From Poland with Love – May 

In our Poland Newsletter guest contributor Dr. Milosz Hodun is giving us monthly updates about current news, events and all other things you need to know about Poland.

 

EP ELECTIONS 2019

Election Hangover

In the elections to the European Parliament, Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) received the greatest support – as much as 45,38% of votes – while the European Coalition (coalition of Civic Platform, SLD, PSL, Nowoczesna and the Greens) came second with 38,47%, according to the National Electoral Commission (PKW). Robert Biedroń’s Spring with 6,06% will also have its MEPs in the new five-year term. The 5-percent threshold was not exceeded by Konfederacja (4,55%), Kukiz’15 (3,69%), Lewica Razem (1,24%), Poland Fair Play Bezpartyjni Gwiazdowski (0,54%), Polexit – Coalition (0,06%)  and Jedność Narodu (0,02%).

The turnout was 45,42%, easily the highest for any European election since Poland joined the EU in 2004. It was almost 20% higher than five years ago.

It was PiS’s crushing victory over a coalition of opposition parties. The difference between two blocks was much higher than expected. PiS managed to mobilize new voters all over the country. It won not only in the Eastern voivodeships, but also in many counties in the West. The European Coalition won in Western regions and in Warsaw but lost many of smaller cities in town all over Poland. It looks like PiS became a first-choice party for many Poles who see it as a guarantee of stability and economic development. PiS got the highest total amount of votes in Polish electoral history due to its social programs – commentators admit. But the fact that all state machinery, with TVP, the government, and state-owned companies was used in favor of Jarosław Kaczyński and his candidates, made it easier to reach the record.

On the other side, the result of the European Coalition in unsatisfactory. Almost 39% of votes would be not seen as a bad result but compared with PiS’s 46% it looks very poor. It is said that KE focused only on big cities and totally gave up on smaller locations. And, abandoned by the opposition, they swung towards PiS. No campaign was done in the countryside and the Coalition got there really low support. PSL, who was supposed to secure farmers’ votes for the Coalition, failed since it was not seen as a reliable representative of conservative electorate in a coalition with the progressives. Also, it is said that the list leaders- in general- did not campaign enough. Some of them, especially former prime ministers and ministers, hung only a few billboards and gave couple of interviews. Additionally, media report that the Civic Platform’s campaign team, the biggest and richest coalition member, was not operational, and it played no role in the planning and implementing the campaign.

115 MPs have run for seats in the European Parliament, of which 19 have won tickets. They will be replaced in the Sejm by candidates who scored the next best results in the 2015 parliamentary elections. The new MPs will take over until the next election that will take place in October or November 2019. Furthermore, 9 senators were running for MEPs, but only one managed to win the seat – deputy speaker of the chamber Adam Bielan (PiS).

In total PiS won 27 seats, KE- 22 seats and Spring- 3.

The best result, impressive 524.951 of votes belongs to Beata Szydło, ex-PM and current deputy PM (PiS). The runner-up in this category was Jerzy Buzek, ex-PM and former president of the European Parliament, with over 421 thousands of votes. Following records are: Jadwiga Wiśniewska (PiS)- 408 thousands of votes, Janina Ochojska (KE)- 309 thousands of votes, Tomasz Poręba (PiS)- 267 thousands of votes.

Therefore, Deputy PM Beata Szydło will take one of the seats in Brussels. She was very quickly told by her party colleagues to be a potential candidate for EP president or… president of Poland. Five other members of the government will move to Brussels, including ministers of interior, education and social affairs. They will be replaced soon by Jarosław Kaczyński, what will give PiS a new change in the pre-campaign period to send a new message to the electorate. The names of new ministers are not known yet, but it is said that PiS’s leader is desperately looking for women politicians to keep the gender balance within the government that voters seems to like.

The European Coalition’s lists proved how exciting a preferential vote system can be. Two of 13 KE lead candidates were not elected because others on the list got more votes. In some constituencies, we observed a very passionate rivalry between some candidates on the same list, especially in Warsaw. In the capital city some five candidates were fighting for additional seats. The result was a bit surprising, second best result belongs to number 4 on the list, Danuta Huebner, former EU commissioner, and third place to Warsaw MP Andrzej Halicki. Number three on the list, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, former Nowoczesna group leader and number five, Michał Boni MEP, did not succeed.

