Tag Archives: Polish parliament

Polandian Predicts – 2011

It’s that time of year when Mystik Monika rolls her palms over her crystal ball and tries to foresee what the future holds. The Polandian crew found a few spare złoty down the side of the couch and asked her to cast her eye over what lies in store for Poland over the coming year. Here’s what she had to say:

January – Donald Tusk will start campaigning for the October parliamentary elections early by announcing that he would like Poland to “become the new Laos, Belize, Tajikistan… someone…?!?” After trying to be the next Ireland didn’t turn out to be the dream he wanted, he will latch onto any country as an alternative option. However, this will back-fire as the voters will not react well to his flip-flopping, and he will spend months trying to repair the damage.

February – The football season resumes after the winter break, and a surprise team charges to the top of the Ekstraklasa table with Arbiter FC picking up 3, 4 or 5 points in every game they play. Some notable results sees the referee send off all eleven players for Lech Poznań when they play the Arbiter side. In another game, the referee awards a world record 24 penalties as Arbiter FC wins 25-1 against Wisła Kraków. Suspicions arise but the official response from FIFA was “Meh, whatever!” as Sepp Blatter walks away with a few złotys drifting out of his pockets.

March – Following successful treatment for her boyfriend Nergal, Doda becomes a nun, claiming that a prayer to God had saved her boyfriend in his darkest hour. Her payment in return would mean her becoming a nun. However, 4 hours later the stunt is revealed to be a hoax, as Doda just wanted to dress up in a nun’s outfit for her new music video.

Nuns on the run?

April – Prima Aprilis is celebrated once more on April 1st, and the PKP decide to play an April Fool’s joke by releasing a whole new train timetable, effective from 00:00 on April 1st. An example of the fun includes trains being scheduled to travel between Wrocław and Gdańsk with a detour through Lublin. The Minister for Transport is fired.

May – On April 30th, Germany finally opens its borders to all of the ‘new’ EU countries allowing their citizens to work there without needing a visa. 200,000 Poles move to Berlin, then realise there are no jobs there, and that they miss pierogi and barszcz too much and have returned by the end of the May holidays. In the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Doda and Nergal perform a rock duet, finishing a close second place to the “Sexy Robot Singers” from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

June – Poland prepares to take over the 6 month EU presidency. Police run drills with batons and water cannons as thousands of protesters are expected to complain about the hundreds of millions of złoty that it will cost to hold the presidency.

July – Poland takes over the EU Presidency. A record heat-wave of 2 weeks reaching almost 40 degrees Celsius turns most Poles into zombies, unable to function as normal. Police use batons to smash lumps of ice into more manageable sized pieces while water cannons prove hugely popular as an option to cool off.

Refreshingly cool!

August – With a census taking place between April and June, the results are finally released in August, and it turns out there are 8 million foreigners living in Poland! Most have been hiding out and speaking only a few sentences of Polish to get by – enough to order bread, meat or a beer. A new political party called ‘Poland for non-Poles’ is set up to make the most of this revelation.

September – The return of the school year brings controversy as the political parties get involved in electioneering. One political party calls for more school uniforms, hoping to win the teachers vote. Another calls for less school uniforms to satisfy the parents. One foolish party calls for mandatory black tie wear while in school, aiming for the ‘too cool for school’ crowd while forgetting they are too young to vote.

October – As the parliamentary elections finally arrive, the voters have been whipped up into a frenzy, and it results in a record 90% turnout to vote. It seems the threat of a party called ‘Poles for non-Poles’ stirred a few fears in Poles, although most forgot that foreigners could not vote anyways…

Who did she vote for?

November – In the final football match for the national football team of 2011, a friendly is arranged against Liechtenstein – presumably to allow the Polish players confidence to rise before facing the might of Spain, Holland and Germany in Euro 2012. However, the plan backfires as Poland lose 2-1 in Warsaw with Hermann Pfarrfenknuggen the hero, scoring two goals for Liechtenstein. Poland immediately withdraws from hosting Euro 2012 due to shame, citing the lack of investment in roads, hotels and other infrastructure as the reason.

December – 2011 ends with a language confrontation. With the economies of Ireland, the UK, the United States and other Western countries continuing to suffer, more and more Polish emigrés return home. However, with many millions having gone to English speaking countries, a campaign has arisen for Ponglish to be used as the second language of Poland. The official campaign spokesperson said “Szur, it sims diffikult at fyrst, but ju get just to it”. Efforts to adopt it as a second language falter with the older generation though, who feel more comfortable with the Cyrillic letters of the Russian alphabet.

