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TOPIC: warsaw


Protests Derailed: A History Of Polish Railways Getting Political

Polish state railways have been accused of deliberately keeping protestors from reaching the capital for an anti-government protest march. This is not the first controversy the railways have faced.

Last June, Polish opposition leader and former President of the EU Commission Donald Tusk called on Polish citizens to protest against the “authoritarian” steps taken by the ruling party, PiS. Estimates by state organizers approximate that 500,000 participants marched in Warsaw, with smaller marches occurring in other Polish cities.

“Do you have enough of [PiS’s] lies, theft and corruption?” Tusk asked in a video published on his Facebook page. "Then come to Warsaw on the 4th of June… we will show them our might”.

In the days leading up to the protest and on the day of the event itself, passengers and groups of demonstrators blamed state railways for delayed train permits, inaccessibility for those with disabilities and a deficit in the train's ability to transport participants to the capital.

“This is how rail functions in Poland,” an anonymous passenger told Gazeta Wyborcza, “It is impossible to get to Warsaw for the March at 12 p.m. from Szczecin.” The same passenger told Wyborcza they were “speechless” at the realization, adding that “it’s an outright exclusion of rail communication”.

This is not the first time that the state-run rail lines have come under fire for allegedly political acts.

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Toxic Fires Reveal Poland's "Time Bomb" Of Illegal Waste Dumps

A fire involving a hazardous waste dump has brought attention to the hundreds of illegal waste dumps across Poland. Yet the government has failed to offer an adequate response.

ZIELONA — On July 23, an illegal toxic waste dump set ablaze in Zielona Góra, a city of about 140,000 inhabitants in western Poland, causing high levels of polluted smog and a fire that raged for several hours before finally being extinguished. The waste brought attention to the sheer number of illegal landfills across the country. There are hundreds of such places in Poland, and even more companies operating this way. They are present in every region of the country.

The ruling party government has boasted about tightening the regulations on illegally dumping waste, which they claim has been a so-called “declaration of war” on the “garbage mafia”.

It turns out, however, that the more restrictive the regulations, the more the black market behind Poland’s waste management is able to develop. Recent data shows that every year, more warehouses and sheds filled with toxic chemicals are detected. And this is not the only problem regarding illegal waste storage sites.

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Early Signs Of Business In Poland Shifting Away From Warsaw

As the Polish capital is outpaced by cities such as Kraków and Gdańsk for earnings, the question is posed of what the future holds for the Polish job market and Warsaw.

WARSAWPoland's capital is no longer the highest-earning city in the country, and has fallen behind Kraków and Gdańsk in terms of workers’ earnings. Is a revolution in the Polish job market taking place?

“This might be the first sign that we will stop being a Warsaw-centric country,” said Dr. Piotr Maszczyk, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and Public Sector Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

His comments come after the latest release of data by the Central Statistical Office on the average salary in the business sector, which looks at companies with more than nine employees.

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Inside Poland’s Quietly Booming Tech Sector

Poland has received widespread investment from multinational companies and now, the country is bucking the worldwide trend by adding jobs in the tech sector.

The Polish economy and its tech sector have experienced marked growth in recent years, especially since it joined the European Union. Poland currently has 60,000 tech companies, including 10 of its own— companies that reach a value of $1 billion without being listed on the stock market.

IT and tech currently accounts for 8% of the Polish GDP. Giants such as Microsoft, Google, Meta, Intel, Samsung and Amazon have all invested in Polish IT and established their own centers within the country. Poland’s central location within Europe, and its proximity to other countries experiencing their own tech successes such as Germany and Lithuania, has also granted it a strategic advantage for additional investment.

In late March, experts began to warn that Polish tech wanted too much too fast, especially when the IT market was impacted by the same layoffs happening across the sector worldwide. Some technicians who did not lose their jobs were allowed to keep them on the condition that they accept a lower pension in the future.

But in spite of these challenges, the sector is still expected to grow. As of June 22, 38% of Polish IT firms have said that they are looking to hire new staff, according to Polish tech news service CRN. Even taking into account those firms saying they are looking to cut down, this amounts to 26% in employment growth across the industry.

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food / travel

Gùsto! How · What · Where Locals Eat (And Drink) In Warsaw

Poland's capital — known for its rich history, impressive skyline, and vibrant arts scene — is often overlooked when it comes to cuisine. Here's what to eat when visiting Warsaw.

For destinations like Rome or Paris, eating the local cuisine is a big part of the draw. Warsaw instead is an evolving food and drink experience, offering an eclectic mix of culinary options: traditional fare and trendy alternatives.

Fusion restaurants and gastro pubs have become popular as the Polish capital reinvents itself. Chefs are continuing to reinvigorate and experiment with Polish cuisine, and Japanese and Korean restaurants are enjoying newfound popularity.

Visitors looking to explore Poland’s flavors are sure to find them here.

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Bartosz T Wielinski

Exploiting Auschwitz — How Poland's Ruling Party Reached A New Low

Poland's ruling party has used the Nazi concentration camp, which was located in a Polish town, in one of its political campaigns to sully its opponents. It's the latest step that the ruling government is taking to attack an opposition march planned for this Sunday against a law that some say threatens democracy.


