Polish economy today

Posted on 14. Apr, 2015 by in Countries, Culture, Economy

If you know Polish history, you cannot help but marvel at the country’s emergence from the ashes of its traumatic past (powstanie kraju z popiołów swojej traumatycznej przeszłości). Over the last 25 years, Poland, after centuries of war and subjugation (po wiekach wojen i niewoli), has enjoyed peace (pokój), a stable and booming economy (stabilna i kwitnąca gospodarka), and integration (integracja) with the rest of Europe.

An independent kingdom for the previous 800 years, in 1795, Poland was wiped off the map of Europe and absorbed into three great neighboring powers: the Prussian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires, a state of affairs that lasted until 1918. Reborn following World War I, Poland spent a few short years as a democracy before proving ungovernable, succumbing to dictatorship, and then once again being conquered and divided (zdobyta i podzielona), this time by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, in 1939. Over the next six years, Poland found itself at the center of what the historian Timothy Snyder has called the “bloodlands” of Europe; an estimated five million Poles died between 1939 and 1945, more than half of them Polish Jews. The Nazis and the Soviets also wiped out the cream of the crop of Poland’s intelligentsia and clergy. Warsaw was reduced to rubble, and mass graves were sown across the landscape. Then came four gray and sooty decades of communist domination (dominacja komunistyczna). Only the Catholic Church offered Poles any hope.

Since communism collapsed in 1989, however, Poland has experienced a remarkable reversal of fortune (niezwykłe odwrócenie fortuny). After leading the protest movement that toppled the old regime, the trade union Solidarity won democratic elections and initiated aggressive, market-oriented economic reforms. The communist Polish United Workers’ Party turned into the capitalist Democratic Left Alliance, which won elections in 1993 and 1995 and led the country into NATO in 1999. And in 2004, Poland joined the European Union as a full member, cementing its close alliance with Germany, its erstwhile antagonist.

The Polish economy, meanwhile, has grown rapidly for two decades, at more than four percent per year, the fastest speed in Europe, and garnered massive investment in its companies and infrastructure. Poland’s is now the sixth-largest economy in the EU. Living standards more than doubled between 1989 and 2012, reaching 62 percent of the level of the prosperous countries at the core of Europe.

Poland’s economic freedom score is 68.6, making its economy the 42nd freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is 1.6 points better than last year, driven by improvements in half of the 10 economic freedoms, especially freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, the management of government spending, and monetary freedom. Poland is ranked 19th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average.

Over the past five years, Poland’s economic freedom score has advanced by 4.5 points, the largest improvement in the region. Gains in eight of the 10 economic freedoms include double-digit strides in financial freedom and freedom from corruption. In the 2015 Index, Poland has recorded its highest economic freedom score ever.

Europe 1 400

Shopping in Kraków (Sukiennice)

 

How did Poland manage so decisively to move beyond the repeated tragedies of its past? The question is rarely asked by market analysts, whose sense of Poland seems to go no further back than the economic reforms of the 1990s. Those reforms are indeed part of the story, but only part it, and focusing exclusively on them obscures the deeper causes of the country’s resurgence. Explaining Poland’s economic boom, and why it is likely to last, requires a deeper look into its troubled history.

I’ve been traveling to Poland within last 10 years a lot…and I see big differences every time I go! Polish economy is amazing and I hope it will stay like this, or only will get better:)

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Tug of war on water! What else will Poles come up with?

Posted on 07. Apr, 2015 by in Sports

It looks like a lot of fun! Have you heard about it yet, all the sports fans out there?

Check out this video of a brilliant new rowing game, “invented” in Poland.

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In a twist on old favourite Tug of War, two teams (dwie drużyny) of rowers (wioślarze) – six on six – face each other on either end of a single boat floating in a swimming pool (basen). A rope across the water indicates the middle and the boat is positioned in the dead center of the pool before the rowing starts. The two teams then row furiously, with the aim being to push the boat forward and move their end into the center. After your first watch, you might wonder why the team that crossed the line is celebrating. The aim is to push your team over the line rather than drag the other!

There is no suggested name for it … yet. But 9NEWS employees came up with a few that should be in the running:

Paddle-o-war

Tug-of-row

Row-of-war

Tug-a-boat

Water war

Which name do you like the best and what do you think about it??? Will it become an Olympic event one day?

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter! Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!

Posted on 04. Apr, 2015 by in Calendar, Holidays, Phrases

Happy Easter to all of you! Here are few Easter wishes, that you can send to your friends in Polish:)

Image by k hurst on Flickr.com

Image by k hurst on Flickr.com

 

Staropolskim obyczajem dużo szynki życzę z jajem,
miodu pełne baryłeczki oraz trochę gorzałeczki.
No, a w lany poniedziałek – na kark wody pełen dzbanek.

By old Polish custom, I wish you a lot of ham with egg,
Barrel full of honey and a little vodka.
Well, in the cast Monday – jug full of water on your neck.

Pisanych jajeczek,
Wierzbowych bazieczek,
Kiełbasy święconej,
Dużo chrzanu do niej,
Baby polukrzonej,
Kukiełki plecionej,
Zmartwychwstania w duszy
I Wiosny… po uszy!

Colorful eggs,
Willow twigs,
Holy sausage,
A lot of horseradish to it,
Cake with icing,
Braided puppet,
The resurrection of the soul
And Spring … to the hilt!

Pogody, słońca, radości,
W niedzielę dużo gości,
W poniedziałek dużo wody,
to dla zdrowia i urody.
Dużo jajek kolorowych,
Świąt wesołych oraz zdrowych!

Weather, sunshine, joy,
On Sunday, a lot of visitors,
On Monday, a lot of water,
This is all to health and beauty.
Lots of colorful eggs,
Happy and healthy Easter!

Smacznej szynki i jajeczka
W ten świąteczny ranek,
A w koszyczku wielkanocnym
Samych niespodzianek.

Tasty ham and eggs
On this Easter morning,
And in the Easter basket
Only surprises.

Smacznego jajka, Świąt jak z bajki
I niech Wam zając przyniesie podarki.
Pięknej święconki, udanych wypieków,
Żeby ten czas był najmilszy na świecie.
I taka tradycja jest w tym kraju,
Żeby w śmigusa Was zmoczyć miało.

Tasty eggs, Easter like in fairytale
Let the bunny bring you gifts.
Beautiful holy Easter basket, successful pastries,
Let this time be the nicest in the world.
And that is a tradition in this country,
To be wet on a cast Monday.

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Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych! Happy Easter!