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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2012-02-28 07:44:54
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Prime Minister Meets Solidarna Polska

Prime Minister Donald Tusk met, on Wednesday, representatives of the Solidarna Polska parliamentary club. The meeting was another in a series of consultations with all political parties present in the Sejm, and was devoted to the increase and equalization of the retirement age. "The increase of the retirement age is an indispensable change, which cannot be postponed" - convinced Donald Tusk. "The life expectancy is growing, and will continue to grow in the future. It is therefore obvious that the current retirement age cannot be maintained" - he added.

The Prime Minister noted that the trend concerning the higher life expectancy will be more evident in Poland than it is in countries boasting a higher civilization level. The Prime Minister admitted that increasing the retirement age by seven years understandably raises heated emotions, fears and creates resistance, not only among women. "I am internally anxious as well, as I am aware that the change is of a radical character, but the change is not imminent" - the head of the Government explained.

The Prime Minister answered several questions concerning ways to increase the fertility rate in Poland. He stressed that there are no excuses that would release the government from its duty to seek ways to increase the fertility rate. "I would be dishonest, however, if I said that a proven, guaranteed method exists to increase the fertility rate to such an extent that would release us from the obligation to rise the retirement age" - said Donald Tusk. Solidarna Polska politicians asked Donald Tusk, inter alia, about the situation of the elderly who will have to work longer in the future, about effectiveness of work at different ages and in different professions, about the risk of unemployment within specific age groups and about Open Pension Funds. They were also seeking the Prime Minister’s opinion on some of their own retirement scheme-related ideas.


Poland may float coal trader Weglokoks in 2012

Poland is considering floating its top coal trading firm Weglokoks on the Warsaw bourse this year as part of its efforts to privatise the coal industry, a deputy economy minister said on Monday. "It definitely is possible for Weglokoks to debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2012," Tomasz Tomczykiewicz told reporters.

He did not indicate how much of Weglokoks would be sold. In 2010, Weglokoks posted a net profit of 191 million zlotys ($62 million), while its revenues exceeded 3 billion. It expects to earn 500 million zlotys in 2011, largely thanks to one-off proceeds from the sale of its stake in cell phone operator Polkomtel.

If listed, state-owned Weglokoks would join coking coal producer Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa and miner Bogdanka on the Warsaw stock exchange. In the past two decades, Poland has struggled to make its ailing coal industry profitable. An increase in global coal prices in the last two years has helped to make some of the sector's restructured businesses more attractive to investors.


Poland to engage more partners in nuclear program

Poland will seek to engage more partners to help its top utility PGE build the country's first nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday. Poland, the European Union's largest eastern economy, relies on highly polluting coal for nearly all its energy needs and Warsaw has started a number of new energy projects, including nuclear, to lower the reliance.

"Immediately after naming the new management at PGE, we will look into the nuclear programme," Tusk told a news conference. "We may recommend increasing the number of entities partnering PGE in this undertaking," he said, adding this would reduce any financial risks for any single company, particularly given current difficult economic conditions.

"So we will aim to engage a larger number of partners to join the financial and organisational aspect of building Poland's first nuclear power plant," he said. So far, Poland's no.2 utility Tauron as well as copper producer KGHM, among others, have said they could join PGE in the project. Earlier on Thursday Poland sold some 7 percent stake in PGE for 19.20 zlotys per share. The company has yet to name its new chief executive after the centrist government let go of the former head in late 2011.

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