ACTA protests in Poland

Posted on 12. Feb, 2012 by in Countries, Culture, Current News, Economy, Organizations, Politics, Regulations

Tens of thousands of protesters took part in rallies across Europe on Saturday against an international anti-piracy agreement they fear will curb their freedom to download movies and music and encourage Internet surveillance.

More than 25,000 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures in German cities to march against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) while 4000 Bulgarians in Sofia rallied against the agreement designed to strengthen the legal framework for intellectual property rights.

There were thousands more – mostly young – demonstrators at other high-spirited rallies despite snow and freezing temperatures in cities including Warsaw, Prague, Slovakia, Bucharest, Vilnius, Paris, Brussels and Dublin. About 300 people protest next to the Presidential Palace, despite freezing temperatures against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), on a global day of coordinated protest in over 300 cities.

In Poland, the government has decided to postpone the ratification of the controversial anti-copyright agreement that has provoked widespread anger and protest, saying it needed further “consultation”.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that country needed more time to see if the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA as it is better known, was compatible with Polish law.

Speaking at a press conference, the PM added that government consultations over the agreement “had been incomplete” and that he was “mad with his co-workers” because of this.

Opponents of the ACTA, which aims to crack down at online piracy, argue that it will infringe upon the freedom of information and free speech. Venting their spleen, anti-ACTA demonstrations have occurred across the country since the government inked the agreement last month, and hackers even managed to take down the prime minister’s website, among others, in a demonstration of cyber-opposition.

But despite the decision to postpone parliamentary ratification, Mr Tusk said his government would not withdraw from the agreement, and that any government that changed its mind owing to public protest “should resign”.

The government also published a list of “commitments” that it requires to be met before the ratification process can go ahead. Top of this list is the commitment to publish all documents related to the ACTA that the state has, and all the material it can get out of the EU. This, the government hopes, should allow the greater scrutiny the agreement apparently deserves, and help calm fears that it has no secret or unknown aspects which would undermine internet freedoms.

 What is your opinion about it?

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Mama Mia!

Posted on 11. Feb, 2012 by in Culture, food, Games, Health, Kids, Places to eat, Places to visit

If you are a mom, or dad, with little kids, you know this feeling when you show up with your kids in public places. Not everywhere, but there are some places where everyone gives you this look, that just says :”oh no, not kids again…!”

It is really frustrating…kids are just kids and some of them behave really well…some of them have little hard time with it. I remember an 8 hour flight to Europe with my then 6 months old daughter. The moment we took our seats, people next to us started giving us dirty looks. Our daughter was so good, she played and laughed a little and within 1 hour she was asleep…for the rest of the flight. At the end of the trip people started smiling and saying”what a good baby”. But we still remembered their faces at the beginning.

Well, the reason I mentioned it, is because I love kid friendly places, when people actually are nice and treat kids like real human beings!

I recently found a place like that on line. I’m planning a little vacation in Poland soon, so hopefully I will be able to visit the place and enjoy it.

It is called Mama Mia Cafe. It is located in Warsaw, pretty close to Natolin subway stop. Website looks great!

Kids friendly cafe, where you can relax, get some snacks, sweets or light, healthy lunch. There is a great place for kids to play and parents can relax drinking coffee at the same time. They have very nice, quiet place for nursing moms. Place looks very clean, with eco friendly toys.

You can also do some shopping there:toys, gifts like: jewelry, arts, books, stationery, handbags…

They organize different nights with music, games and development workshops for kids and parents.

At the cafe there is also a special menu available for nursing moms!

Here is their website (unfortunately right now only in Polish):

They are opened Monday-Friday 10am-8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays 12pm-8pm.

You can also organize your child’s birthday there:)

Can’t wait to see it on my own! Have anyone been there?

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Drug Sales Grow in Poland

Posted on 09. Feb, 2012 by in Current News, Health, Medicine, Regulations

Pharmaceutical sales rocketed in Poland ahead of the introduction of new drug reimbursement regulations and changes to the official list of subsidized drugs.

Under the reimbursement law adopted by parliament last year and introduced this January, the Ministry of Health will negotiate the so-called fixed refundable price of a drug with its manufacturer. On the basis of this price, the official profit margin will be calculated—ultimately 5 percent; at the moment, it is 8.91 percent. This means that the prices of reimbursed drugs (which means those subsidized from public funds) will be identical in all pharmacies. Previously pharmacies often charged promotional prices for drugs financed by the National Health Fund; some of these drugs could be bought for next to nothing.

The Health Ministry says the reimbursement law will put an end to a situation in which patients buy drugs even when they do not need them—encouraged by the low prices of subsidized drugs offered by pharmaceutical companies. Being part of the reimbursement system guarantees much greater revenue for pharmaceutical companies than when the drug is distributed on the market outside the state subsidy system.

The new regulations, and especially the revised reimbursement list, from which many drugs were removed, have provoked much controversy. After appeals from various interest groups, including patients and doctors, the list was expanded to include drugs such as those used by patients after transplant surgery, those used in the treatment of bronchial asthma in children, and painkillers for cancer patients, in addition to medical supplies such as blood glucose test strips. The list was first published in the form of a public notice rather than an official regulation as it was done previously. Under the reimbursement law, the list will be updated every two months.

No less controversy was provoked by reimbursement law provisions under which doctors were to be financially responsible for any mistakes made when writing out prescriptions for their patients—they were to meet the costs of any unauthorized reimbursement together with interest. Pharmacists were also made financially responsible for any mistakes made while issuing medication to patients. These new rules led to protests from doctors and pharmacists.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)