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Tag Archive: Poland


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File:Wolves in Kolmården.jpg

Vargar    Wikimedia.org

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the guardian

Wolves return to Poland more than 50 years after being wiped out

National park outside Warsaw says several of the animals seem to have settled there again after government cull in the 1960s

Wolves have returned to a large national park on the outskirts of Warsaw, decades after they were wiped out there under a hunt launched by the communist authorities.

“We’re really happy,” said Magdalena Kamińska, spokeswoman for the 150sq mile (385sq km) Kampinos national park, Poland’s second largest. “The fact that wolves have returned to our park, from which they completely disappeared in the 1960s, means that nature is in good health and is renewing itself.”

Park employees spotted a first wolf in 2013, but the animal was just passing through. Now there are several and they appear to have settled in for the long haul, Kamińska said.

 

 

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Governments and NGOs: Germany Spied on Friends and Vatican

Efforts to spy on friends and allies by Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, were more extensive than previously reported. SPIEGEL has learned the agency monitored European and American government ministries and the Vatican.

The BND's listening station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria: In addition to spying on friends, German intelligence also monitored Oxfam, Care International and the Red Cross. Zoom

DPA

The BND’s listening station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria: In addition to spying on friends, German intelligence also monitored Oxfam, Care International and the Red Cross.

Three weeks ago, news emerged that Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had systematically spied on friends and allies around the world. In many of those instances, the BND had been doing so of its own accord and not at the request of the NSA. The BND came under heavy criticism earlier this year after news emerged that it had assisted the NSA in spying on European institutions, companies and even Germans using dubious selector data.

SPIEGEL has since learned from sources that the spying went further than previously reported. Since October’s revelations, it has emerged that the BND spied on the United States Department of the Interior and the interior ministries of EU member states including Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia. The search terms used by the BND in its espionage also included communications lines belonging to US diplomatic outposts in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. The list even included the US State Department’s hotline for travel warnings.

 

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Thomson Reuters

REUTERS

World | Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:24am EST

Germany seeks clarity on whether spy agency snooped on own diplomat

Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service spied on a German diplomat, possibly violating the constitution, and on allies including French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, a German radio station reported on Wednesday.

Officials firmly declined to comment on the report, but the parliamentary committee that oversees intelligence agencies was due to meet later in the day with the issue to be discussed.

The report by the Berlin-based rbb Inforadio was the latest twist in a growing scandal over the activities of Germany’s BND stemming from revelations in 2013 by U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

Without identifying its sources, rbb said the BND had monitored German Hansjoerg Haber, from 2008-2011 head of the EU’s observer mission in Georgia and then a senior diplomat in Brussels. He is now head of the EU’s mission in Turkey and married to a state secretary in the Interior Ministry.

The BND declined to comment. A government spokeswoman, quizzed for about 20 minutes at a regular news conference, declined to comment on the report directly and said the oversight body worked “without discussing everything in public”.

 

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France

‘Nothing surprising’ about Germany spying on France


© AFP archive | French President François Hollande with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 

Text by FRANCE 24 

Latest update : 2015-11-13

No one should be surprised that Germany’s foreign intelligence service spied on French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, a former French Air Force intelligence officer told FRANCE 24 Friday.

Berlin public radio reported this week that the BND intelligence service had listened in on its French allies, prompting a show of indignation from French President François Hollande.

“We ask that all the information be given to us,” Hollande said Thursday on the sidelines of a migration summit in Malta. “These kinds of practices should not go on between allies.”

“I know that the chancellery will do everything it can to explain the circumstances to us in detail,” he added, saying he had been assured that such spying “had completely stopped”.

According to former French Air Force intelligence officer Alain Charret, who is a member of the French Intelligence Research Centre (CF2R) thinktank, Hollande’s show of outrage is just hot air designed to calm public opinion.

