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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2010-07-04 07:25:50
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Poland’s presidential TV debates - a draw?

Pundits and politicians are saying that Jaroslaw Kaczynski performed better in the second TV debate ahead of Poland’s presidential elections on Sunday, but this won’t significantly reduce his rival Bronislaw Komorowski’s lead in the opinion polls.  Komorowski said he thought he beat, over two TV debates, Kaczynski, though his rival, “was better prepared than last time” for Wednesday night‘s clash. This was the second of two debates on the candidate’s policies on foreign, economic and social issues.
Leader of the Law and Justice party and former Prime Minister Kaczynski said afterwards: "It was a debate which helped show the differences between two concepts of Poland - the liberal and conservative. I think that those who watched it will be able to draw their own conclusions.” The Polish news agency PAP quotes Anna Materska-Sosnowska from the Political Science faculty at Warsaw University agreeing that Kaczynski (Law and Justice) had done his homework, this time, as opposed to the first debate on Sunday, where he seemed unprepared. If it was “1-0 to Komorowski three days ago, now it‘s 1-1,” she said.  SLD deputy leader Katarzyna Piekarska thought the second debate “a draw,” again commenting that Kaczynski seemed “sluggish” last Sunday.
Stanislaw Żelichowski from the Polish Peasant’s Party (PSL) - the junior coalition partner with Bronislaw Komorowski’s centre right Civic Platform - also thought Wednesday night’s debate even. "Generally, nothing has changed . Debates such as these can only influence the outcome of the election when one candidate clearly wins," said Żelichowski. 


Flood damage of over 100 million euro in central Poland

Financial losses incurred by the recent flooding in Warsaw and the central region of Mazovia are estimated to exceed 120 million euro. “We’re still assessing the losses. The damage to infrastructure alone amounts to 300 million zloty (72 million euro),” said Jacek Kozlowski, governor of the Mazovia province.
“We still don’t know how huge the losses to the energy and telecommunication sector as well as farming were,” added Kozlowski. The total damages are estimated at 500 million zloty (120 million euro).


A 29-year-old wants to trek along the Polish borderline

29-year-old Michał Gontaszewski from Polkowice (Lower Silesia) attempts to cover on foot the total length of the borders of Poland that is a distance of about 4,000 kilometres. He set off on Monday. He claims that what he mostly fears is solitude, ticks and stray dogs, but above all – that he will prove too weak to complete his journey.

During a press conference, Michał Gonataszewski revealed that his idea of walking along the Polish borderline emerged a couple of years ago. “It has been my dream for quite a long time. My aim in making this extreme journey was not only to give myself a trial, but also to promote Polkowice” – he said. It was only last year that his plans started to become real. Initially, Michał was to be accompanied by his friend, but the latter had to resign for some personal reasons.

Gontaszewski wants to cover daily a distance of 40 to 65 kilometres. He will sleep in a tent and eat food that he will drag on a two-wheel trolley. “I’m equipped with a GPS device thanks to which my coordinator, that is my brother, will know exactly where I am and where to send another supply of food and other necessities. GPS will also grant me a feeling of safety”- he said. Michał took only two pairs of shoes on his extreme journey, but he has a complete first aid kit for sore feet and blisters.

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