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2004 News Bulletins                                                                                                    News Archives



Ukrainian round table fails to produce clear-cut declaration

Kiev, Brussels, Dec. 1: It is unclear whether the 2nd round of presidential elections in Ukraine should be repeated. A draft resolution worked out by participants in the Ukrainian "round table" talks failed to produce a clear-cut declaration, a diplomatic source told. "The document only states that experts should present their opinions on the conclusion of the election process in 24 hours," one of participants in the "round table" said. Meanwhile, the European Parliament sent to Ukraine its own 10-strong delegation. The session of the round table talks was attended by EU's Javier Solana and  Presidents of Poland and Lithuania Aleksander Kwasniewski and Valdas Adamkus. Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz  Cimoszewicz, also present in Kiev, said the plan brought to Ukraine by the three politicians provided for the repetition of the 2nd round of the elections. President Kwasniewski said it was necessary to work out an agreement solving the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as soon as possible. If we are consistent and if Ukrainian partners are ready to negotiate there is a chance for an agreement. It is necessary to reach it very quickly. Each day of delay is posing a risk, the Polish president said in the Polish embassy in Kiev.

Sejm speaker meets Bundestag delegation

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Sejm Speaker Jozef Oleksy met with the visiting delegation of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee headed by Volker Ruehe, the Sejm chancellery reported. Poland will continue the line of building strong Polish-German relations because this lies in its interest, Oleksy declared. Ruehe said the meeting with the Sejm Foreign Affairs Committee had a character of an open exchange of views on current mutual relations and showed a far-reaching similarity of views. He added that parliamentary cooperation would be continued in the same spirit at the next meeting in Berlin. Questions concerning ratification of the European Constitution and prospects of EU enlargement to admit Turkey among other countries were discussed. Oleksy said Ruehe informed him that presidential elections in Ukraine were manipulated and that the Polish and German stands on this point are in many aspects similar.


Sejm, Bundestag c'ttees urge cooperation over Ukraine

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Poland and Germany should jointly engage to help solve the political crisis in Ukraine and build new policy of the EU vis a vis its eastern neighbours. This was underlined at a joint session of Polish and German deputies from the Sejm and Bundestag foreign affairs committees here. German deputies are of the opinion that joint Polish and German actions within the EU will also help find agreement over issues which cause controversies among the two states, such as recent German claims. Polish deputies supported the idea of cooperation on Ukraine issue and Europe-US relations. Gert Weisskirchen of SPD stressed that the EU should back democracy in Ukraine offering it a "privileged partnership," supporting Ukrainian WTO membership bid and recognition of Ukraine as a free-market country if reforms will progress there. 


KIE discusses Lisbon strategy, EU budget, development plan

Warsaw, Dec. 1: The European Integration Committee (KIE) met to discuss the so called Lisbon Strategy, EU budget for 2007-2013 and the National Development Plan. According to initial estimates some 110 billion euros has been assigned from the EU budget for Poland's modernisation projects. This is the sum which should be used in coming years to accelerate economic development, said PM Marek Belka, who chaired the debate. Minister for European affairs Jaroslaw Pietras said that the National Development Plan was still being discussed so there was time for possible changes. The plan's main priority for 2007-2013 has been to maintain high tempo of economic growth through repairing public finances and seizing opportunities created by the EU. The minister said that a meeting of representatives 13 EU states, friends of EU cohesion policy, will take place in Warsaw.


Baltic states deputy defence ministers conclude Polish visit

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Deputy Defence Ministers of Estonia Lauri Almann, of Lithuania Renatas Norkus and of Latvia Edgars Rinkczviczs paid a two-day visit to Poland on Nov. 29-30 at the invitation from Poland's deputy Defence Minister Janusz Zemke. The four ministers discussed military cooperation of the four countries as well as the participation of the Baltic states in international stabilisation missions. Discussed was also bilateral cooperation and international struggle against world terrorism.


Zemke: Poland to set up 4 peace operation hospitals in 2005

Warsaw, Dec. 1: The Defence Ministry will set up four peace operation hospitals in Poland in 2005, Deputy Defence Minister Janusz Zemke said. Eighty physicians can be employed from January 2005 by each of the four hospitals based in Bydgoszcz, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Cracow. Physicians employed by the hospitals will have to give written consent to take part in peace-keeping missions outside Poland, including Iraq, he said. Poland has 1,900 military physicians. Zemke said that finding 30 medical staff willing to go to Iraq was difficult.


IPN launches investigation into Katyn crime

Warsaw, Dec. 1: The National Remembrance Institute (IPN) launched an investigation into the 1940 Katyn crime, IPN's head professor Leon Kieres told. The investigation is planned to cover murders committed in spring 1940 (from March 5, 1940 until an uknown date) in Moscow, Kharkov, Smolensk, Katyn and Kalinin (at present Tver) and other sites in the former SU. By order of Stalin the Soviet NKVD murdered some 22,000 Polish officers and policemen as well as civilians taken prisoner after the SU invaded Poland on September 17, 1939. The crime was investigated by the Military Prosecutor's Office in  Russia for 14 years. The investigation was discontinued last September with no one charged. Russia and Poland remained divided on the legal qualification of the Katyn crime, with the Poles considering it a case of genocide, and the Russians rejecting that view.


