Episode 63

Increase in Healthcare Funding & more – 4th Jan 2024

An increase in healthcare funding, an emergency meeting due to a Russian missile, the new type of fuel in gas stations, increasing support for death penalty legalization, a concert of one of the most famous violinists in the world in Warsaw, and much more!

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Witam from BA! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 4th of January twenty twenty four. A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

This week, on the night of Sunday, the 31st, to Monday, the 1st, the country celebrated New Years

On New Year’s Eve, the new prime minister Donald Tusk appeared on the state television TVP for the first time since his government took over the channel, to celebrate the new year. After celebrating the new year, Tusk promised to transform the state media to a reliable information source. Recall that the new liberal government changed the staff of the channel to get rid of executives who were allies of the former ruling party, Law and Justice, among other changes. For example, the channel’s popular news website was fully deleted as the news there sided with the former ruling party.

Speaking of national television, On Wednesday, the 3rd, the former ruling party and today’s main opposition, Law and Justice Party, announced that they will organize a protest on January the11th, to condemn the new government’s recent changes of state television TVP. The protest will take place in front of the parliament and the party will provide buses for people who want to join. In addition, the National Broadcasting Council, the responsible council for the state television, said the new government’s action was illegal and they filed a complaint to the EU.

hich were manufactured before:

On the same note, the new government introduced further changes. On Thursday, the 28th, it was announced that there will be an increase in the healthcare funding to fifty billion dollars to boost the healthcare system in the country. Compared to last year’s funding, it is an increase of nine billion dollars. Moreover, the monthly cash support that newborn kids get for two years will increase from 125 dollars to 200 dollars.

On another note regarding the changes, on the first day of the new year, President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that prohibits selling energy drinks to people under 18 years old. Shops that will not apply the rule may face a fine up to 50,000 dollars.

The national TV isn’t the only one experiencing difficulties: the private channel called TV Republica is as well. On Thursday, the 4th, IKEA Poland and mBank announced they will no longer buy the ads forTV Republica because they don’t support the recent xenophobic statements on the channel. On Wednesday, the 3rd, Marek Król, one of the channel's journalists, said that the government should catch immigrants and tattoo their identification numbers or implant microchips in their hands, as the municipality does for dogs. The police has started an investigation.

The other discussed topic this week was death penalty legislation…

On Tuesday, the 2nd, a researcher Dr. Zbigniew Nowak said that more and more people support the legalization of the death penalty in the country. According to his last study titled ‘Death penalty in Poland. Choice or necessity?’, nearly sixty percent of people support the death penalty for serious crimes. Nowak mentioned in his study the example of Grzegorz Borys, a former military personal who tortured and killed his son the month before. At the time, some people believed the crime deserved the death penalty. Yet, Nowak said it would be challenging to introduce the death sentence in the country because EU regulations prohibit it, and no political party supports it.

The new year brought further concerns about the Russian-Ukrainian war…On Friday, the 29th, the Polish army and its allies in NATO got alarmed after a Russian cruise missile hit Poland’s eastern Lubelskie voivodeship. Fortunately, security officials confirmed that nobody was injured as the missile hit an empty field. Polish president Andrzej Duda called an emergency meeting with Donald Tusk, his ministers, and army officials, while Polish F-16s and oil tanker planes belonging to NATO allies took off immediately to defend the Eastern airspace of the country.

Following the incident, government officials held talks with Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO. Also, Joe Biden, the US President, assured that the US will provide Poland with necessary military support. Additionally, Poland’s foreign ministry summoned Russian charge d'affaires and gave a diplomatic note to the Russian Federation, warning that the country will respond militarily if any similar incident would happen again.

Moving on to local affairs, on Wednesday, the 3rd, the Warsaw-Praga District Prosecutor's Office started an investigation on the death of a twenty-three-year old man, who claimed to have been beaten by police officers..

On Saturday, the 23rd, this man called the police saying a stranger was accosting him. However, when they arrived and tried to help, the police sources claim that he acted aggressively and insulted them. Afterward, the man went to his home and told his mom that police officers had beaten him severely and burned cigarettes on him. He died several hours later. The prosecutor's office ordered the gathering of evidence to investigate the incident.

Ukrainian pianist who died in:

On Sunday, the 31st, the National Museum in Kraków announced their plan for twenty twenty four, after the museum experienced a record in attendance with over 1.5 million people in twenty twenty three. For twenty twenty four, the museum plans to open new exhibitions such as the Georgian art exhibition called ‘Golden Fleece – the Art of Georgia’ and the new exhibition belonging to the European Renaissance.

Speaking of Kraków, the National Museum is not the only attraction that broke a record. Kraków’s Wawel Castle attracted more than 2.5 million visitors in twenty twenty three.The castle currently hosts ten exhibitions belonging to former Polish empires and dynasties, as well as more than 400 artifacts from all around the world. The director of the Castle announced that the exhibitions will go up to sixteen and that the visitors will be able visit the royal palace's cells for the first time in the new year.

In unrelated news…

The parliament’s YouTube channel reached 650,000 subscribers thanks to the new speaker of the Parliament, Szymon Hołownia, who is also the leader of Poland twenty fifty party. Before his position in government, Hołownia hosted the Poland Got Talent show and attracted the public with his rhetoric and television personality. Journalists from Polskie Radio stated that he was likely to become a candidate for presidency in the twenty twenty five Presidential elections given that people like him.

Aaand that's it for this week!

Happy New Year from the Rorshok family! These are our wishes for twenty twenty four: 1) that you tell your friends about us. 2)... Noup, that’s about it.

Remember you can help us financially with the link in the show notes.

Do zobaczenia!

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