Robert Biedroń’s Spring won 6% of votes, much below expectations. Biedroń was hoping to get at least 14% indicated by some polls when the party was created only a few months ago. Spring’s debut was worse than Kukiz’15 or Nowoczesna’s in 2015, but also lower than Palikot Movement’s in 2011 (respectively 8,8%, 7,6% and 10%). Biedroń proved that his party is not an alternative for two big blocks and his hopes to pass the 5%-threshold in autumn are now lower than in early May. One of events that could have harmed his party just before the elections was the cover page of the tabloid “Fakt” informing that Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, former Nowoczesna MP currently in Ryszard Petru’s “Teraz!” grouping  and number two on Spring’s Warsaw list (yes, this is all correct…), sent two dogs to shelter. She lost a lot of her image of a rising star on the left and ended up with a third result on the list.

The post-election night was most probably the most emotional for the far right Confederation. Exit polls gave them 6% and three seats but when the votes were counted their support melted to 4,5% and zero mandates. The announcement of the results was also tragic for Kukiz’15 that was not even close to the threshold. It is a downslide for Paweł Kukiz who got 20% of votes in the presidential election in 2015, them almost 9% in the general elections the same year. Now the party’s future is unclear. It is possible that it will merge with PiS or start cooperation with the Confederation, but also some rumors are spread he may cooperate with PSL.

The real drama is the situation of the Left Together coalition, created by the Razem party. Razem was a newcomer to Polish political scene in 2015. It won 3,6% of votes in the parliamentary elections and was entitled to state subsidies. Razem has not created any wider movement in last four years nor any serious leftist manifesto attracted to the people. It became an elitist urban alternative for socialists, to hermetic to win with fresh and more centrist Robert Biedroń. The future of Razem is also hard to predict. It would be natural for them to join Spring but Robert Biedroń does not want to share power in his party with anybody else (especially charismatic Razem’s leader). It is also worth noticing the biggest winner of this election on the left side, and probably second biggest winner after PiS in general, is the Alliance of the Democratic Left (SLD), nominally a social-democratic, old-fashioned party that as a part of the European Coalition elected four MEPs.

The most important now is the question about the future and autumn elections. The opposition must prove that they are still able to win. The shape of the coalition is under speculations now, some people doubt it can survive at all, but Schetyna’s comments indicate it plans to remain united. A few scenarios are possible. One, the Coalition remains like it is. Two, Robert Biedroń joins and a new, even broader coalition will face PiS. Three, Biedroń joins but PSL leaves to create a right-wing block to fight with PiS in the countryside.  Four, Nowoczesna and PO recreate the Civic Coalition in the center of the political spectrum, when PSL is fighting on the right and Spring on the left.

 

Topic of the month

Tell No One

The topic of pedophilia in the Catholic Church is becoming more important in the society and in the political scene. After The Clergy, a scandalous feature film about sinful life of priests that became one of the mostly watched Polish movies ever, launch of two reports about pedophilia among priests (one purely numerical done by the church itself and one with names of abusers by “Nie Lękajcie Się” (Have No Fear) foundation), and devastation of the statue of priest Henryk Jankowski, who was accused of molesting children, not many people expected a real bomb is still about to explode.

This bomb was a documentary Tell No One, directed by famous journalist Tomasz Sekielski and his brother. For the first time not only victims are presented but also their perpetrators. They both tell heartbreaking stories about abuse, fear and trauma. The documentary presents victims psychologically destroyed even in adulthood by their childhood experience, priests caught by hidden cameras confessing to wrongdoing and convicted offenders still working with children.

One of the priests exposed in the documentary was personal chaplain of Lech Wałęsa, former president of Poland, who initially refused to believe the story, but ultimately condemned the cleric.

The problem of pedophilia in the Polish church can be presented with the example of priest Paweł Kania. He was detained by church authorities in 2005 for attempting to seduce children and possessing child pornography. But instead of punishing him or turning him over to the authorities, the archbishops relocated him to a parish in the city of Bydgoszcz. In Bydgoszcz he was tasked with working with… children. Later, in 2010, a court found Kania guilty of possessing child pornography. Two years later, he was caught in a hotel room with a minor and arrested. In 2015, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape and child molestation. Only in 2019 the church expelled him from the priesthood. The documentary quotes a letter from the molested altar boy from a poor family, where he explained how the priest was convincing his parents to take him for trips to various Polish location and the Canary Islands. “He would threaten me. ‘Don’t tell anyone, or I’ll tell your parents everything,’ ” the boy writes. “If you don’t come with me, I’ll take your brother.’”

