Episode 41

Fires in Garbage Fields Cause Political Conflict & more – 1st Aug 2023

Fires in garbage fields, indecisive voters, decreasing inflation rate, possible Wagner attacks at the Belarus border, a fall in summer tourism, postponement of the elections, Tusk’s rally, and much more!

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 1st of August twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let's get the show on the road with important domestic affairs news.

On Thursday, the 27th, another fire broke out in a garbage storage field of mixed waste in the countryside of Płock City. Authorities urged residents of the city to keep their windows closed and not to leave their houses when it is not necessary.

On the same issue, recent fires in waste fields led to tension between the government and the opposition. During the Friday session of the parliament, an MP from the Polish People’s Party appeared in the parliament with a fire extinguisher to protest the government’s management of garbage in the country. The protesting MP called government representatives a garbage mafia.

The government said it will take further measures to prevent fires and disasters in garbage fields. The country will construct new surface radioactive waste repositories to store waste safely. The new constructions are important since the country will build new power plants, which will create further waste.

Other tensions took place between the opposition and the government. On Thursday, the 27th, Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition, the Civic Platform, stated that the government postponed the election date to manipulate the opposition march. Last week, Donald Tusk announced another big rally of the opposition for the beginning of October, just before the elections. However, he thinks that as the time between the election date and the protest widens, this rally would not affect the voters' choice in the election. People would forget about the rally when the elections get closer. The official date for the election is not certain yet, but the public has been expecting it to take place on the 15th of October.

On the same day, the government also said the opposition was manipulating the public, especially through the media. Government officials said the opposition is conducting its manipulation via TVN, a well-watched opposition TV channel. In recent days, the opposition has targeted the government with the issues of garbage fields and the case of a woman who faced mistreatment from the police after she took an abortion pill. Also this week, the government denied a claim saying that the state purchased body bags in mass amounts to prepare for a war against Belarus.

Speaking of the election process, on Monday, the 31st, reporters announced that the third-biggest power, the indecisive voters, will be crucial in the elections. A CBOS survey states that indecisive voters comprise twenty percent of all voters. Their vote will be pivotal in selecting the next government in the October elections.

On that note about surveys, a survey by SW Research shows that the public wants Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, to be the prime minister if the opposition wins. In second place is Donald Tusk.

When it comes to the Confederation Party…

On Wednesday, the 26th, an important name from the Confederation Party said that his party would not form any coalition after the election.

Parties generally form coalitions after the election because no party secures the majority itself.

The public was expecting a coalition between the ruling party and the Confederation Party because they are both right-wing parties. And the Conferedation party is important because, according to recent polls, it would get 10 percent of the votes.

However, Przemysław Wipler, a former MP of the ruling party, will compete in the election under the Confederation Party. He stated that the leaders of the Confederation Party and its voters do not want any coalition. This can put the ruling party in a difficult situation since they might need to form a coalition if it doesn’t secure the majority in parliament after the election.

Let’s not skip important economic developments.

On Monday, the 31st, the inflation rate continued to fall. The country’s statistics office announced that yearly inflation was almost 11 percent in July. In May, the inflation rate was over 13 percent. According to the central bank, the steady decrease will continue. In twenty twenty-four, the central bank expects a 5 percent yearly inflation, while in twenty twenty-five, it will be less than 4 percent.

In the gaming sector…

On Thursday, the 27th, the Chinese tech giant Tencent took over a leading Polish game studio. Tencent bought most of the company shares of the Polish Techland game studio. Techland Game Studios is currently worth over 2 billion dollars.

Speaking of money, on Thursday, the 27th, the Polish Ministry of Education and Science announced that it would give additional funds to doctoral studies. Reporters stated that the additional funds were to boost scientific studies in Poland.

In the tourism sector…

On Monday, the 31st, reporters stated that domestic summer tourism fell by 33 percent compared to last year. The tourism industry felt dissatisfied with the falling number of visitors to the country. Experts state that this year people did not go on vacation because of the high inflation that increased prices.

That’s all for domestic news, let’s see what is going on in foreign affairs.

On Monday, the 31st, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, gave new remarks about Wagner fighters. He said that a group of Wagner soldiers moved to the Polish-Lithuanian border, which separates the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea from Belarus. Other government officials described scenarios where Wagner fighters cross the border with weapons. Yet, experts do not expect a war between Polish forces and Wagner fighters in the near future.

Moving on, on Saturday, the 29th, Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Minister for Development Funds and Regional Policy, stated that Poland will be more involved in the management of investment funds for Ukraine.

The US and Poland condemned the coup in Niger.

On Friday, the 28th, after a coup overthrew the president of Niger, The Polish Foreign Ministry declared its support for the democratically elected president of the nation.

When it comes to EU-Polish relations…

On Wednesday, the 26th, the EU decided to give an additional seat to Poland in the European Parliament. The Polish minister for European Affairs stated that Poland was pursuing more seats in the European Parliament since the country's share in the European Union has increased.

On Friday, the 28th, The parliament approved a proposal to give more authority to the Polish president on European affairs. According to the accepted proposal, the government will be responsible for informing Duda about EU affairs. Also, the president will be key in the selection of Polish candidates for important EU positions. The president will also attend EU summits along with the prime minister.

Two EU members worked together on an environmental disaster.

On the same day, Poland and the Czech Republic set up a dam to prevent the flow of dead fish into Poland via the Oder River. The move came after the Czech Republic experienced an environmental disaster where tons of fish died of poisoning. Environment Minister Anna Moskwa assured that Polish rivers were safe.

And to close this edition…

Poland is currently struggling with thunderstorms, and on Tuesday, the 1st, weather forecast experts say there will be heavy rains and thunderstorms in August as well. Experts urge people to be careful of lightning and floods. During August, experts do not expect excessive heat, the last month of the summer will pass with relatively cold and cloudy weather.

Aaaaand that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

Do you want to know more about us? Head over to our website with the link in our show notes. Over there you can also check out how to contact and support us.

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