Episode 53

Broda Against PM Morawiecki & more – 24th Oct 2023

Prime Minister’s nephew, possible reformation to the TVP, wasting food, discussion over the number of soldiers, investing in the European Space Agency, pro-Palestinian protest in Warsaw, and much more!

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 24th of October twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s kick off this episode with an update on the nation’s political life…

Franek Broda, the eighteen-year-old activist for LGBT rights and nephew of Prime Minister Morawiecki, is glad because Morawiecki will lose his political influence due to the election result. On Wednesday, the 18th, Broda told Onet Journal that his uncle should face legal charges for restricting individual freedom, such as supporting abortion bans and blocking the legalization of LGBTQ+ marriages. Furthermore, there have been many discussions recently about the prime minister's wealth. Broda wants authorities to investigate whether his uncle increased his wealth illegally while he was the head of the government.

Speaking of the government, there might be some changes.

Donald Tusk, the opposition leader, promised to reform the main state channel, TVP. Since the opposition will likely form the next government, Tusk plans to fire the employees who supported the ruling party during the election campaign. Commenters, managers, and broadcast coordinators are more likely to lose their jobs since they were in the public eye the most during the election. The opposition has to propose a change to the law regulating state channels so they can legally dismiss media employees.

Similarly, the ruling party always prioritized the army's development during its term. However, the upcoming government change may alter the situation. On Saturday, the 21st, Tomasz Siemoniak, the former defense minister of the Civic Platform government, said that Poland does not need an army of 300,000 soldiers, which was the plan of the current nationalistic government. The country currently has 190,000 soldiers. Siemoniak thinks that 150,000 soldiers will be enough and that the new government will possibly reduce the number of soldiers. However, the ruling party spokesman said that Russia would welcome this plan and that reducing the number of soldiers in the face of Russian and Belarusian threats against the country is madness.

On the other hand, it appears that the new government will still ban abortions. While the Civic Platform and the Left Party favor legalizing abortion, their coalition partner, the Third Way Alliance, composed of the Polish People’s Party and the Poland twenty fifty Party, is against any changes to the law. On Thursday, the 19th, Piotr Zgorzelski, a member of the Polish People’s Party, said that his party supports Christian values and will not contribute to the legalization of abortion.

While on the subject of politics…

According to a study called Poland in the European Union: Benefits, Poland has received 250 billion dollars from the EU but only contributed eighty-five billion to the EU’s budget since joining the bloc in two thousand four. After entering the European market, Poland also received more than 460 billion dollars in foreign investments. So, the country definitely benefited from the EU membership.

On that note about the European Union…

The new government will likely have better relations with the European Union than its predecessors, the Law and Justice Party. The opposition block is EU-friendly, and their leader, Donald Tusk, is the former head of the European Council. This week, he will visit Brussels to convince the EU Commissioner to unlock frozen COVID-19 funds. The EU did not transfer the funds since the current government refused to reform the legal system, one of the main requirements to receive the money. If the EU decides to unlock these funds, Poland will get almost eighty-two billion dollars.

In the same breath, the nation advances in science…

Early this year, the country signed an agreement with the European Space Agency, or ESA, to conduct scientific studies on the International Space Station. On Saturday, the 21st, Grzegorz Wrochna, the head of the Polish Space Agency, said that Polish companies will conduct eighteen experiments this year. They will do experiments on mechanics, space mining, and equipment. Moreover, the government will increase its initial investment in the European Space Agency of 140 million dollars by 300 million. Sławosz Uznański, the Polish astronaut, is now undergoing daily training before the August twenty twenty-four space mission. He will become the second Polish astronaut to go into space.

Let’s move on to external affairs…

On Monday, the 23rd, Rau, the foreign minister, participated in the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. The main discussion topics were the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Palestinian war. Rau encouraged the European Peace Facility to give Ukraine the eighth tranche of financial support. The minister also condemned Hamas, the Islamic political and military organization, and said Israel has a right to defend itself.

Further down the road, internal affairs…

On Saturday, the 22nd, pro-Palestinian supporters with anti-Semitic banners protested in Warsaw. A Norwegian medical student carried a banner that read ‘keep the world clean (from Jews)’. The Israeli Ambassador in Poland was furious about the incident. He said that authorities should have intervened in the protest. Simultaneously, the minister of foreign affairs blamed Rafał Trzaskowski, the Warsaw mayor, for letting the demonstration happen.

More cases of priests abusing minors have come to light this week…

On Wednesday, the 18th, the district court in Lublin dismissed the case of Artur S. Duchowny, a priest who recorded a man naked in a toilet. The victim decided to withdraw from further proceedings after the priest's apology. At the same time, the religious authority in Siedlce removed the priest Mirosław N. from all religious affairs. The court sentenced him to two years in prison for kissing a fourteen-year-old boy in a religious camp in twenty sixteen.

Amid the increasing number of child abuse cases, police increased precautions against pedophilia. On Wednesday, the 18th, authorities detained twenty-three people suspected of importing and possessing child pornography nationwide.

Speaking of religion…

The city council of Wrocław will not pay for religious classes anymore. Dominik Kłosowski, the left-party representative of the council, stated that the city has more important expenses than financing catechesis, which fewer and fewer children attend. The government will have to pay for religious classes in the city from now on.

In unrelated news…

On Wednesday, the 18th, the Federation of Polish Food Banks announced that citizens wasted five million tons of food in twenty twenty-two. The study, Don't Waste Food twenty twenty-three, revealed that individuals and families are responsible for sixty percent of all waste, while restaurants and companies are to blame for the rest. The federation said the statistics were alarming because almost two million people live in poverty. While the food banks across the country collect unsold, quality goods from stores and redistribute them to people in need, regular people waste tons of food. They encouraged citizens to avoid stacking themselves and buying only what they needed.

Moving on to cultural events…

On Monday, the 23rd, Irena Santor, the iconic Polish singer, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Coryphaeus of Polish Music at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Irena Santor influenced generations with her folk music, and she is most famous for her song Hey, a bird flew by.

On Thursday, the 19th, the Japanese students planted an apple tree in the garden of the Japanese Embassy in Warsaw. The tree is a symbol of the Polish and Japanese friendship. The Polish nation is grateful to Japan for taking care of 800 Polish children that Russia deported to Siberia during World War II.

And to close this edition…

The US Air Forces in the Europe Band and the Polish Military Band from Bytom went together on a tour through Poland to promote Polish and American friendship. The tour started on Tuesday, the 24th, in Brzeg Dolny, a southwestern city of Poland.

And that’s it for this week!

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