Episode 44

The Senate Pact & more – 22nd Aug 2023

The Senate Pact, election campaigns, upcoming referendum, lightning strikes, massive military parade, and much more!

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 22nd of August twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s start with heated debates in the domestic area,

On Thursday, the 17th, opposition parties finally announced the ‘Senate Pact’ to run the election with a joint list for the upper house, the Senate. The Civic Platform, the Polish People’s Party, Poland twenty fifty, and the Left parties have been working on the pact for months to overcome the ruling party in the Senate. In the agreement, opposition parties also promised to work together to form a coalition after the parliamentary election if no single party secures the majority.

Speaking of the opposition and the election process…

On Friday the 18th, the Confederation, the Polish far-right party, started its nationwide election campaign. The Confederation ranks third in most of the polls, following the ruling party and the main opposition party.

Krzysztof Bosak, one of the leaders, stated that they aim to conduct the best election campaign. The Confederation Party previously announced that they do not plan to form a coalition during the election process.

On the same day, Poland’s New Left party also started its campaign after announcing its candidates for members of the parliament and senate. New Left co-leader Włodzimierz Czarzasty stated that they aim to win the elections through cooperation with other opposition parties, including the Civic Platform.

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling party Law and Justice, or PiS, stated that his party’s message is ‘A Secure Future for the Polish People’. The ruling party will promote what they have done so far to boost security, including developing military efforts and energy security, to stay in power for a third term.

On our last note about the election…

On Thursday, the 17th, the parliament accepted amendments to the national referendum that will take place on the 15th of October simultaneously with the parliamentary election. With the amendments, Poles will vote on three more topics, in addition to the migration issue. Opposition parties harshly criticized the referendum by saying it is a political game of the ruling party and that some will boycott it.

On Monday, the 21st, Poles stated their opinions about the upcoming referendum. A poll by UCE Research for Onet journal indicated that only half of the Poles wanted to participate in the referendum. Thirty-eight percent of the participants indicated that they would boycott it. Most of them are supporters of the main opposition party, the Civic Platform. Those who want to participate in the referendum are mostly supporters of right-wing parties, including the ruling party, the Confederation, and Kukiz’15.

When it comes to the security of the country…

On Wednesday, the 16th, reporters shared the details of the massive military parade that marked Armed Forces Day last week. The Polish army put on a show in the capital with more than 200 military vehicles, 90 fighter jets, new modern tanks, and air defense systems. Additionally, troops from other NATO countries, including Britain and the US, participated in the parade.

Since we are talking about the military parade….

On Sunday, the 20th, an incident happened with a Black Hawk helicopter at a local military show for Polish Armed Forces Day in Ciechanów city. The helicopter collided with an electric line when it was flying low. Luckily, the line was not active, which prevented any injuries. The opposition criticized the incident and asked for an investigation of those responsible.

Speaking of the army…

On Wednesday, the 16th, the government announced that Poland will domestically produce new frigates for the army. The production of swordfish frigates will take place in Gdynia. The defense minister said that a powerful navy was "indispensable in ensuring security" for Poland.

The first delivery of three frigates will take place in twenty twenty-eight, and the army will receive even more in the following years.

Poland will not only modernize warships but also fighter jets.

On Monday, the 21st, Poland will replace its Soviet-era fighter jets with modern ones. Mariusz Błaszczak, the defense minister, made the announcement during a presentation of the air force’s new FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea. South Korea has delivered two fighter jets, and ten more will come by the end of this year.

More about security…

On Thursday, the 17th, President Andrzej Duda submitted a draft to the parliament to boost Poland’s ability to combat external threats. Officials stated that they prepared the legislation according to recent threats from Russia. The draft legislation aims to boost coordination between security forces and the ability to take a quick decision in case of a threat.

Let’s not skip important developments in the economy.

On Wednesday, the 16th, the Polish Statistics Agency announced that Polish yearly inflation continues to fall. The yearly inflation rate fell to almost 11% in July. The chief of the central bank expects inflation to fall below 10% by the end of this year. Yet the fall takes place at the expense of economic growth. Experts stated that the Polish economy shrank 0.5% in the second quarter of this year.

On the same day, President Andrzej Duda signed a law to expand early retirement for sixty-four jobs. Some of them include miners, steelworkers, nuclear reactor operators, pilots, and medical rescue workers. In these cases, people can retire at sixty, if they are men, and fifty-five if they are women. Typically, in the country, the retirement age for men is sixty-five, and sixty for women.

When it comes to foreign affairs…

On Wednesday, the 16th, Polish President Andrzej Duda met with his Latvian counterpart in Warsaw. The two leaders held a talk about security issues revolving around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and recent Belarus’ incursions into Polish airspace.

Both leaders also announced the construction of new railways and roads. Duda stated that, via new modern railways and roads, countries would deliver arms quicker in case of a conflict.

In unrelated news…

On Friday, the 18th, heavy lighting and storms killed a seventy-six-year-old woman in the village of Aleksandrów. This week, some 80,000 lightning strikes took place in Poland. People called firefighters for help more than a thousand times to deal with the aftermath of extreme weather events.

On Monday, the 21st, authorities urged people to be cautious as the drowning toll spiked in the country. Figures indicate that 250 people have drowned since the beginning of April. Only this weekend, nineteen people lost their lives. The main cause of the incident is the consumption of alcohol and drugs before swimming. Authorities recommend that people swim only in areas where lifeguards are present.

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

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