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Wieliczka Salt Mine

A Fantastic Christmas Card from The Wieliczka Salt Mine

December 20, 2012 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice | , , , | Leave a comment

No End of the World in Poland tomorrow

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The head of the Polish National Security Bureau (BBN) has said that “there will be no end of the world in Poland,” as Doomsday approaches on 21 December.

“Maybe for some it will be the end of the world, I do not know. But in Poland it won’t be,” BBN chief General Stanisław Koziej told the RMF FM radio station after being questioned whether the predicted end of the world, as the ancient calendar of the Mayan people terminates on Friday, is a threat to Poland’s national security.

Koziej said that though he had heard “a bit about the story somewhere”, from the point of view of Polish national security, the prediction is irrelevant as it is “highly unlikely”.

Poles have generally taken the news that the world will be coming to an end on 21 December in their stride, although Mayan apocalypse mania has taken root with many in Russia.

For a month now, some Russians have been buying up shop-loads of candles and matches, salt and torches in a desperate effort to protect themselves from doom.

The panic prompted Vladimir Puchkov, Russia’s emergency situations minister, to invite Russians to call a special end-of-the-world hotline if they had fears that time was running out on Planet Earth.

December 20, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Euro for Poland ???

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President Bronislaw Komorowski has repeated his support for Poland entering the eurozone, but politicians have to convince the public it is in their best interests.

“I think I was almost the only one who said that the prospect of Polish membership of the eurozone is essential to maintain the role of our country in the European Union,” President Komorowski told the TVP public broadcaster on Monday night.

“Today, the trick is not only to preach these views but to convince the public,” Komorowski said.

Setting a date for adopting the single currency is difficult in present circumstances, however, as opinion polls show a majority against adopting the single currency.

“We have to examine what it means for the Polish economy. There is also the question of whether we can maintain our position in the EU, while not being in the mainstream of integration,” he said.

Komorowski’s comments come after the EU’s statistical service, Eurostat, announced that the eurozone posted a trade surplus of 10.2 billion euros in October, up from a deficit of 0.7 billion euros the previous year with the value of exports from the euro area to the rest of the world jumping by 14 percent, while imports rose by 7 percent.

Conditions for Poland joining the eurozone do not currently exist, however, according to the Finance Ministry, which says that the inflation rate and government debt are still too high.

Roman Kuzniar, an adviser to the president for international affairs, said on Monday that a realistic date for adopting the single currency would be in 2016.

“That would require entering the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism [where the Polish currency the zloty would be tied to the euro and only allowed to fluctuate within set limits] as early as next year – which is unlikely,” says Piotr Kalisz, chief economist at the Citi Handlowy bank.

On Monday, EU president Herman van Rompuy tweeted the main points of the eurozone banking supervisory (SSM) deal, agreed last week at the summit in Brussels, which Poland, though not yet a member of the euro area, signed up to.

“Establishment of SSM is a breakthrough. If we had had this supervision 10 years earlier, financial crisis wouldn’t be so severe,” tweeted Van Rompuy, adding that the worst of the crisis in the eurozone is over.

“It is clear that even if the worst of the crisis in terms of threat to € very existence is behind us, much still needs to be done.”

December 20, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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