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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2011-05-29 10:33:26
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Obama reassures key ally Poland

Military ties topped the agenda as U.S. President Barack Obama wrapped up his European tour with a visit to staunch ally Poland on Saturday. Fresh from the G8 economic summit in France, and after stops in Ireland and Britain, Obama moved to reassure East European allies that co-operation on missile defence with their Soviet-era master Moscow does not mean NATO will cede partial control to Russia.

"In addition to re-establishing a wonderful conversation with strong friends and allies, I wanted to make sure that everyone in our country and everyone around the world understand that the trans-Atlantic alliance remains a cornerstone, a foundation stone, for American security," Obama told reporters after meeting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Washington's military moves on Moscow's former turf have angered the Kremlin, leading to U.S. olive branches. "We believe that missile defence is something we should be co-operating in with the Russians because we share external threats," Obama said earlier after meeting Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski. "But we think it is very important that NATO remains in charge of NATO defence capabilities. That's one of the central principles of NATO."


Poland’s flagship stadium won’t be finished on time

The National Stadium in Warsaw, the opening venue of the European soccer championship in 2012, won’t be ready by the end of June, as originally expected. It will likely be finished for the championship, but the delay may prompt negative comments from the Union of European Football Associations, in charge of organizing the tournament. UEFA expected the stadium to open a year ahead of the event, which Poland will co-host with Ukraine. The soccer association has previously complained bitterly about the state of preparations in crisis-stricken Ukraine, and Poland’s preparations appeared to be less chaotic and more on schedule. A significant delay in the construction of Poland’s largest stadium may put a strain on the country’s reputation with UEFA.

Red Bull X-Fighters, a motorbike stunt show, was supposed to be the first event of the new stadium, scheduled for August 6. But the organizer’s website Wednesday said ticket sales would be postponed at the request of the stadium’s state-held owner. The consortium of Austria’s Alpine Bau, and Poland’s Hydrobudowa and PBG in 2009 won the contract, offering to build the stadium’s arena and roof for about 1.25 billion zlotys ($450 million) net. But for months Polish news media have reported that the cooperation between the consortium and its subcontractors hasn’t been running smoothly.

Alpine hired the asset consultancy EC Harris to produce a report on the reasons behind the delay, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily said on Wednesday. The Austrian firm cites faulty designs of electricity installations and other reasons on the part of the stadium’s owner to justify why it should be given another 10 months to finish the stadium. It had earlier been extended the deadline for completing the stadium. Alpine originally agreed to complete the work by May. The government-owned stadium owner insists Alpine has agreed to the timeline of the project and pledged to cooperate with authors of all designs on any alterations.


Poland should limit scale of interest-rate increases

Poland’s central bank should limit the scale of rate increases as they may damp economic growth while failing to curb inflation, said Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, a member of the Narodowy Bank Polski’s Monetary Policy Council. The unemployment rate, near a 4-year high in March at 13.1 percent, is lowering the risk of price growth sparking wage demands and boosting inflation, which is being driven by supply factors that will fade, Chojna-Duch said in a May 24 interview in Warsaw.

“The dilemma the MPC needs to face is whether to continue the tightening cycle and, if we do, when and at what level to end it so that we don’t damage economic growth,” she said. “The next inflation projection prepared by the central bank staff will be important in determining whether we should end the current tightening cycle and shift to a neutral monetary policy stance.”

Policy makers around the world are struggling to contain accelerating inflation, driven by surging food and fuel prices. Poland was the second of the European Union’s three biggest eastern economies to begin boosting its interest rates, following Hungary, which lifted its borrowing costs in November, December and January. The Monetary Policy Council raised the benchmark seven-day rate a quarter-point to 4.25 percent on May 10, against the expectations of 24 of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The move was made to preempt a buildup of wage and price pressures as inflation accelerated in April to 4.5 percent, above the central bank’s target of 2.5 percent for a seventh month.

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