WARSAW — The short video ad hit social media on Wednesday. It begins with a clip of the railroad of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Jews from all of Nazi-occupied Europe were transported. It is the place where those deemed unfit to work — including the elderly and mothers with children — were taken to gas chambers and murdered with zyklon B. In another shot, the release shows a clip of Auschwitz’s gates with their mocking inscription — “Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work will set you free.)

It is against this backdrop that Poland's right-wing ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) chose to show a recent tweet made by Polish journalist Tomasz Lis, who criticized the ruling party’s controversial anti-Russian investigative committee, stating “there will be a chamber for Duda and Kaczor”.

In his tweet, Lis was referring to criticisms from the Polish opposition that the new committee, also being referred to as the “Tusk Law”, will be used to target political rivals, rather than Russian colluders. Lis has since apologized for his statement, and the tweet has been removed from his social media.

“Is this the slogan you want to march under?” — asks the speaker in the advertisement, as the screen shows the date of June 4th. This is how PiS is reacting to the mass mobilization of Poles, who have agreed to come together and demonstrate against its anti-democratic policies in Warsaw.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Yury Panchenko and Nadia Koval

No Compromise: What's Driving Poland's New Hard Line On Russia

"We are realists, and therefore we do not believe in the possibility of a compromise between freedom and slavery..." Poland's foreign minister has outlined what the country's foreign strategy will look like in the coming years, built on support of Ukraine and steadfast resistance to the Russian aggressors.


WARSAW — In 2023, Poland’s six-year foreign policy strategy came to an end. Last week, Polish foreign minister Zbigniew Rau presented a report on the new goals and tasks for Polish foreign policy over the coming years.

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And not surprisingly, Ukraine is by far the most mentioned topic in Rau's report. It has its own section, but it also affects how Poland views the level of cooperation it should have with foreign countries.

That level depends on the position they took in the Russian-Ukrainian war, especially the non-European countries.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Inès Mermat, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Seoul Open To Arming Kyiv, Sudan Ceasefire Breached, White House Tiny Intruder

👋 ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ*

Welcome to Wednesday, where South Korea reverses its year-long refusal to send military aid to Ukraine, a ceasefire in Sudan has been ignored and a rogue toddler sets off security alerts at the White House. Meanwhile, Lucas Marín Llanes in Colombian daily El Espectador looks at the problems caused by crop substitution programs aimed at eradicating illegal coca cultivation.

[*Namaskar - Kannada, India]

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Pierre Haski

Paris-Berlin, Warsaw-Kyiv: Europe's Balance Of Power Will Never Be The Same

A new future is unfolding in real time, one that leaders in France, Germany and beyond could not have envisioned even a year ago.


PARIS — Quick question: do you know which country is on its way to having the largest army in Europe? The obvious answer would be France, the Continent's only nuclear power since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and a military that has been tested in multiple foreign operations in recent years.

But the answer is about to change: if we put aside the nuclear factor, Europe's leading military will soon be that of Poland.

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This is one more direct consequence Russia's invasion of Ukraine: a close neighbor of the conflict zone, Poland is investing massively in its defense. Last year, it concluded a huge arms purchase contract with South Korea: heavy combat tanks (four times more than France), artillery, fighter jets, for 15 billion euros.

Warsaw also signed a contract last month to purchase two observation satellites from France for 500 million euros.

This former country of the Warsaw Pact, today a leading NATO member, intends to be ever more consequential in European affairs. The investments in defense are one way of doing that. Yet this is not the only impact of the war in Ukraine.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Stanislav Zhelikhovsky

Saturate The East! Poland Revamps Its Military Strategy In Response To Russian Threat

Poland has a border with Russia and Belarus, so it is not just watching how the Ukraine war develops. Warsaw is rethinking its entire defense strategy.

KYIV — It will soon be exactly one year since the Russian Federation launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine. During that time, neighboring Poland has been playing the role of a front-line country — NATO's eastern outpost.

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Polish government agencies have been hard at work on what to do if the country is attacked. In particular, a new defense directive. After all, Poland’s Political and Strategic Defense Directive, which has been in effect since 2018, must be updated because it simply doesn't match today's reality.

Poland's Deputy Minister of National Defense, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, announced a change in defense doctrine with the defense forces set up on the Vistula River, located in northeastern Poland. Ukraine's experience shows the need to protect the country's entire territory as quickly as possible.

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Abby Phillip and Carol Morello

Trump And Russia, It's Even More Complicated Now

As President Trump prepares for his first face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his plans for a reset with Russia are undermined by his own actions.

WARSAW — President Donald Trump promised voters that he would strike "a great deal" with Russia and its autocratic president, Vladimir Putin. He has repeatedly labeled an investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections as "a hoax," and he even bragged to Russian officials about firing the FBI director leading the probe.

Now nearly six months into his presidency, Trump is set to finally meet Putin at a summit this week in Hamburg after a stop here in Warsaw - severely constrained and facing few good options that would leave him politically unscathed.

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