Across the country, the film has triggered soul searching and raised questions, including whether the same bishops who moved perpetrators from parish to parish for years will be capable of cleansing the church.

Church leaders called it “nonsense”. Some of the church official totally ignored it. But others apologized the victims and offered help. On Sunday before the EP elections, a letter from the church leadership was read in all Polish churches. They apologized and asked for forgiveness.

Before its release on May 11th, Jarosław Kaczyński had described discussion about pedophilia abuse as a “brutal attack” on the church and portrayed the LGBT rights movement as the key threat to children in the country. PiS is also implicated in the abuse cover-ups. One of the party’s top MPs Stanisław Piotrowicz, made his name in 2001, when as a prosecutor in Subcarpthian Region he dismissed a case against a priest accused of raping six girls. Today Piotrowicz is the face of PiS’s attack on the courts, the Constiturional Tribunal, the National Committee the Judiciary and the Supreme Courts (see the 2018 issues of the Newsletter).

Other PiS MP, Zbigniew Gryglas, compared the documentary to “Mein Kampf.” Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Ryszard Terlecki asserted that it was part of a conspiracy to shift the EP election results.

The opposition called for a special independent commission that would investigate the pedophilia in the church. One thing is also clear, after Tell No One the demand is not only to punish the abusers but also those who were protecting them inside the church, mostly bishops and archbishops.

PiS responded that a state investigative commission is needed, but to prosecute all cases of pedophilia, not only among the priests. To support such position government-run TVP showed a graphic in the main evening news service showing that the biggest number of sentenced child abusers are not priests but… bricklayers (6%). The government has announced a bill to increase penalties for pedophilia (read more in the section “Politics” of this issue).

The money for the documentary was crowdfunded. The film was released on YouTube and was played there over 21 million times in the first week. Later it was broadcasted by the private TVN.

It is said that the film influenced the voters before the EP elections. But not only the progressive voters. Also the PiS electorate was mobilized since they felt their values and their faith are endangered. Government, TVP and the church managed the crisis well and were able to benefit from it in the May 26th elections.

 

Sad epilogue

On May 30th “Gazeta Wyborcza” published an article about the Marek Lisiński, president of “Nie Lękajcie Się” foundation. According to the biggest Polish daily newspaper Lisiński swindled money from one of the women who had been abused by a priest. Also, Lisiecki wanted PLN 50.000 from Tomasz Siekielski to give an interview to his movie. Lisiński was immediately removed from the board of the foundation.

Further reports of “Gazeta Wyborcza” suggest that Lisiński could actually have never been molested by a priest, as he claimed.

 

Politics

Harsher Penal Code

The Sejm and Senate have approved a package of criminal justice reforms condemned as too tough by legal experts who also accused PiS of rushing through important legislative changes in violation of democratic principles.

PiS was trying to cover many controversial changes under the slogan of fighting against pedophilia. The vote happened only a few days after a heated debate about the pedophilia in the church (see the Topic of the Month section).

When minister Zbigniew first proposed the changes to the criminal code a few months ago, these were met with criticism from lawyers and human rights activists, especially the introduction of life sentences without parole. Especially in light of the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling that claims that a sentence of life without any possibility of parole is inhumane.

The Council of Europe commissioner for justice Danja Mijatović wrote a very critical letter to the speaker of the Senatte Stanisław Karczewski. Now it depends on the Senate and the president Duda if the new law is adopted.

 

Bańka in WADA

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have chosen a new president who will succeed Sir Craig Reedie. It will be Witold Bańka, Poland’s minister for sport and tourism and former middle distance runner, who helped Poland to a bronze medal in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2007 world championships.

34-year-old minister campaigned on the idea that athletes need to be part of the decision-making process at every level. The vote was taken by the representatives of the Public Authorities – the 21 government members who sit on the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation board – in Montreal. He will be formally confirmed as the fourth WADA president during the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice in November. And he will take over the organization in very difficult times, when WADA is handling of the Russian scandal fractured the anti-doping movement, with many sportmen having lost faith in the Agency and the process put in place to protect them.

 

Society

Black Madonna with Rainbow Halo

A 51-year-old activist was arrested on suspicion of offending religious sentiment, after posters bearing an image of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted in the colours of the rainbow flag appeared in the city of Płock, not far from Warsaw.