Balcerowicz: RPP wants to bring inflation down to 2.5 pct

Katowice, Dec. 1: National Bank of Poland Governor Leszek Balcerowicz confirmed that the goal of the Monetary Policy Council is to bring down inflation to the MPC-set target of 2.5 percent. Following recent MPC decisions, some economists believe that some MPC members are ready to bring CPI down to below 3.5 percent, that is a wider band. Under the November CPI projection, the central bank expects CPI to be above the target in 2005, with its peak in Q1 when inflation is to amount to 4.5 percent. But it is likely to fall to 3.5 pct in Q3 of 2005, that is the upper limit of the range of permissible deviations from the target. The projection assumes that the likelihood that CPI remains above 2.5 pct in 2005-2006 is lower than expected by the central bank, but it is still much higher than the likelihood that inflation will be below the target.


Trybuna: Poland's exports to Russia go up

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Poland's exports to Russia have been going up very fast, Trybuna reported and added that this year's exports to that country would total around 400 million USD, up 60 percent from 2003. But Poland still has a negative balance in trade with Russia (over 2 bn USD) stemming from imports of gas and crude oil, the daily wrote. Following its plans to join the WTO Russia is liberalising its economic laws. In the future it will not be able to protect its market with administration decisions but it will surely not give up veterinary and sanitary control, the daily wrote. Rusian regulations concerning product safety are similar to the ones binding in the EU. Polish firms which have already introduced them should not have any problems with obtaining Russian certificates, the daily said. Deputy PM and Economy Minister Jerzy Hausner is going to Russia in a few days. So there is a chance that export conditions could improve soon, Trybuna said and stressed that Polish businessmen should show more determination.


Bialystok and Grodno to cooperate

Bialystok, Dec. 1: Bialystok, north-eastern Poland, and Belarussian Grodno situated 80 kilometres away have a chance to start effective transborder cooperation, according to the participants in a conference on cooperation which started in Bialystok. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation which supports transborder cooperation has organised a Poland-Belarus Civic Education Centre (CEOPB). The idea is to acquaint Grodno authorities with municipal reforms introduced in Bialystok over the past dozen years or so, and the operation of local government in Germany. Grodno Mayor Alexander Antonenko presented to the conference renovation work carried out in Grodno's old town as tourism is one of priority goals of the town. He counts on further economic cooperation with Bialystok. Firms which are an effect of Polish- Belarussian cooperation operate in Grodno. Bialystok and Grodno have been cooperating formally for many years. Belarussians are to present terms for Polish businessmen wishing to invest in Grodno's free economic zone. Oda von Breitenstein of the Adenauer Foundation told the conference the Foundation wants to get registered in Belarus to support various transborder projects there.


Exhibition "Before Ingmar Became Bergman" opens in Warsaw

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Poland is the first EU country to present to its public the exhibition titled "Before  Ingmar Became Bergman," featuring items from the private archives of Ingmar Bergman, his manuscripts, notes, diaries and other memorabilia spanning 65 years of the famous Swedish director's work for film, theatre and literature. The exhibition will be open in Warsaw to run through December 26. This is the first event of this kind organised by the Ingmar Bergman Foundation established by the filmmaker to take care of his archives. The exhibition illustrates the first steps of the Swedish director towards international fame.


Charity concert for Afghan, Chechen, Sudanese children 

Warsaw, Dec. 1: A charity concert mottoed "Virtuosos for Children Rescued from Oblivion" will be held in Warsaw's National Philharmonic hall, with young talented Polish artists performing. The proceeds will go to the Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) and will be destined for aid for Afghan, Chechen and Sudanese children. The School of Agriculture in Kabul reconstructed with the help of PAH, and schools and kindergartens in Chechnya will be among beneficiaries. The event has been organised by the Ludvig van Beethoven Association and the PAH, the institutions wishing to draw the attention of the general public in Poland to the situation of children around the world suffering because of terrorism, wars, hunger and natural disasters. The event is held under the honorary patronage of Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski.


Fifty-three percent of Poles accept president

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Fifty-three percent of Poles in an OBOP poll were pleased with Aleksander Kwasniewski's presidency (5 points below October), 39 percent were dissatisfied. 80 percent spoke negatively about the Marek Belka government, 13 percent said it fulfilled its functions well (14 pct in October). 92 percent of the president's supporters are members of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), most of his critics (71 pct) belong to Samoobrona. OBOP ran the poll from November 4-7 on a random group of 1,005 Poles aged 15 and over.


PGB poll: Borowski for president

Warsaw, Dec. 1: Marek Borowski of the Social Democracy of Poland (SdPl) would win the presidential elections if they were held in the second half of November, according to a recent PGB poll. Borowski was supported by 16 percent of the respondents. Next came Donald Tusk (Citizens' Platform) and Lech Kaczynski (Law and Justice) supported by 15 percent of Poles each. Twelve percent of Poles said they would vote for Andrzej Lepper (Samoobrona), 11 percent for Maciej Giertych, 8 percent for Zbigniew Religa, 6 percent for Janusz Wojciechowski (Polish Peasant Party), 5 percent for Wladyslaw Frasyniuk (Freedom Union) and 4 percent for Jozef Oleksy. Two percent said they would vote for former president Lech Walesa. PGB ran the poll on November 20-23 on a representative sample of 1,071 adult Poles.


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