia said, according to the daily.
Despite concern over increased alcohol consumption, the government spent just 35 million zlotys (US$15.6 million; €9.9 million), or around just 1 zloty (US$0.45; €0.28) per capita, to combat alcoholism in the country, the daily quoted the State Agency for Solving Alcohol-related Problems as saying.

Agency director Krzysztof Brzozko told The Associated Press that alcohol is too accessible in Poland and the nation needs to make it harder for people, especially those under age 18, to get, to avoid becoming one of the EU's leaders in alcohol consumption.

It is illegal to sell alcohol to those under 18, but youth drinking is nevertheless a problem.

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Poland's internet connection is lagging behind EU

According to a report prepared by the European Commission, Poland ranks second from last in Europe in terms of access to fast internet connection with Bulgaria in last place. The report, which will be presented on Wednesday, read that only 8.4% of the nation has access to high speed internet.

The Commission stressed the dominating position of national telecom TPSA, which controls 58.6% of fast connections, far above the EU average for national telecoms of 36%. In terms of fixed line telephony, TPSA controls 98.7% of the market, while the EU average stands at 86.5%. In terms of the mobile phone market Poland has a 97% saturation, which is 6% more than in 2006, while the EU average amounts to 112%. The EC stressed the growing investments by mobile phone operators and falling price of connections, as well as the introduction of modern services such as mobile micro-payments.

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Government to purchase carbon quotas from Poland

The Japanese and Polish governments have reached a basic agreement under which the Japan will purchase a portion of Poland's greenhouse gas emission quotas, it was learned Monday.

It will be the Japanese government's second agreement on emissions trading following an agreement Tokyo signed with Budapest last year to purchase a portion of Hungary's emission quotas.

The emissions trading will be done through a method called the Green Investment Scheme, which the country that sold the emission quotas is obligated to use the profit only for environmental protection measures.

Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and his Polish counterpart, Maciej Nowicki, concluded the agreement at the three-day meeting of the Group of 20 nations held in Chiba from Friday through Sunday, at which ministers of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters discussed issues including climate change, clean energy and sustainable development.

The two governments are scheduled to exchange an official document on emissions trading, probably sometime this week. The volume of transactions will be discussed later, but Nowicki said the Polish government may sell several million tons worth of carbon credits.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change requires Japan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from the 1990 levels during the period between 2008 and 2012.

Source:http: yomiuri.co.jp

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Coal imports grow rapidly in Poland

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – Coal production keeps falling, importers thrive while Polish mines are losing money.

Poland, EU biggest coal producer, imported 5.8m tons of coal last year. This is the capacity of four middle-sized mines. Since 2004, imports have grown by 3.4m tons. Production has dropped by 11.7m tons at the same time, according to the newest reports “PB” has received.

“For many years, we used to finance from the state budget the process of closing mines. We failed to invest in new fields. That’s why imports grow, and production falls”, Leon Kurczabinski from Katowicki Holding Weglowy coal group said.

For the first time in history, Poland imports coal from the USA. Russian companies deliver big majority of coal as well. In 2007, SUEK, Russia’s biggest coal producer, launched operations in Poland.

“Last year, we imported to Poland 0.7m tons of coal. This year, we plan 0.7-1m tons. Decreasing production is good news to us”, Piotr Matuszak, SUEK Polska CEO said.

Eugeniusz Postolski, deputy minister of economy, believes that it was because of wrong decisions of managements of coal companies that production had fallen by nearly 7m tons in 2007.

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Colgate-Palmolive relocates Romanian plant, moves to Poland

(Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) Co will close its toothpaste factory in Brasov, central Romania, between now and the end of 2008 and transfer the plant's production to Poland, the company said.

The move comes as part of Colgate-Palmolive's aim to consolidate its production in eastern Europe. The re-organisation will be carried out gradually and should be completed by the end of 2008, it added.
Source: money.cnn.com


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Work in progress

The Polish government has a long way to go to get the economy in shape

HIGH hopes, fine words and modest results. That is the story so far of Poland's newish centre-right government, in office since November, as it tries to sort out the country's deep-rooted economic problems in the face of a global slowdown. The previous government, an oddball coalition, frittered away the chances offered by rapid GDP growth (6.5% in 2007) to restructure public finances. Although strong growth in investment and consumption means that the economy is still looking good, competitiveness is suffering as wages grow faster than productivity and the currency appreciates.

The British-born finance minister, Jacek Rostowski, has ambitious-sounding plans to cut the budget deficit until it reaches 1% of GDP in 2011, thus shrinking public debt and preparing for possible entry into the euro area in 2012. But he needs convincing details to match his bold aims. At least Poland is now explicitly aiming to join the euro; the previous government's approach was “wait and see”. Personal income tax will be lower and flatter next year; other taxes will come down too. An economist who follows Poland closely says that the policy goals are “well thought out”, but adds that most reforms are still plans, often vague ones, not reality.