The original painting of Black Madonna is a revered Byzantine icon that has been housed at the Jasna Góra monastery in the city of Częstochowa since 14th-century and it is known as Poland’s spiritual capital. The image was symbolically crowned the “Queen of Poland” in the 17th century.

The images of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo were placed around the city of Płock in late April by Elżbieta Podleśna, a psychotherapist in a local hospital, in reaction to an Easter display there featuring slogans about crimes or sins. Listed among the sins were “gender” and “LGBT”. “This is something that is unbelievable for me in the 21st Century in the centre of Europe,” Ms Podleśna said in an interview. “Nobody should be excluded from society. Sexual orientation is not a sin or a crime and the Holy Mother would protect such people from the Church and from priests who think it is okay to condemn others,” she added.

Some 300 images appeared on walls, bins and public toilets in Płock. Podleśna was woken up by the police after 6 am and took to the station. Her apartment was searched- laptops, phones, pen drives and old discs confiscated. Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski (now newely elected MEP) welcomed the police’s behavior posting on Twitter: “All that nonsense about freedom and ‘tolerance’ does not give ANYONE the right to insult the feelings of the faithful”.

PiS used this happening to mobilize its core electorate to protect basic Christian values in Poland.

On the other side, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights said the police action could easily be seen as “deliberately targeted repression” because Podleśna is a famous local activist, who was engaged in anti-abortion-ban protests. Amnesty International has called on the Polish authorities to drop the case and allow her to continue her activities without harassment and reprisals from the authorities.

Many Poles have shown their support and worn “Rainbow Madonna” pins and pictures. Many social media users posted the imaging with a comment “You won’t arrest us all”.

Offending religious feeling is a crime under the Polish penal code. If convicted, the woman could face a prison sentence of up to two years.

 

Economy

Spectacular Growth

The EC Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs described in May the upgrading of Poland’s economic growth forecast for 2019 as spectacular and added that the fiscal stimulus, or increased public outlays, were the chief reason.

Pierre Moscovici explained at a press conference that the raising of Poland’s GDP growth forecast is a result of Poland’s good economic results at the end of 2018, new social transfers and good exports.

 

Alcohol-Free Beer Conquering Poland

The summer is approaching. Already in May Poland experienced some days of fantastic weather and beer producers are rubbing their hands. But it looks like this year it is more about bubbles and les about voltage.

The growth in selling of this type of beer is the highest in Poland of all European countries. In 2018 it was 80% and the total volume of sale reached PLN 0,5 billion (ca. EUR 120 millions). And according to the Nielsen survey in the first quarter of 2019 alcohol free pilsners grew some 95% on the market, and radlers- 110%. In this period alcohol free beers reached 3% of the market.

This success is connected with heavy advertisement done by the big breweries that dominate production of this product (contrary to other types of beer, like APA, that are dominated by smaller, craft breweries). The idea was to promote a beer-product that can be consumed in situations when drinking percents would not be acceptable, like at work or before driving.

Carsberg company announced that they are seeing a significant growth in alcohol-free products (some 35% across Europe). They launched their first 0% beer Birell in Poland and Bulgaria in May this year. It explains its decision with a research that says that Europeans want to eat and drink healthier, and reducing amount of the alcohol consumption is part of the plan.

Breweries have invested heavily in new facilities for production. The modern installation for the production of alcohol-free beers was launched at the Archduke Brewery in Żywiec, home of the most popular Polish beer. The project, valued at PLN 11 millions (EUR 2,5 million), was completed in one year. The production will initially be directed to the Polish market. However, its capacities are so considerable that beer can be exported to neighboring countries. Especially since Żywiec brewery it is a good place to reach the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

The company explains that the applied technology is based on vacuum distillation. This method allows alcohol to be separated from beer by almost 100%. Moreover, the process is carried out in very low temperatures (max. up to 46°C) Normally, such distillation requires around 80°C. The higher it is, the worse smell and taste properties the product has.

Not everybody is happy with this growth. The State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems, a specialized government agency subordinated to the Minister of Health, is worrying about the youth and kids who are getting used to drink 0% beers at very young age and may be trying to switch for real beer even sooner that it happens now. The Agency has announced that it gets many questions from supermarkets if it is even legal to sell this type of beer to minors (it is) and from husbands and wives of non-drinking alcoholics if they should be concerns if their partners drink alcohol-free beers every day (they should).