 

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Photo essay / Drill aims to test the mettle of the men and women at the controls, rather than the technical capabilities of their fighter jets

Israel hosts its largest-ever international air force exercise

Israeli, American, Greek, and Polish air personnel square off against a fictional enemy state in two-week drill

October 30, 2015, 12:53 am 46

Israeli and foreign fighter jets fly in formation through cloudy skies over the Negev desert during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on Oct. 27, 2015. (Israel Air Force)

Israeli and foreign fighter jets fly in formation through cloudy skies over the Negev desert during the ‘Blue Flag’ exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)

 

Air forces from around the world have gathered deep in the Arava desert in the south of Israel for the past week and a half to take part in the largest aerial exercise in the history of the Israeli Air Force.

The “Blue Flag” exercise, which is continuing through November 3, pits the Israeli Air Force, the United States Air Force, Greece’s Hellenic Air Force and the Polish Air Force against a fictional enemy state, the captain in charge of all IAF exercises told The Times of Israel Thursday night.

A number of other countries, including Germany, also sent pilots and officers to observe the exercise, but did not take part.

This joint drill is the second “Blue Flag” exercise; the first took place in 2013 and was the largest multi-lateral exercise the IAF had ever hosted.

The various air forces collaborated closely through every step of the current exercise, the IAF captain said, from planning to execution and finally to debriefing.

Though the exercise began on October 18, planning for it started nearly eight months ago, the Israeli official said, with an IAF representative contacting each participating country and initially asking, “What do you want to train for?”

Those requests came together to form the plan for “Blue Flag,” which sent Israeli and American F-15 squadrons, along with Israeli, Hellenic and Polish F-16 squadrons, flying through nearly all of Israel’s air space, firing simulated weapons against fictional enemy missile launchers, convoys and aircraft, he said.

 

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Israel hosts largest-ever intl air force drill, pitting troops against fictional enemy

© Israeli Air Force
Israel is hosting its largest-ever international air force exercise. The two-week ‘Blue Flag’ drill features Israeli, American, Greek and Polish troops in a battle against a fictional enemy state.

The Blue Flag drill consists of Israeli and American F-15 squadrons, as well as Israeli, Hellenic, and Polish F-16 squadrons flying through Israeli airspace while firing simulated weapons against fictional enemy missile launchers, convoys, and aircraft, the Israeli Air Force captain in charge of the exercise told the Times of Israel.

© Israeli Air Force

However, the captain said the exercise is designed to test the capabilities of the troops involved, rather than the military equipment itself.

“We wanted it to be challenging for the airmen, rather than for the machines,” said the IAF captain, who could not be named due to security reasons.

 

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The following maps are presented  simply to put the sheer proximity  of the  military exercises and the  Russian Airbus A321 crash.

 

FinanceTwitter Home

Russian Airbus A321 Crash – Can Putin Feel What Malaysians & Dutch Felt?

Russian Airbus A321-200 Flight 7K9268 Crash - FlightRadar24 Map

However, the Egyptian government has rubbished that the plane was shot down by missile. The Russian concluded that the Russian Airbus A321 that crashed in the Sinai broke up in mid-air at 36,000-feet. The plane had been heading from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to the Russian city of St Petersburg before the crash.

 

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CULTUREEL WOORDENBOEK

Suez-crisis map of Troop Movements

https://i0.wp.com/www.cultureelwoordenboek.nl/images/suez_war.gif

Suez-crisis

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Euroflights.info

Eilat with airports

Eilat Israel Port On a Map

Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel. Eilat is located on the Red Sea and is an important port for Israel and a popular resort town

Ovda Airport

Ovda Airport is located 45 km to the north from Eilat.

King Hussein International Airport, Jordan

King Hussein International Airport is located 10 km to the north east from Eilat.

Manufacturer says meat in that state only because it had been stored for inspection as part of the horsemeat inquiry
Ireland meat found
Photograph showing meat detained at the Irish burger manufacturer. Photograph: Supplied by chief veterinary officer of Poland

A large consignment of green and rotting meat fit only for petfood was found by Polish food safety investigators investigating the horsemeat scandal at a leading Irish processor – prompting claims it could have ended up in the human food chain.

