Poland's loss dented economy

WARSAW (AFP) — National gloom over Poland's 2-0 thrashing by Germany in their Euro 2008 debut cost the Polish economy some 50 million zlotys (14.7 million euros, 23 million dollars), experts estimated on Tuesday.

"Poland's daily GDP is five billion zlotys. If you consider that the loss in productivity was 10 percent and that 10 percent of professionally active people are interested in football, you get that figure," Jeremi Mordasewicz, an expert from Poland's employers' federation, told the daily Rzeczpospolita.

Polish fans had their hopes for an historic win over eternal rivals Germany dashed in Sunday's match by the Mannschaft's Lukas Podolski, who ironically was born in Poland but emigrated with his family as a youngster.

Poland's attention has now shifted to their next opponents, co-hosts Austria, whom they meet in Vienna on Thursday.

Some 90 percent of Poland's 38 million people are Catholic, and some travelling fans have been seeking extra spiritual balm during the European championships.

But Father Zygmunt Waz, rector of the Polish-language church that has long served the migrant community in Vienna, has decided to try to remain as neutral as he can, notably because most Austrians are equally faithful Catholics.

Waz has planned a mass for the Polish team, but said he won't be praying for a win.

"We don't want to bring God into this. The Austrians pray too, and we don't want to put God in a difficult position," he told Poland's PAP news agency.

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UPDATE 1-Poland sells JPY 25 bln in bonds, may issue more

WARSAW, June 10 (Reuters) - Poland sold 25 billion yen in 30-year yen-denominated bonds maturing in 2038 and does not rule out further foreign currency issues, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The bonds were priced at 65 basis points above the 30-year swap rate, corresponding to a yield of 3.3 percent.

"Given the current market conditions this is a very good price," said Piotr Marczak, head of the finance ministry's debt management department.

Other yen or euro-denominated issues are possible this year, Marczak said, but added that market conditions would determine whether the ministry pursued this option.

"A potential yen issue is possible after the summer, most likely in the fourth quarter," Marczak said.

Poland last went to the foreign markets in March, when it placed bonds worth 475 million Swiss francs.

The ministry has been struggling recently to sell its paper on the domestic market due to weak market conditions and has been forced to change its issue plans, limiting the supply of long-term bonds in favour of shorter T-bill notes. (Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski; Editing by Ron Askew)

Etykiety: ,

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Poland gearing for the euro plans significant cut in state deficit in 2009

The government plans to cut Poland's budget deficit drastically next year as the country prepares to adopt the euro currency, the finance minister said Tuesday.

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski did not say exactly how the government would manage to shrink the deficit, saying only that it was possible thanks to budgetary reforms and despite plans to lower income taxes.

The government, which is still working on the draft 2009 budget, foresees a deficit of 18.2 billion zlotys (US$8.2 billion; €5.3 billion), down from this year's predicted deficit of 27 billion (US$12 billion; €8 billion), Rostowski said.

Also, in line with EU requirements, the government is planning to further limit budget deficit by 0.5 percent of GDP each year and go well below the required 3 percent of GDP in 2011, Rostowski said.

The preliminary budget provisions also plan for a total of 328.7 billion zlotys (US$149 billion;€96 billion) in government spending. This year the government budgeted 339 billion zlotys (US$154 billion;€100 billion) for spending.
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It will be the lowest deficit planned since 2000, Rostowski said. "This is proof how far we have advanced on reforming public finances."

Poland also plans to lower private income tax next year, which will decrease state revenues by some 7 billion zlotys (US$3 billion; €2 billion). The current 19, 30 and 40 percent tax levels will be scaled down to 18 and 30 percent levels. Rostowski did not have detailed figures on expected budget income from tax.

He also predicted 5 percent GDP growth in 2009, compared with expected 5.5 percent this year and inflation of 2.9 percent — within the euro zone regulations that set the ceiling at 3 percent.

A former communist nation, Poland joined the European Union in 2004 but has yet to set a date for adopting the EU common currency.

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FACTBOX-Motor racing-Poland's Robert Kubica

une 8 (Reuters) - Factbox on Poland's Robert Kubica, who took his and BMW Sauber's first Formula One victory in Canada on Sunday to take the lead in the drivers' championship:

Born: Dec 7, 1984 in Krakow (Poland)

* Signed by BMW Sauber as a reserve driver for 2006 after a test for then-champions Renault.

* Made his Formula One debut in Hungary in 2006 as a replacement for Canadian former world champion Jacques Villeneuve. Poland's first Formula One driver ended that season 16th with six points.

* Took first F1 podium finish with third place at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

* Lucky to survive unscathed after a huge crash in Canada last year that put him in hospital and forced him to miss the following U.S. Grand Prix.

* Secured BMW Sauber's first pole position at this year's Bahrain Grand Prix in April and grabbed his and their first win in Canada.

* Kubica has come up the hard way, struggling for funding and moving to Italy at the age of 13 after being driven around Europe by his father in pursuit of his karting career.

* A keen rally fan, the Pole has not ruled out one day switching to that form of motorsport. He has also singled out snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan as a sporting hero
* Kubica's approach to Formula One is uncomplicated, the Pole declaring earlier this season that he is happy as long as he has food, a fast car and a roof over his head.

* The 1.85 metre tall Pole shed six kilos between the end of last season and the start of the 2008 campaign to put himself on more level terms with diminutive team mate Nick Heidfeld. "We have seen that...if I were lighter I would go a bit quicker," he said in April.

* Kubica said this week that he has benefited from new rules this season banning traction control and so-called driver aids. "As soon as we switched off all the systems which last year were helping drivers I found the car much better, much easier to drive," he said. (Compiled by Alan Baldwin, editing by Miles Evans)


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