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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2010-11-29 07:24:07
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Poland's Komorowski hails Russian recognition of Katyn massacre

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on Saturday hailed the decision by the lower house of Russia's parliament approving a declaration recognizing the 1940 Katyn massacre of Polish officers as a crime committed by Stalin's regime. "I believe this is a positive signal that came from Moscow before the upcoming visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Warsaw. We must accept this document with great satisfaction keeping in mind that this is an official document by the [Russian] parliament," Komorowski was quoted by Polish media as saying.

Medvedev is scheduled to visit Poland by the end of the year. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called the Russian State Duma's decision a "good step" and said he expects further steps from Russia in the same direction. According to official data, over 20,000 Polish officers were killed in 1940 by the NKVD - the Soviet secret police. The executions took place in various parts of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The largest massacre occurred in the Katyn forest near the Russian city of Smolensk.

The Communists, who opposed the declaration after it was drafted, say the Polish officers were executed "by German occupation authorities in the fall of 1941, rather than by the NKVD in 1940." They also say they can provide documents to prove their viewpoint. Communist lawmaker Vladimir Kashin said if the draft was adopted then the relatives of those shot in the massacre would attempt to gain financial compensation from Russia. The issue has been a source of tension in Russian-Polish ties, but Russia's recent admission that Soviet forces were responsible did much to improve relations.


Poland's October unemployment rate revealed

The unemployment rate in Poland stood at 11.5 percent at the end of October, unchanged from the month before, according to data released by the Central Statistical Office (GUS).

Historically, the jobless rate has tended to increase as the winter approaches, due to a loss of jobs in construction and agriculture, meaning October's figure can be taken as a good sign for the economy.

GDP data for the third quarter is due out next week and Halina Dmochowska, deputy head of GUS, expects it to a show slight improvement on the 3.5% y/y growth achieved in the previous quarter.


3 men charged in Auschwitz sign theft

Three people have been charged in last year's theft of the famous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, a prosecutor said last Friday.

The prosecutor, Robert Parys, said he could not immediately confirm details about those charged, but Poland's official PAP news agency reported the main suspect is a Swedish man, Anders Hoegstroem.

Prosecutors say Hoegstroem incited two Poles to steal the sign, which sat atop the entrance to the camp, PAP reported. He pleaded not guilty, and would face a sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted, the news agency reported.

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