 

Innovation and New Tech

Start Up Heaven?

Poland has been voted the seventh most friendly country in the world for Start-Ups, in a survey by CEO World Magazine. The result, which places Poland above countries such as China, France, Japan and Italy, comes from the magazine’s survey of nearly 200.000 readers.

The rankings ranked 62 countries across five categories: human capital investment; research and development; entrepreneurial infrastructure; technical workforce; and policy dynamics. The best category for Poland was entrepreneurial infrastructure which received an 86.

The number of Venture Capital (VC) firms in Poland has grown from 43 in 2016 to 130 in 2019. VC firms are an essential part of the start-up eco-system, often providing funding for companies before they have a revenue stream and then helping successful companies expand through further rounds of funding.

See the full ranking: https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/seventh-heaven-poland-seventh-best-place-in-the-world-for-start-ups-says-survey-5895

 

HyperLoop in Poland

Polish start-up HyperPoland created by the technical universities of Warsaw and Wrocław won USD 120.000 grant from Microsoft in the company’s support programme for startups.

The grant will be used for the Platform Azure cloud services that enables calculations and simulations much needed in HyperPoland’s investments. Polish company also got support from MassChallenge Switzerland, Europe’s leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Earlier HyperPoland succeeded in crowd funding when it  raised 140% of the foreseen sum and got over USD 140 thousand for their project. Also it got a fast-track grant from the Polish government (PLN 16,5 millions).

HyperPoland is working on new technologies for Hyper Loop. Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX. HyperLoop is an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system. In 2014, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) was formed to create a Hyperloop in Quay Valley, California. Quay Valley is a futuristic, model town with 25,000 homes built from the ground up on 7,500 acres. In 2016, the first test of the Hyperloop One over a short distance was successful.

HyperPoland is planning a connection between Warsaw, Łódź and Wrocław that will drive up to 1200km/h. The first 500 m testing line should be open in 3-5 years.

 

Foreign Affairs

447

On May 11th, thousands of Polish nationalists marched to the US Embassy in Warsaw, protesting the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (Just) Act, passed unanimously by the Senate in Washington, DC last year. The bipartisan legislation known also as S 447 Act was signed into law by president Donald Trump, requiring the State Department to report on the state of restitution of properties wrongfully seized during and in the aftermath of World War II in dozens of European countries, including Poland.

Waving white and red flags and banners with slogans such as “447 just go home” and “No to claims”, the crowd of walked through Warsaw from the prime minister’s office. “This is Poland, not Polin,” protesters – including far-right groups – chanted, referring to the Hebrew name for the country. Others yelled “Poland has no obligations” and “Holocaust Hyenas”. There was a man who wore a shirt saying: “I will not apologize for Jedwabne” – a massacre of Jewish people carried out by their Polish neighbors in 1941 under the German occupation.

S 447 Act builds on the Terezin declaration, a non-binding agreement signed by 46 states in 2009, that includes a provision suggesting that in some states heirless Jewish property could be used to provide assistance to needy Holocaust survivors. It is estimated that there are more than 170.000 private properties held in Poland, wrongfully seized from Jewish victims of the Holocaust and nationalized by the communists. They have an estimated value of billions of US dollars, according to a report drawn up by experts from the business sector and NGOs at the request of the Israeli government. Jewish groups like World Jewish Restitution Organization argue that restoring or providing compensation for lost property is a matter of basic justice for families of Holocaust survivors. Former owners and their descendents have been campaigning since the fall of communism in 1989 to be compensated for lost property.

S 447 Act has been a very difficult topic for PiS, since it is trying to cater far right voters, but it has a new competitor on the extreme right spectrum of the political scene, and at the same time it is trying to maintain good relations with the USA and not harm cold relations with Israel. The government has said that as a victim in WWII Poland should not be saddled with any financial obligations. Mateusz Morawiecki repeated that message at an election rally in Mława. Morawiecki wrote on Twitter: “We remember the tragic fate of the Polish nation during the second world war. Therefore there will be no agreement for paying compensation from our side.”

The newly established far right Confederation used the S 447 Act to build its profile and attract nationalists. It officially campaign against the law. Janusz Korwin-Mikke from the Confederation said: “We will never, ever allow Poland to be pillaged”.

