Vol 1, No 1, 28 June 1999
C E N T R A L E U R O P E A N N E W S:|
Donosy's Week in Poland
650,000 people attended the Papal mass in Stary Sacz, including the President of Hungary and the prime ministers of Poland and Slovakia.
The Peasants' Party (PSL) and Self-Defense set up a working group to establish a platform for a common candidate for the Polish presidency.
After reports of numerous poisonings in Belgium and France, the vice-director of Coca Cola in Poland has downplayed the problem of tainted cola in Poland, because Polish Coke is produced locally.
The Social Democratic Party (SdRP) disbanded in an atmosphere of euphoria and great satisfaction with the achievements of the party and its leaders. Members were advised to join the new SLD.
Unionist members from the Lucznik factory in Radom demonstrated in Warsaw in defense of their factory. They demanded the immediate payment of back wages and guarantees that the factory would not close this year. Talks with the government are continuing, but the demonstrators also tried to block the streets, leading to some pushing and shoving with the police.
Changes in the financing of employment programs for the handicapped were proposed by the Ministry of Finance. Instead of tax relief for firms employing physically handicapped persons, there will be payments allotted for each new position.
Polish Telecommunications (PT) intends to "get serious about the Internet." This is clearly a reaction to the recent entry of cable companies onto the Internet access market. PT wishes to combine television and telephone services with Internet access.
The Pope visited Gliwice and Jasna Gora before returning to the Vatican. While saying his farewells at the airport, John Paul II unexpectedly invited President Aleklsander Kwasniewski to his car. Pundits are busy speculating what he might have said.
The government again discussed changes to the tax code. Finance Minsiter Leszek Balcerowicz has put forth a new proposal - namely that taxes for individuals be lowered next year. Otherwise, there will be too much of a discrepancy between the rates paid by large and small firms (the latter pay the same rates as individuals).
The Senate rejected the Sejm's amendment to the legislation governing the medical profession, which would have limited access to prenatal tests.
Following the Pope's departure, protests returned to the streets of Warsaw. They included workers from the Lucznik factory as well as ambulance drivers. Nurses are also still protesting. There were also protests in Lubin - workers from the company KGHM (metals and mining industry) are demanding higher wages or the resignation of the company president.
Preferential conditions will again be on offer to new investors by way of special economic zones. A few weeks ago, the government halted giving investors such permits because of warnings from Brussels. Now, it appears that the zones can continue at least until the end of 2000.
The Central Statistical Bureau (GUS) announced that industrial production rose between the months of April and May and was 2.3% higher than a year ago.
There have been several recent reports of documents with personal information found inside dumpsters (usually thrown out by banks). It is not clear whether banks have started to regularly discard confidential information or if journalists have suddenly decided that this is newsworthy.
Donosy's Week in Poland appears in Central Europe Review with the kind permission of Donosy-English:
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