The meat was found at the giant Silvercrest factory in County Monaghan, Ireland, which produced frozen burgers adulterated with horse for Tesco, Aldi, the Co-op and Burger King. The investigators examined the raw material in early 2013 as part of their official inquiry in to the scandal.

Their report suggests recycling meat deemed “not fit for human consumption” into the human food chain was part of the horsemeat fraud (pdf). But the Irish manufacturer, backed by the Irish government, says it was rotting only because it had been stored for inspection as part of the horsemeat inquiry. They say the quality of the meat had been affected by repeated unpacking and examination as part of the investigation.

The 30-page report by the chief veterinary officer for Poland was compiled after a formal visit by inspectors to Irish plants implicated in the horsemeat scandal. Photographs of the meat showed it was a mixed batch of very poor quality and parts had turned green. Polish investigators say it was destined for burgers but must have been unfit for human consumption all along. “What I saw was clearly unfit for human consumption. It was part of a bigger consignment but I was told the rest of it had already been used,” inspector Katarzyna Piskorz said. “I asked why the factory managers had not noticed the state of it, but was told they had not seen any problem.”

The Polish report explains how inspectors examined eight pallets of meat from a delivery of 22 pallets that had been destined for burger production. The pallets had been detained at Silvercrest in January 2013 by the Irish authorities, who had sealed them in a refrigerated lorry when horse DNA was found in the consignment.

The Polish team insist the Irish authorities had allowed them to examine meat that had not been fully unpacked before their arrival and, but for the discovery of horse, would have been sold as burgers.

Food safety-Polish report-rotting meat

Spacers made from paper rather than cardboard. Photograph: Supplied by chief veterinary officer

When it was fully unpacked, they say they found old meat that was green and rotting or brown and had been deliberately mixed with fresher red meat. The meat pictured in their report is unhygienically wrapped and labelled with official Polish veterinary marks and factory labels that the Polish authorities believe are copies or reused from other consignments.

ABP said the meat and its packaging had deteriorated because it had been stored in a refrigerated lorry for three weeks under quarantine conditions – rather than those for meat intended for the food chain. It said the meat had deteriorated while being moved and unpacked for testing. All the meat arriving at the factory had the correct documentation on arrival and would have been tested before being passed, it said. ABP also insisted none of the burger meat in the consignment had left its plant or entered the food chain.

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Burger King admits it has been selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat

  • Fast food chain has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up
  • Fast food chain had earlier assured its products were not involved
  • Processing company Silvercrest has been using non-approved ingredients
  • Aldi today admitted burgers sold through UK stores probably contaminated

By Sean Poulter

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Burger King has tonight admitted that it has been selling burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat despite two weeks of denials.

The fast food chain, which has more than 500 UK outlets, had earlier given a series of ‘absolute assurances’ that its products were not involved.

However, new tests have revealed these guarantees were incorrect in a revelation that threatens to destroy the trust of customers.

Burger King has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up of its links to the horsemeat scandal in order to give it time to find an alternative supplier. It has admitted selling burgers containing horsemeat

Burger King has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up of its links to the horsemeat scandal in order to give it time to find an alternative supplier. It has admitted selling burgers containing horsemeat

It also raises serious questions about whether the food company, which sells around one million burgers a week in the UK, has any good idea about what goes into its products.

The contaminated burgers were made by the Irish-based processing company, Silvercrest, which is part the ABP Foods Group.

The same company also made tainted burgers for Tesco, Asda and the Co-op, among others.

Burger King has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up of its links to the horsemeat scandal in order to give it time to find an alternative supplier.

It is currently shipping in tens of thousands of burgers from suppliers in Germany and Italy in order to meet demand at its UK outlets.