 

Polish Ambassador Attacked in Israel

Poland’s Ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, was attacked outside the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv. Magierowski was standing outside the embassy when a man started to physically and verbally assault him. The ambassador was too overwhelmed to understand the words his attacker said. All he heard was, “Polish, Polish,” said Magierowski, website Ynet reported.

The Polish Embassy immediately filed a complaint with the Israeli Police, while Magierowski filed a complaint with the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The ministry contacted the police and asked them, as well as the authorities charged with security of the foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, to treat the incident with the utmost importance.

The Ambassador took a picture of the attacker and his vehicle, which led to the man’s arrest 90 minutes later.

The 65-year-old suspect, Erik Lederman, said his family had been through the Nazi Holocaust and that a Polish embassy employee had used an anti-Semitic slur against him while he was there to talk about the restitution, which he found upsetting. “I did not know that Poland’s ambassador was in the car. Consequently, I would like to express my sincere apology for what happened,” the suspect admitted.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed that Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, was invited to Warsaw for clarifications on the incident. Meanwhile Poland’s President Andrzej Duda called the incident “an anti-Polish act” and said he expected Israeli explanations.

 

Culture

Olga Tokarczuk and the Booker Nomination (Again)

Second year in a row Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk was nominated to the Men Booker International Prize. In May 2018, Olga Tokarczuk and her translator Jennifer Croft won the Man Booker International Prize for Flights, a novel that was published in Poland in 2007.

This time she went to the finales of the competition with Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. The novel was published in the UK by Fitzcarraldo Editions and will be presented in the USA later this summer.

The book tells a story of Janina Duszejko, a lady from a small Polish village, who devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating poems of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of rich people. She is an outcast who preferred animals to people. Her life changes when neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly suspicious circumstances. As suspicions mount, older lady inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows who did it. It is a noir feminist and environmentalist criminal.

Antonia Lloyd-Jones’s translation has been applauded for keeping the melancholy and bitter humor of the original. The biggest challenge for the interpreter was… re-translate William Blake into English. Janina Duszejko and her friends attempt to translate a passage of Blake: several versions of a particular verse are rendered in English, which has been translated from the Polish, which in turn has been translated from English…

The novel’s 2017 film adaptation, Spoor, directed by Agnieszka Holland was a hit in Poland. But also it provoked political controversies. The film was seen as an attack towards the PiS government for its anti-environmental policies.

But as expected Tokarczuk did not win the prize second year in a row. The award went to Jokha Alharthi wins for Celestial Bodies. First female Omani novelist to be translated into English shares £50,000 prize with translator Marilyn Booth – the first time an Arabic book has won.

Read an interview with Olga Tokarczuk: https://thebookerprizes.com/international/news/drive-your-plow-over-bones-dead-interview

 

Germany and Poland

Poles like Trump. Germans prefer Putin

Source: Barometr Polska-Niemcy

Poles and Germans on Trump:

…on Putin

…on Merkel

…on Macron

… Xi Jinping

 

What do you thing about the following countries’ role in the World?

According to the Poles:

According to the Germans:

 

Polls & trends

 

Official EP Election Results

 

PiS                                                          45,38%

Europea Coalition                            38,47%

Robert Biedroń’s Spring                6,06%

Confederation                                  4,55%

Kukiz’15                                              3,69%

Lewica Razem                                   1,24%

 

Seats in EP per party:

 

PiS (ECR)                                             27

PO (EPP)                                             15

SLD (S&D)                                           5

PSL (EPP)                                            3

Spring (S&D)                                     3

 

Working 4 Days a Week?

Source: The Workforce View 2019 by ADP.

37% of Poles are in favor of 4-day-long working week.

This option got the biggest support in the age group 35-44, 41% of them would like to work 4 days a week. 11% of them (also the highest score) would agree to get lower salary for such solution.

This proposal I much more popular in Spain (62,6%), the UK (61,2%), the Netherlands (60,4%) and France (60,4%).

 

 

 

About the author ____________________________________________

Miłosz Hodun

Expert at the Nowoczesna party. PhD, formerly a part-time teacher at Reykjavik University School of Law. His main areas of interest are comparative constitutional law and federalism. Board member of Projekt: Polska Association. Until September 2015, he worked as an expert within “Presidential Experts’ Programme” at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. He is member of the Board of Directors of the European Liberal Forum.