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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2009-06-14 09:17:34
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Poland gets nearly 6 billion euro

The European Union has given the Ministry of Regional Development in Poland 26 billion zloty (5.8 billion euro).  “It is going well for us, better even that we thought,” stated Elzbieta Bienkowska, Minister of Regional Development, adding that the ministry is expecting to receive another grant of the same amount by the end of 2009.
This year has proven more difficult in securing European Union structural funds, due in part to the global financial crisis, but also to the fact that Poland has not been able to allocate and spend EU funds previously bestowed.  Bienkowska claimed that the Ministry has been slow to dispense start-up grants, adding that institutions receiving more than 4 million zloty (about 893,000 euro) are required to have insurance and provide collateral on the funds. “We have paid out 2.5 billion zloty (about 558 million euro) to date. It is not as much as we planned,” stated the Minister, adding that the Ministry has already planned to allocate 16.8 billion in EU structural funds for co-financing various projects throughout Poland.

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Buzek’s candidature

Leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) meet today to discuss who they should put forward as European Parliament president. Jerzy Buzek from Poland and Mario Mauro from Italy have very strong support from their governments. However, head of the EPP in the European Parliament, Joseph Daul would like to convince one of the states to withdraw its candidate. 
Firstly, he will discuss the issue with the party’s deputy presidents, and then he will want to speak with Italian and Poland prime ministers.  If his plan will not succeed, EPP will have to vote on which of the two politicians should be the groups’ official candidate for president. But that is a situation Daul would like to avoid, as it may cause a split inside the party at the very beginning of the new term of parliament, starting July 14. Unofficially, Buzek is thought to have the backing of the majority of Christian-democrats - including the Germans - the biggest group within the EPP, and MEPs from the new member states. On the other hand, Mario Mauro is supported by the southern European states. The decision of France, which has the third biggest delegation in the EPP, is seen as a key to deciding the outcome.
Jerzy Buzek, who is a former Polish prime minister, can also count on votes of other MEPs from Poland, no matter which party they are from. Politicians from conservative Law and Justice will even try to convince their newly formed parliamentary group’s allies from the Czech Republic and Great Britain to give their support Buzek.


Polish-Norwegian solidarity!

Five Polish towns are hosting Polish-Norwegian Solidarity Week. The project is being held in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Kraków, Malbork and Łancut, in venues which have undergone renovation in recent years thanks to funds made available to Poland thanks to the so-called Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The project includes meetings with former activists of the democratic opposition during the communist period and with the persons who benefitted from various forms of Norwegian assistance to the Solidarity movement in the 1980s.
The aim of the Polish-Norwegian Solidarity Week is to recall Norway’s assistance to the Polish opposition in the 1980s. Following the imposition of martial law in December 1981, thousands of Norwegians offered help to the families of the interned Solidarity activists and organized shipments of medicines to Poland. Underground Solidarity structures benefitted from printing machines brought illegally from Norway. The Nobel Peace Prize for Lech Wałęsa in 1983 was also an important event in Polish-Norwegian relations in the 1980s.

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Emanuel Paparella2009-06-14 14:40:10
Perhaps that is the kind of solidarity as expressed in the 80s when sacrifices were being done for freedom and free speech that can unite all Europeans around common ideals, more than a banal commercial document (the Treaty of Lisbon) long on regulating the spoils of prosperity and short on cultural ideals and vision. Here too, the dog will bark and the elephant will inexorably keep on moving...and after we have done Europe we will do the Europeans...

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