It is known that the management at Silvercrest has been using a series of non-approved ingredients in their burgers for a range of household name brands.

These included meat off-cuts, including horse, that were imported in large frozen blocks from Poland.

The contamination has been going on since at least last May and potentially for up to one year, according to evidence presented to MPs earlier this week.

Tonight Burger King abandoned its earlier denials, saying: ‘Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA.

Burger King is currently shipping in tens of thousands of burgers from suppliers in Germany and Italy in order to meet demand at its UK outlets

Burger King is currently shipping in tens of thousands of burgers from suppliers in Germany and Italy in order to meet demand at its UK outlets

‘Within the last 36 hours, we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland.

‘They promised to deliver 100per cent British & Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them. 

‘Through our investigation, we have confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier is the same company identified by the Irish Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest’s contamination issue.’

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

 

A police officer inspects the site where a car was …

A police officer inspects the site where a car was hit by a fallen tree after strong winds caused by a fallen tree …

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Extreme Weather Poland [Statewide] Damage level Details

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Extreme Weather in Poland on Friday, 06 December, 2013 at 17:58 (05:58 PM) UTC.

Description
In Poland, three people died and one was injured in the town of Poraj when a tree limb was blown onto their car,” Piotr Cholajda at the state firefighting headquarters said. He said high winds had downed electricity lines, leaving more than 100,000 people around the eastern European country of 38 million without power. The Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management forecast wind gusts on Friday of up to 110 kmh (68 mph) inland and up to 135 kmh (85 mph) off Poland’s Baltic seacoast. Poland’s flagship airline LOT cancelled some domestic and European flights on Friday due to “unexpected weather changes in Europe”.

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Death toll in Europe storm rises to 6 as winds blast Poland

Reuters

WARSAW (Reuters) – The death toll from hurricane-force Storm Xaver sweeping across northern Europe rose to six on Friday when high winds hurled a tree limb against a car, killing three people, local emergency services said.

Xaver blasted into northern Europe late Thursday after disrupting transport and power in northern Britain and flooding east coast areas in what meteorologists said could prove the worst storm to hit the continent in years.

Two people were killed in Britain as winds reached speeds of 225 kilometers per hour (140 mph). A truck driver died when his vehicle overturned and a man was killed by a falling tree.

In western Denmark the 72-year-old female passenger of a truck died when the vehicle overturned in howling winds.

In Poland, three people died and one was injured in the town of Poraj when a tree limb was blown onto their car,” Piotr Cholajda at the state firefighting headquarters said.

He said high winds had downed electricity lines, leaving more than 100,000 people around the eastern European country of 38 million without power.

The Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management forecast wind gusts on Friday of up to 110 kmh (68 mph) inland and up to 135 kmh (85 mph) off Poland’s Baltic seacoast.

Poland’s flagship airline LOT cancelled some domestic and European flights on Friday due to “unexpected weather changes in Europe”.

Thousands of Britons evacuated from their homes on low-lying east coast areas on Thursday were warned of further woes on Friday in the form of “exceptionally high tides” – the most serious tidal surge for more than 60 years.

Sea levels are higher in some areas than during devastating floods of 1953 that killed hundreds along the North Sea coast.

Speaking after an emergency government meeting on Friday, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said flood defences strengthened since 1953 had protected more than 800,000 homes.

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Poland asks European court to hide CIA secret torture prison case from public

Published time: October 30, 2013 22:50
Edited time: November 01, 2013 11:16

An aerial view shows a watch tower of an airport in Szymany, close to Szczytno in northeastern Poland, September 9, 2008. It was identified as a potential site which the CIA used to transfer Al-Qaeda suspects to a nearby prison. (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

An aerial view shows a watch tower of an airport in Szymany, close to Szczytno in northeastern Poland, September 9, 2008. It was identified as a potential site which the CIA used to transfer Al-Qaeda suspects to a nearby prison. (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

The public hearing in Strasbourg, France, scheduled for Dec. 3, will be the first arguments testing allegations that the Polish government allowed the CIA to operate a jail for supposed Al-Qaeda fighters in Poland.