That was it from Mystik Monika for this year. She’ll probably be back at some time in 2012!

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Is PO working?

I know I sometimes have a lot to say about our friend at PiS, his brother and other people but it’s important to have some balance so today the question is simple – are PO actually doing anything?

PO’s broken promises

Education Minister Katarzyna Hall yesterday admitted that her flagship project to send six-year old children to school will be postponed. This is another election promise, after the health sector reform and the prohibition on hitting children, Civic Platform (PO) has failed to execute as planned. (Dziennik, p. 7)

Pan Tusk & Co have been in power for just over a year now and support for them is still high (not difficult given the alternatives!). They promised various wonderful things before they were elected but are they actually making progress in delivering them?

“We are afraid that it is all about public relations, as has often been the case with the PO government, showing bags under Donald Tusk’s eyes, tired from working on the legislation, and nothing more,” PiS deputy Mariusz Błaszczak told a press conference in September after the legislative offensive had been announced.

Marek Migalski, a political scientist at the University of Silesia, held a similar opinion. He said that the fact that bills were introduced in the Sejm as late as this autumn, rather than at the beginning of the year, showed that PO had not been prepared to keep its promises when it came to power last year and testified to the legislative push’s character as a PR move.

“The first year of PO’s leadership was certainly disappointing, especially for its own electorate,” said Migalski. He added that the party had neither fulfilled its economic promises, nor had it had any significant success in the field of foreign policy.

According to the Business Centre Club (BCC), which claims to be the largest organization of private employers in Poland, the PO-PSL government has so far fully or partially realized just 28 out of 172 draft bills presented by either Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak or PO deputy Janusz Palikot’s “Friendly State” commission. According to the BCC, that’s a 16 percent success rate so far.

“One year of the PO-PSL coalition being in power shows that the government is not, and will probably not be in the future, the bringer of the ‘economic miracle’ which PO promised,” said a special BCC report earlier this month. “It is obviously not true, as its political opponents both inside and outside Parliament claim, that the government has not done anything and is not fulfilling its election promises. But the pace of change, especially in the economy, is too slow,” the report added.[Text from here]

We’re all wise enough to expect at least half of what a politician promises to be a load of old testes but they really do need to make progress on a few issues at least. Any party can survive a year by doing nothing and thereby not upsetting anyone but coming into year two that tactic won’t work anymore. Now they have to actually start delivering things.

Here’s the original list of TO-DO items for Tusk & Co:

Civic Platform’s election promises

1. We will speed up economic prosperity and take advantage of it.
2. We will significantly raise pay in the public sector and increase pensions
and social benefits.
3. We will build a modern network of freeways, expressways,
bridges and bypasses.
4. We will guarantee free access to medical care and abolish
the NFZ (National Health Fund).
5. We will simplify the tax system – we will introduce a flat tax
with a pro-family relief and abolish over 200 administrative fees.
6. We will speed up the construction of stadiums for Euro 2012.
7. We will quickly complete our mission in Iraq.
8. We will encourage Poles who have emigrated to return home
and invest in Poland.
9. We will raise the quality of education and improve access to the internet.
10. We will take up a real fight against corruption.

How many of those can we say are 25% completed (the amount of their term they have already used up)?

I can attest to the fact that the tax regulations changed as I’ve already received my first payment of the year and that was deducted at 18%, so in respect of income tax they have done something. Not a flat rate as promised but better than nothing.

If you enter “Poland withdraw Iraq” into Google you get an amazing array of dates by which this country was going to get out from 2004 through to October 2008. As far as I know it hasn’t happened yet although I do recall hearing something about even more troops being sent to Afghanistan!

Speed up stadiums for 2012….tee hee….we all know how close we came to losing the tournament altogether.

The other points…..?

Is anything good happening on ul. Wiejska?

I predict Pan Tusk & Co have until spring, summer maximum, to really start delivering the goods. As this recession bites further into Poland, as unemployment rises, as more promises are broken and strikes organised (like the healthcare people right now) this country’s attitude towards PO is going to shift quickly from the original excitement and current ambivalence to something altogether more negative and irreversible.

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