The urgent need is to raise productivity by liberalising the labour market, privatising state-owned enterprises and cutting red tape. Poland's bureaucracy has won a shaming 74th place in a World Bank ranking, behind even Bulgaria and Romania, the EU's newest and poorest members. A parliamentary committee is to examine superfluous regulation. Though little has changed so far, Henryka Bochniarz, head of the private employers' body, praises the government's “real determination” .

The prime minister, Donald Tusk, seems to lack grit. He has caved in to demands for higher wages by border guards and doctors; now the nurses are clamorous. The numbers of public employees able to retire in their 50s have only been shaved. Poland's labour-force participation rate is dire, at around 54%, ten points below the EU average. The government has pledged to boost legal employment by making it easier to set up a business. But it is still far easier in Britain, notes a Polish-based British businessman.

The government flinches at unpopular spending cuts, reflecting feelings in a reform-weary population. The president, Lech Kaczynski, is the twin brother of the former prime minister. He has an eye on re-election in 2010 and he wields a veto over new laws. Without costly deals with the opposition, Mr Tusk lacks the parliamentary majority to overrule him.

Bad relations between prime minister and president have spilled into a row about the central bank, one of the few public institutions trusted by most Poles. The bank's governor is an old friend of Mr Kaczynski's who supports the previous government's doveish monetary policy. That has alarmed inflation hawks (including the former governor) and caused conflict with the bank committee that sets interest rates. In January both deputy governors resigned. One, Krzysztof Rybinski, says that the dispute-ridden atmosphere at the bank has been “demotivating” for all the staff. Mr Tusk has so far refused to approve one of the governor's nominees as deputy. As inflation accelerates past 4%, the uncertainty matters. Higher prices mean higher public-sector wages, further undermining the planned fiscal tightening.

The new Polish government's heart may be in the right place. But it will need more than that if it is to put new Europe's largest economy on track.

source: economist.com

Etykiety: ,

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Finance Minister: Poland may link to euro next year, adopt the currency in 2012

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said Wednesday that Poland could decide whether to link the zloty to the euro as early as next year with the aim of adopting it by 2012.

But he warned that any such move was not yet a done deal and depended on several factors, including stemming inflation and getting Poland's fiscal deficit under control, he told a meeting of bankers in the capital, Warsaw. Any decision is also incumbent on a restoration of stability in world markets.

"We don't rule out" entering the European Union's Exchange Rate Mechanism in 2009, "which means we could adopt the euro in 2012, but we aren't committing to that," Rostowski said.

He said Poland's euro strategy "isn't aimed at delaying euro entry, but making sure entry is safe."

Rostowski's remarks fleshed out what has emerged as a cautious approach by the government to adopting the 15-nation euro under the new government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a bid to avoid failed convergence efforts in the Baltics and Hungary.

Source: iht.com

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Poland's Slawinski says central bank still in monetary tightening cycle

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's central bank is still in the midst of a monetary tightening cycle, with inflation set to stay relatively high in coming months, due to the impact of supply side effects on prices, policy-maker Andrzej Slawinski said today.

Asked if the bank would continue to raise interest rates in March, Slawinski

told TVN CNBC: 'In my opinion we are still in a phase of monetary tightening.'

The Warsaw School of Economics professor, seen as one of a group of moderates who have the casting votes on the bank's council, has used this formula previously to indicate he supported further rises in interest rates.

But pressed on whether the bank could hike this month, he gave no stronger indication of whether borrowing costs should be upped quickly.

'Regulated prices will continue to raise inflation for some time. The labour market will be also be a reason for wage growth for quite some time. Food price growth will not fade as fast as all that,' he added.

The bank raised interest rates in February for the second time in as many months, bringing its main rate to 5.5 pct and prompting markets to price in another move in March or April, with more likely later in the year.

Source: By Paweł Sobczak, forbes.com

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Unions at Poland's PKN Orlen walk away from 9 pct pay offer

Pay talks at Poland's largest oil refiner PKN Orlen have collapsed, with unions walking away from its latest offer of a 9 pct pay rise, the company said in a statement today.

'During the negotiations, the board decided to offer unions a extraordinarily advantageous proposal,' the company said. 'The proposed sum was a rise of more than 9 pct, given average monthly wages at PKN Orlen of 6,100 zlotys.'

The company said it was obliged by Polish law only to negotiate with unions until March 10 and to give workers only a 3.5 pct pay rise in line with average inflation.

But it said it was still prepared to raise wages by 9 pct if unions come back to the table. Average wages at PKN Orlen are more than double the national average wage, according to statistics office figures.

Trade unions at PKN earlier filed for a 10.5 pct pay rise this year, threatening the company with strikes should their demands be rejected.
Source: By Adrian Krajewski,


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