The request for a private hearing “will be examined by the court shortly,” a court spokesperson told Reuters.

Poland cited national security concerns as to why it wants the hearing to remain confidential. The Polish government would not comment on the story.

A Polish human rights group criticized the request for privacy, saying the public deserves to know whether Poland allowed the CIA to hide prisoners from the American court system.

“We should have the right to review this case in public,” said Adam Bodnar, vice president of the Warsaw-based Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. “I do not see a reason for confidentiality of proceedings.”

 

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A group of miners pose for a photograph inside of an excavation corridor at Zofiowka coal mine in Jastrzebie Zdroj, southern Poland April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

 

 

OSLO | Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09am EDT

(Reuters) – Poland could halve its demand for coal by 2030 with a shift to renewable energies that would end its image as a laggard in European Union efforts to slow climate change, a study showed on Friday.

The report, by researchers in Germany and Poland, renewable energy groups and environmental group Greenpeace, included a foreword by ex-Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki who called it a “feasible, realistic scenario”.

It estimated that Poland, which now generates 90 percent of its electricity from coal, could create 100,000 jobs with a shift to wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and solar power by 2030.

The scenario would require investment of $264 billion, double the $132 billion cost of business as usual. Still, free renewable energies would be cheaper in the long run by eliminating costs of fuel to generate electricity, it said.

Poland “has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move beyond coal,” it said. “Poland is home to a geriatric energy system, based on coal. Its power plants are old with about 70 percent of them being over 30 years old.”

 

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How long  before it  affects  you too ?????

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Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Starting To Happen All Over The Globe

The EarthNow that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again.  In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world.  As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.  The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe.  It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well.  From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.

Let’s take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe…

Poland

For years, there have been rumors that someday the U.S. government would raid private pension funds.

Well, in Poland it just happened.

According to Reuters, private pension funds were raided in order to reduce the size of the government debt…

Poland said on Wednesday it will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, many of them foreign-owned.

The Polish government is doing the best that it can to make this sound like some sort of complicated legal maneuver, but the truth is that what they have done is stolen private assets without giving any compensation in return…

The Polish pension funds’ organisation said the changes may be unconstitutional because the government is taking private assets away from them without offering any compensation.

Announcing the long-awaited overhaul of state-guaranteed pensions, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings.

He said that what remained in citizens’ pension pots in the private funds will be gradually transferred into the state vehicle over the last 10 years before savers hit retirement age.

Iceland

For years, Iceland has been applauded for how they handled the last financial crisis.  But now it is being proposed that the “blanket guarantee” that currently applies to all bank accounts should be reduced to 100,000 euros.  Will this open the door for “haircuts” to be applied to bank account balances above that amount?…

Following the crisis in October 2008, Iceland’s government declared all deposits in domestic financial institutions were ‘blanket’ guaranteed – an Emergency Act that was reafrmed twice since. However, according to RUV, the finance minister is proposing to restrict this guarantee to only deposits less-than-EUR100,000. While some might see the removal of an ’emergency’ measure as a positive, it is of course sadly reminiscent of the European Union “template” to haircut large depositors. This is coincidental (threatening) timing given the current stagnation of talks between Iceland bank creditors and the government over haircuts and lifting capital controls – which have restricted the outflows of around $8 billion.

Europe

European finance ministers have agreed to a plan that would make “bail-ins” the standard procedure for rescuing “too big to fail” banks in the future.  The following is how CNN described this plan…

European Union finance ministers approved a plan Thursday for dealing with future bank bailouts, forcing bondholders and shareholders to take the hit for bank rescues ahead of taxpayers.

The new framework requires bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with over 100,000 euros to be first to suffer losses when banks fail. Depositors with less than 100,000 euros will be protected. Taxpayer funds would be used only as a last resort.

