Episode 74

POLAND: Visiting the US & more – 19th Mar 2024

Politicians in the US, the Weimar Triangle restoration, a law on drunk driving, a Pegasus case investigation, a change to the EU Green Deal, the Steam Locomotive Parade, 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 

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



We want to get to know you! Please fill in this mini survey:


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



Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 19th of March twenty twenty-four. A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s kick off with foreign affairs updates. On Tuesday, the 12th, President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited the United States to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Poland's membership in NATO. The Two leaders met in Warsaw before the visit to show solidarity between Poland’s government and its president. Then they traveled to the US on two separate planes for security reasons.

Politicians met with US President Joe Biden, who affirmed unquestionable US support for Poland's security. During the visit, Biden announced a loan of two billion dollars in military aid for Poland and the sale of new helicopters. On the other hand, two Polish leaders asked the US to increase its military presence in Poland to deter Russia. In their speech, politicians also asked other NATO countries to increase their military spending from two percent of their GDP to three percent. Before the meeting with Biden, two Polish leaders met with the members of the US Congress and asked them to give Ukraine a sixty-billion-dollar aid package.

Despite the President and Prime Minister’s positive mood throughout the US visit, another debate sparked between them right after the trip. On Thursday, the 13th, the government tried to replace fifty ambassadors that the previous Law and Justice administration appointed, saying that the ambassadors were not qualified enough for the job. The public believes that this decision is another instance where the new government tries to eliminate the effect of the Law and Justice party on the country. However, according to the law, the government cannot recall an ambassador without the president's ratification. President Andrzej Duda stated that he did not agree with the government's decision. Now the executive is looking for other ways to replace the ambassadors.

More on political changes. On Friday, the 14th, the government restored the Weimar Triangle — an alliance between Poland, Germany, and France signed in nineteen ninety-one — after two terms of Law and Justice rule when the party put the alliance on hold due to their hostility towards Germany and France. The allied countries cooperate to make the EU more powerful since Poland, France, and Germany have nearly half of the EU's population. People expect the alliance to be more productive in helping Ukraine fight in the war against Russia, especially now, since Ukraine's integrity hangs by a thread.

Speaking of Russia, on Monday, the 18th, the government said that this week's Russian elections were not legal, democratic, or fair. The Polish foreign ministry criticized the election in which Vladimir Putin received over eighty-five percent of all votes and became president for another term. Poland stated that the voters were oppressed during the election since there were videos on social media showing police entering voting booths to make sure people voted for Putin. Moreover, Russia broke the principle of democracy and freedom since there was no opposition party. The ministry also criticized Russia for holding the election in the occupied Ukrainian cities.

Moving on to internal affairs. On Thursday, the 14th, the government adopted a strict regulation to curb driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the regulation, police can take a car away if the driver has at least an alcohol blood level of 0.15 percent. The police keep the car during the court process. If the court decides on the ultimate forfeiture of the vehicle, it will be the state's property. The law was put into question, as it may be too harsh. Amid people's dissatisfaction, Deputy Justice Minister Arkadiusz Myrcha said that the government may amend the new regulation.

In addition to the drunk driving law, the government investigates the Pegasus case. On Friday, the 15th, the parliamentary commission investigating the Pegasus spyware case questioned Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the former ruling Law and Justice party. Recently, the party faced accusations that they illegally used the Pegasus spyware to spy on the opposition party's politicians. The commission's session started with an oath ceremony to ensure transparency. However, Kaczyński refused to repeat one part of the oath, saying that he should get permission from the prime minister to reveal secret information on the use of Pegasus. The commission asked a court to fine Kaczyński because he did not finish his oath required by law. In the second part of the session, Kaczyński denied that the previous government bought the spyware in his office and that they used it to track the opposition. He refused to give further information and said it was state secrets. The commission will question other Law and Justice politicians before making a final decision on the case.

On a positive note, on Friday, the 15th, the statistics office announced that yearly inflation decreased significantly following its record in February last year. The annual inflation was almost three percent in February this year, compared to nearly nineteen percent in February twenty twenty-three. This positive development brought bad news for customers in Poland because the government announced that they would reintroduce a five-percent VAT on food products. In twenty twenty-two, the former government removed the VAT on food to help people financially amidst increasing inflation. However, the new government thinks that inflation is low enough to reintroduce the VAT on food.

This week the church experienced some changes. On Thursday, the 14th, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda became the new chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, the highest organ for church affairs in the country. Wojda said that his first aim as the new chairman is to complete Pope Francis’ request and create a synodal church that will delegate the church's decision-making power to multiple bishops rather than one person. He added that the church is facing difficulties in church-state relations since the state recently refused to fund catechesis classes. After his appointment as chairman, Wojda created a team to contact the government about enhancing religious classes in schools.

In some updates on the farmers' protest… On Saturday, the 16th, the European Commission announced amendments to the Green Deal to halt the farmers' protests across the EU. According to the new amendment, farmers can continuously use the land without giving it a resting period. Moreover, they are more encouraged than obliged to reduce CO2 emissions. The agriculture minister supported the amendment. However, Polish farmers continue to protest. On Monday, the 18th, they staged another protest at the German border, which blocked traffic at the Świecko and Gubinek border crossings. Farmers will continue to protest until the EU formalizes the amendments.

Let’s switch gears and hop into culture updates. On the 4th of May, the city of Wolsztyn, in the west of Poland, will host the 28th Steam Locomotive Parade for railway fans and tourists. Since nineteen ninety-one, thousands of people have attended the event annually. The organizers announced that the parade will displace historic old steam trains belonging to Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic. People will also be able to rent a room inside the old locomotives for up to one week. The organizers announced a special surprise for this year's event without disclosing any more details.

And to close this edition, on Thursday, the 13th, police in Stanisławów detained a fifty-eight-year-old man for torturing and killing a cat. The man said that the cat was hunting his pigeons. In Poland animal torture is a serious crime and the court can sentence the man for up to five years in prison for aggravated animal cruelty.

And that’s it for this week!

Remember, if you want people to admire and respect you, or you want to get a great present for somebody you care about, or you just want to help us, buy one of our really cool and environmentally friendly T-shirts! They are made of 100% unbleached organic cotton, grown and ginned in Texas, spun and knit in the Carolinas, and sewn and printed in Missouri. To buy one, follow the link in our show notes.

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!