Episode 66

POLAND: Budget & more – 23rd Jan 2024

Government budget plan, European grant for corn producers, resumed flights to Tel-Aviv, wind farm project, new Ministry of Industry, and much more!

Thanks for tuning in!

Let us know what you think and what we can improve on by emailing us at poland@rorshok.com. You can also contact us on Twitter & Instagram @rorshokpoland or on Mastodon @poland@rorshok.social

Like what you hear? Subscribe, share, and tell your buds.

Wanna avoid ads and help us financially? Follow the link:


Oops! It looks like we made a mistake.

In 6:20, the reader should have said "illness."

Sorry for the inconvenience!


Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 23rd of January twenty twenty-four A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

The country's budget planning always accompanies the beginning of the new year. The lower house of parliament, or Sejm, started the second reading of the twenty twenty-four draft budget. According to the draft, the government will mainly focus on defense, health care, and child-related programs like social help for women in labor, the in-vitro program, and financial support for families with children. On the other hand, the National Broadcasting Council, the personal data protection office, and the Institute of National Remembrance will receive smaller funds. The government also evaluates its earnings at 170 billion dollars collected from taxes, with a forty-eight billion dollar budget deficit.

On that note about the budget, the European Commission decided to grant 250 million dollars to support Polish corn producers suffering business losses due to the Russian-Ukrainian war. The financial support will help Polish agriculture compete with Ukraine's cheaper products imported to Europe. Each corn business will get up to 300,000 dollars.

Speaking of Ukraine’s products, the other positive news for agriculture is the EU concession to limit the influx of Ukrainian products into the European market. The EU allowed Ukraine tax-free imports in June twenty twenty-two because the Russian invasion blocked their Black Sea transportation routes. Since then, Polish agricultural products have faced competition with cheaper ones from Ukraine, and market prices have fallen. The EU officials mentioned that if the situation worsens, they will block Ukrainian imports entirely.

On more Ukraine-related updates, on Monday, the 22nd, Prime Minister Tusk met with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Shmyhal in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Tusk and Zelenskyy discussed military support for Ukraine, mainly the plan to build ammunition and weapons together. Tusk once again declared his support for the country in war and announced the appointment of a commissioner for the reconstruction of Ukraine in his new government. Moreover, Tusk assured that he would do everything he could to help Ukraine with its accession to the EU. Later in the day, the Polish Prime Minister and his Ukrainian counterpart laid wreaths on the Wall of Remembrance of those killed in war.

Moving on to the energy sector, Orlen Group, a Polish patrol company, and Northland Power, a Canadian energy company, will build the first wind farm made from recycled materials in twenty twenty-six. The Baltic Power project will reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by ten percent. Moreover, the project will cover three percent of the entire national energy demand. The international institutions that constitute the Project Finance formula will fund the project with five billion dollars, the biggest fund Poland has ever received for one project. Orlen Group also intends to spend eighty billion dollars on environmentally friendly energy sources such as wind energy, biofuels, and electromobility in the future.

Speaking of Orlen, on Tuesday, the 16th, the Supreme Audit Office sent a legal document to the prosecutor’s office saying Orlen must have done some machinations because the company refused to hand in their financial reports to be examined. In response to accusations, Orlen’s management said the company reveals all the information about state money spending, but, according to the law, the Supreme Audit Office shouldn’t ask for internal financial reports.

Let’s go back to environmental issues for a minute. On Saturday, the 20th, the conference about European climate policies took place in Krakow. Szymon Hołownia, the parliament speaker, along with Renew Europe, the European Parliament political group, organized the conference where participants discussed European challenges in the energy sector and polished government priorities on resolving the climate change issue.

According to Rzeczpospolita research, the country's news agency, fifty percent of Poles are ready to give up their cars to help the environment. However, it also showed that younger generations -between eighteen and thirty-four years old— are less willing to forsake the comfort of their cars than older generations. Youngsters justify their choice with air pollution statistics, which show that domestic heating and cooking systems are responsible for seventy-five percent of pollution, whereas traffic only causes four percent.

The chemistry students from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan participated in the competition Direction: Space with their research project on how gravity influences the growth of plants. The team aspires to discover a way to cultivate plants on the Moon, Mars, and other planets. The research may help establish new colonies in space since plants are a key factor in oxygen production that makes the planet fit for life. The winners will receive the unique opportunity to propose their project for testing in space and the assistance of space experts during their research.

The government also proceeds with reforms. The Council of Ministers announced that the newly created Ministry of Industry would start working on the 1st of March. Marzena Czarnecka will be the new minister. The Ministry of Industry will manage the mineral deposits and take over some of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Assets.

On the 1st of March, Wizz Air, the Hungarian ultra-low-cost airline, will resume flights from Krakow to Tel Aviv, Israel. The airline will operate flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. In early October twenty twenty-three, the airline suspended flights to Tel Aviv due to the Israel-Palestinian war.

Flying with Wizz Air might not be the best choice since the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection charged Wizz Air Hungary with violating consumer rights during their promotion campaign on the 23rd of May twenty twenty-three. The company sold tickets from Poland to any destination for only six dollars. The next day, customers received a message saying that their ticket purchases were annulled due to a system malfunction. However, the refund the company promised never arrived to most customers. On other customers' complaints, Wizz Air didn’t refund service fees for flights they canceled due to its own reasons.

Next up, healthcare news. On Wednesday, the 17th, The Polish Breast Cancer Survivors, or PARS, launched a media campaign called Band Aid for Cancer to spread awareness about cancer ahead of International World Cancer Day on the 4th of February. Gastrointestinal and reproductive system cancers are the most widespread among the population. The campaign aims to normalize speaking about cancer and share the experiences of cancer survivors to help people diagnosed with this illness.

Education is also among the government's priorities. The National Agency for Academic Exchange, or NAWA, organizes Polish language courses for students and teachers from abroad. Six of the biggest universities, including the University of Łódź, and Wroclaw University, participate in the program, and all willing to join the course can register until the 15th of May. In addition to language courses, participants get free accommodation and meals.

In cultural updates, the Polish detective series Forst ended up in second place in the top ten Netflix non-English series ratings this week. Based on Remigiusz Mróz's original story Forst, the Netflix adaptation follows a detective solving a series of brutal crimes in Zakopane, the winter resort in southern Poland. The series got nine million views in a week.

Similarly, the Mies van der Rohe twenty twenty-four EU Prize selected forty of the best architecture projects in Europe, and the Błonie Market near Warsaw is among them. Aleksandra Wasilkowska, the market's architect, created a contemporary design for the public space that connects the park and bazaar. The white roof reflecting sun rays is a distinct feature of the market.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

Hey, did you know that if you are listening to us on Spotify you can leave a comments or questions in the episode? Take a look at it, it's right there. The comments are private by default, and we won’t publish them. We might give you a shoutout in the next episode. Put something in there, go crazy! We'd love to hear from you!

Do zobaczenia!

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Rorshok Poland Update
Rorshok Poland Update

Support us

We don’t want to have ads in the updates, which means we currently make no money doing them.
If you enjoy listening and want to help us out financially, you can do so by leaving us a tip. If you can’t help us out financially but still want to support us, please hit the subscribe button in your preferred podcast platform and tell your friends about us.
Support Rorshok Poland Update
We haven’t had any Tips yet :( Maybe you could be the first!