What this means is that if you have over 100,000 euros in a bank account in Europe, you could lose every single bit of the unprotected amount if your bank collapses.

Italy

As Zero Hedge reported on Tuesday, a “bail-in” is now being organized for the oldest bank in Italy…

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The New American

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:14

Polish Government Seizes Private Pension Assets

Written by 

Authorities in Poland last week announced the confiscation of bonds held in private pension funds without compensation, implausibly claiming that the move did not amount to a nationalization of the assets. While Polish officials engaged in rhetorical games and semantics to conceal the severity of the “transfer” of privately owned assets to a “state pension vehicle” known as ZUS, the controversial move is still fueling confusion and fierce criticism from analysts and economists. Some experts fear other governments may follow suit.

The private pension funds, many managed by prominent foreign firms, declared the scheme unconstitutional because private property was being seized without compensation. Some even suggested the private pension system may shut down entirely. While authorities have not yet confiscated equities from the private pensions — to which Polish workers have been obligated to contribute — officials defended the bond confiscations by arguing that they helped avoid even more radical options, such as seizing everything outright, including company stocks held by the funds.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that future enrollees in the mandatory pension scheme would no longer be required to pay into the private element, known as OFE, of the hybrid government-private system. Analysts said that could result in even fewer resources held in the private funds, which currently hold assets worth about 20 percent of GDP and represent the largest investors in the Polish stock market.

Tusk, however, tried to paint the confiscation as a positive development. “The system has turned out to be built in part on rising public debt and turned out to be a very costly system,” he said at a press conference, drawing swift criticism. “We believe that, apart from the positive consequence of this decision for public debt, pensions will also be safer.” Of course, seizing private wealth may reduce government debt for the time being, but it was not clear how “safety” was being improved.

Critics lambasted Tusk’s statement from all angles, pointing out that confiscating private assets does not make them any safer and that, in essence, the government simply had too much outstanding debt to be able to issue even more debt. Some analysts also suggested the move was actually a half-baked ploy to build political support with voters by increasing its ability to borrow and spend more money on government programs.

Indeed, among the primary official justifications for the scheme was a bid to reduce government debt by about eight percent of the country’s GDP, according to estimates cited by Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski. With the national government already officially owing more than 50 percent of GDP, above a threshold that makes it more difficult to borrow, the transfer of assets to government balance sheets will allow authorities to continue creating more debt and borrowing more money — a move celebrated, unsurprisingly, by Poland’s central bankers.

“Changes to the pension system are positive and create a chance for an impulse, for a growth engine, in the form of investments that are so important,” Polish central bank policymaker Anna Zielinska-Glebocka claimed in a statement to Reuters, alleging that the post-announcement decline in the value of its fiat currency, the zloty (shown), was only temporary. “This will be helping the economy in 2014, although mostly in 2015…. Investments and consumption demand are key for the Polish economy. A healthy economy must be based on domestic demand, not just exports. From this perspective changes to pensions are a good move.”

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Polish central banker says pension changes can boost economy

New members of the Polish Monetary Policy Council meet at the National Bank of Poland headquarters in Warsaw February 23, 2010. Jan Winiecki (L-R), Andrzej Bratkowski, Anna Zielinska-Glebocka, Zyta Gilowska, Adam Glapinski, Slawomir Skrzypek, Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, Andrzej Kazmierczak, Andrzej Rzonca, Jerzy Hausner. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW | Sat Sep 7, 2013 3:10am EDT

(Reuters) – A Polish central bank policymaker has defended the government’s decision to transfer more than half of private pension fund assets to the state, saying the move would give the economy a vital investment boost.

Anna Zielinska-Glebocka told Reuters Poland would not be able to reach potential growth levels of 3.0-4.0 percent, up from 0.8 percent, unless domestic demand reinforced the current main driver, exports.

