Vol 1, No 4, 19 July 1999
C E N T R A L E U R O P E A N N E W S:
Last Week in Poland
Compiled by Donosy and CER
The Constitutional Court ruled that a law which excludes those officials who committed crimes in connection with their work from general amnesty is constitutional. As a result of the ruling, the policemen who put down the demonstrations in Lubin in 1982 may now be brought to trial.
The administration of the National Park of the Tatry Mountains intends to limit the number of visitors to 10,000 daily. Currently numbers are reaching 45,000 a day; in the most popular regions, the trails are packed with people. The plan is meeting strong opposition from local authorities.
Interior Minister Janusz Tomaszewski presented a report to the Sejm on the state of crime. The report shows that crime is on the rise (over a million crimes were reported last year), while the percentage of crimes being solved is falling. According to the Minister, the police are not prepared to pursue "new" criminals, such as those involved in banking or computer crimes.
Foreign minister Bronislaw Geremek strongly denied reports that he is a candidate for NATO Secretary General. He added that he is not seeking any position with an international organization.
On Thursday 15 July, Poland's chief negotiator, Jan Kulakowski, said in Brussels that Poland will not join the EU on 1 January 2003, if the EU members don't agree to extend the benefits of the Common Agricultural Policy across the whole Polish agriculture immediately upon ascension.
The Coalition (the Solidarity Election Action (AWS) and the Freedom Union (UW)) has agreed that in negotiations with the EU Poland will demand a five-year transition period for restrictions on the sale of land to foreign investors. After weeks of debate, it was finally decided to ask for an 18-year ban on the sale of agricultural land. Ironically, according to the Treasury’s Agricultural Property Agency, foreigners are not particularly eager to buy land in Poland, which is reflected by the decreasing number of sales and amount of land being leased.
Nurses began a massive hunger strike on 7 July and organized a demonstration several thousand strong in Warsaw. A settlement reached on Monday 12 July finally ended the 52-day old general strike action.
The Lustration Court has put the case of Jerzy Osiatynski, the Freedom Union member who was accused back in April of collaborating with the Communist secret service, off until September as it is seeking original documents from the State Security Agency.
The Euro has dropped below four zloties for the first time in history.
Workers’ Shares of KGHM went on trade. Most employees were unloading their shares, which investors (probably foreign) were eagerly buying up. After a one-day decline, the price of KGHM rose sharply on heavy trading.
A Proposition to rename Constitution Square after Ronald Reagan has provoked stormy discussions. Someone hung a banner proclaiming the square "Lech Walesa Square."
The government has been delaying raising the minimum wage since 22 June. It is supposed to be raised every six months and was due to be raised 1 July. Zbigniew Kruszynski from the Solidarity Election Action said that July is already lost, because the increase is valid only after it is announced in Monitor, and there are no compensations for previous months.
The Prime Minister of France, Lionel Jospin, met with Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. Geremek stressed France's important role in Poland's privatization process, particularly in the areas of insurance and telecommunications.
Compiled by Donosy and CER
Donosy's Week in Poland appears in Central Europe Review with the kind permission of Donosy-English:
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