Episode 56

Celebrating Independence Day & more – 14th Nov 2023

Independence Day celebrations, opposition parties' coalition, cryptocurrency trading computers in the Supreme Administrative Court, coffee company Jacobs to build a factory in Jawor, and replacing the local currency with the Euro?

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 14th of November twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s kick off with the Independence Day Celebration…

On Saturday, the 11th, over 40,000 people attended the Independence Day Rally in Warsaw. Some conservatives protested against the LGBTQ+ community and the European Union by trampling and burning their flags. They believe that the LGBTQ+ community threatens family values and that the European Union aims to take countries' independence and sovereignty by forging a Federalist Europe.

Along the same lines, some participants in the rally called for stopping ‘the Ukrainianization of Poland’ since they didn’t want the government to accept Ukrainian refugees, offering them social benefits and financial support.

The current administration is worried about forming a new government…

On Friday, the 10th, Civic Platform, Poland twenty fifty, the Polish People’s Party and the Left Party signed a coalition agreement. The four parties said they were ready to form a government and rule the country together.

Recall that to form a government, either the ruling party or the opposition should reach the majority in parliament—that is, secure 231 seats. The parties are now forced to form alliances since no one got 231 seats in the last parliamentary elections.

The opposition coalition selected Donald Tusk, Civic Platform's leader, as the coalition’s candidate for prime minister.

Last week, the president nominated Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, to form the government. However, he will most likely fail to do so since other parties have refused to form an alliance with the ruling party, the Law and Justice Party. If Morawiecki can’t form a government, the president will give this responsibility to the opposition.

On a related note, many women felt disappointed with the coalition agreement because the parties did not advocate for the legalization or decriminalization of abortion. Even though Civic Platform is pro-choice, two of its allies, Poland twenty fifty and the Polish People’s Party, are against the legalization of abortion. The National Women's Strike, an organization for women's rights, called Hołownia, the leader of the Poland twenty fifty party, and Kosiniak-Kamysz, the leader of the Polish People’s Party, ‘two religious fanatics’.

Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of the ruling party, said on Friday, the 10th, that his party is ready to be the main opposition during the Civic Platform Party government. He announced that his party would organize a patriotic conference in January twenty twenty-four to prevent the new government from ‘handing over Poland’s independence to the EU’— that is, from switching the local currency to the Euro.

Speaking of the EU currency…

When joining the European Union, the country promised to replace the local currency, the Złoty, with the Euro.

On Saturday, the 11th, Glapiński, head of the Central Bank announced that the country might start using the Euro within eight to ten years. Surprisingly, Glapiński opposed the adoption of the Euro in twenty twenty-two. He changed his rhetoric after the EU-friendly opposition won the parliamentary election.

Still on the European Union…

At the request of the Warsaw court, on Thursday, the 9th, the European Parliament canceled the immunities of four Polish Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling Law and Justice party. In twenty eighteen, the four MPs liked and shared a social media post saying that the country would be flooded with refugees if the opposition came to power. According to the regulations between the European Union and member countries, the court in Warsaw needed the European Parliament to cancel the immunities of those MPs so that it could start an investigation and charge politicians with spreading hatred towards immigrants. In contrast, the ruling party said the European Union violated the right to freedom of speech.

On Friday, the 10th, the European Parliament and European Council signed an agreement on the draft budget for twenty twenty-four that included financial support for Poland. The European Union intends to send funding to help refugees from Ukraine and to develop the transportation system.

Truck drivers are not happy with the help Ukrainians are getting.

On Monday, the 13th, the representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian governments met on the Polish-Ukrainian border to resolve the truck drivers' protest. The protesters blocked the border crossing because Ukrainian truck drivers didn’t have to pay entry fees due to war-related help from the European Union. On the other hand, Polish truck drivers said they lost business opportunities due to the large influx of cheaper goods from Ukraine. Rafał Meckler, the organizer of the protest, said they didn’t solve the conflict because the Ukrainian side rejected the demands of the protesters, such as a resumed tax obligation for trucks from Ukraine, a prohibition to register non-European companies in Poland, and separate queues for empty trucks.

Let’s go back to politics for a minute…

On Wednesday, the 8th, Czarnek, the Minister of Education, said he would help Oskar Szafarowicz, Law and Justice Party youth activist, prove that the disciplinary proceedings Oskar received from the University of Warsaw are illegal. The university authorities, where Oskar studies law, said his social media activity violated the institution's rules. Oscar shared a post about an opposition party politician charged with child abuse and accused the victim's mother of not reporting the case earlier.

Let’s step forward to national security…

On Thursday, the 9th, the Internal Security Agency reported recent cyber attacks from Russia. According to IT security, the hacker group APT29 impersonated the Portuguese embassy and sent PDF files titled Ambassador's Calendar with virus links to targets. If targets clicked on links, hackers could gain access to computers. However, the Internal Security Agency didn’t name targets or determine whether attacks were successful.

On a positive note…

The government will keep the same prices for electricity until twenty twenty-four. On Wednesday, the 8th, Jacek Sasin, the Minister of State assets, announced that energy companies had already submitted their calculations for electricity prices in twenty twenty-four but the government intended to introduce new measures to keep citizens safe from price increases after the new year. Still, the executive didn’t specify which measures they would take. The country currently enjoys the lowest electricity prices in Europe because of the government's protection plan.

Despite having the lowest cost of electricity in Europe, some people choose to steal…

On Thursday, the 9th, the Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw confirmed the launching of an investigation regarding electricity theft. Workers discovered computers installed in the ventilation system at the beginning of September. The devices were consuming a high amount of electricity to carry out cryptocurrency trading. The prosecutor's office appointed experts to investigate how much electricity was stolen and who was responsible.

Going ahead with local updates…

On Thursday, the 9th, Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Warsaw, announced a renovation of the Congress Hall. The building has been closed since twenty fourteen to replace seats and adopt modern fire safety standards. However, the building required more renovations and higher funding than expected. The city finally allocated ninety million dollars for renovations this year.

The government also invests in foreign businesses…

The global coffee company Jacobs will build a factory in Jawor, a Lower Silesian city, that will start operating in twenty thirty-five. The company received a seventeen million dollar grant from the government to develop the project and will spend around 150 million dollars in total. Due to the modern automated equipment, the factory will hire only fifty people.

And to close this edition, some health-related news…

The University of Technology in Opole launched a program to improve students' mental health using virtual reality. The results of their recent study showed that more than sixty percent of students are stressed and have signs of depression. However, many of them feel ashamed of consulting a university psychologist. Starting in November, any student in Opole can sign up for the program, where they will have short, fifteen-minute sessions five times a week to watch relaxing videos via virtual reality glasses to reduce stress.

And that’s it for this week! Thank you for joining us! Before we leave, we wanted to thank everyone who has been listening to us, and welcome all the new subscribers! We are happy the Rorshok Poland community is growing!

However, we are also sad because we had to cancel our update about Nigeria, due to a lack of audience and revenue. So please, if you enjoy the Rorshok Poland Update, share it with your friends, or on social media or message us if you have any ideas on how to keep growing, without including ads.

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