“Changes to the pension system are positive and create a chance for an impulse, for a growth engine, in the form of investments that are so important. This will be helping the economy in 2014, although mostly in 2015,” Zielinska-Glebocka said in comments made on Thursday and authorized for release on Saturday.

“Investments and consumption demand are key for the Polish economy. A healthy economy must be based on domestic demand, not just exports. From this perspective changes to pensions are a good move,” she said.

Poland, the largest of central Europe’s emerging economies, said on Wednesday it would transfer many of the assets held by private pension funds, including treasury bonds, to a state vehicle. This means the government can book those assets on the state balance sheet to offset public debt, giving it more scope to borrow and spend.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Temperatures

Warsaw zoo attendant Piotr Trochim sprays a rhinoceros with water to help it fight rare, extreme heat reaching 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, the year’s hottest day in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)/AP

09.08.2013 Heat Wave Hungary [Statewide] Damage level
Details

Heat Wave in Hungary on Wednesday, 07 August, 2013 at 07:12 (07:12 AM) UTC.

 

Description
Highest level heatwave alert has been issued in Hungary, when the temperature is higher than 27 degrees Celsius (80 F) will be the next few days. The expected maximum temperature is 40-41 degrees Celsius (104-105 F). Due to the high temperature water shortages have emerged in smaller settlements.

Heat Wave in Hungary on Wednesday, 07 August, 2013 at 07:12 (07:12 AM) UTC.

 

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Updated: Friday, 09 August, 2013 at 13:32 UTC
Description
Thousands of Roma have been queueing in a Hungarian town for water during a record heatwave after their mayor shut down many of the public pumps on which the impoverished community depends. With temperatures peaking at 40C (104 Fahrenheit) for several days, the Hungarian government intervened on Wednesday, ordering Mayor Pal Furjes to restore full water supplies to slums in the northeastern town of Ozd where the Roma live.

 

Hungarian Roma queue for water in heatwave after pumps shut down

 

 

Roma man cools himself at the impoverished outskirts of Ozd

Roma man cools himself at the impoverished outskirts of Ozd (Laszlo Balogh Reuters, / August 7, 2013)

 

 

OZD, Hungary (Reuters) – Thousands of Roma have been queueing in a Hungarian town for water during a record heatwave after their mayor shut down many of the public pumps on which the impoverished community depends.

With temperatures peaking at 40C (104 Fahrenheit) for several days, the Hungarian government intervened on Wednesday, ordering Mayor Pal Furjes to restore full water supplies to slums in the northeastern town of Ozd where the Roma live.

Local Roma expressed sarcastic disgust about the mayor’s decision, which they said had been made without any warning. “I can fill this bucket up with my own spit before this trickle does,” said Gyorgy Kiss as he stood at a pump that remained open but had little water pressure.

“We thank the mayor very much. Next time he should shut down our air supply, too,” said Kiss, a father of five sons.

Roma suffer discrimination and persecution across much of Europe. On Tuesday, a Hungarian court jailed four neo-Nazis for killing Roma families in a spree of racist violence in 2008 and 2009 that shocked the country and led to accusations that police had failed to protect the minority.

Roma often live in miserable conditions without power or mains water. This forces them to trek to public pumps with buckets to collect water for washing and cooking.

However, Ozd’s municipal government closed more than half the town’s pumps and restricted pressure to others, accusing local people of abusing the free supply by spraying water around. This had left the town with a 12 million forint ($53,400) annual bill it cannot afford, it said.

 

 

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Star-Telegram.com

Temperature records broken in Austria and Hungary

 

Posted Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013

 

 

Temperatures have hit all-time highs in Austria and neighboring Hungary as a stubborn heat wave nears the end of its second week.

Thursday’s 40.5 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday eclipsed the previous record of 39.9 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) set just five days before.

In Hungary, temperatures were fractionally lower at 40 C Thursday. Officials there have issued a heat warning, while some government ministries have relaxed dress codes. For men, that means ties and jackets can be left at home. For women, pantyhose is optional.

 

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