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Polish report Polish report
by Euro Reporter
2012-09-26 12:50:41
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Poland Eyes $4 Bln Missile Modernization Program

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has submitted a defence bill to parliament designed to initiate the comprehensive modernization of the country’s missile defence system, the presidential staff said on Monday, according to RIA Novosti. This bill is key to ensuring stable funding for the modernization program, which has been described as “the highest priority for the Polish Armed Forces in the coming decade.”

Poland’s current missile defence system comprises six missile battalions armed with obsolete, Soviet-made, S-125 Neva (SA-3 Apollo) missiles. Only one also boasts a long range S-200 Vega (SA-5 Gammon) system. Experts note that, in its current state, Poland's air defence system is simply unable to provide effective defence against an enemy attack.

The bill calls for a missile modernization budget of $2.5-3.7 billion from 2014 through 2023. There are plans to involve other countries, in particular France and Germany, in this modernization effort. The new system would stand alongside U.S. missile defence facilities, becoming part of NATO’s broader air and missile defence system.

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Poland plans to take €1 billion EIB loan for local investments

The Ministry of Finance has plans to take out a loan of €1 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support local investments. The additional funds would be used to support projects in less developed regions, worth a combined €3.5 billion.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the funds will be distributed as grants for investment-related local projects for regional governments, although at this point it is impossible to designate specific areas that will receive the aid.

Andrzej Porawski, director of the Association of Polish Cities, was pleasantly surprised by the idea, but voiced concerns as to how the money will be distributed. Nevertheless local governments hope that the additional grants will above all help to finalize projects subsidized by the EU, since they are finding it increasingly difficult to put together the sums needed.

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Slow start expected for tomato import season

With the import season for tomatoes in Poland less than a month away, warm weather in Sicily, where a portion of those tomatoes are sourced, is expected to hamper early volume. As the season progresses, however, strong demand should be met with increasing supplies.

“We already know that, in the beginning, the quantity of tomatoes from Sicily will be lower than in other years,” said Rene Noordam of Schego Fruit Company in Poland. With domestic supplies winding down, October is usually when large quantities of tomatoes are imported. But with high temperatures during the growing season in Sicily, Noordam predicts early volumes from that region will lag.

“The summer was too hot and a lot of growers had to replant,” he said. “We expect quantities to really come one month later, in November.” He said that they will have to find supplies from other countries in the meantime since demand will only get stronger when the domestic season ends, especially because most of their tomatoes come from Sicily. But he's confident they'll be able to do that while they wait for their usual supplies to kick in.

“Clients are already calling for information about when we can start with Italian tomatoes,” he said. “But we have the possibility to buy from other countries, so we can guarantee sufficient quantity and quality for our customers.”


      
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