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The minimum wage is set to rise in Poland from next year

Orlen and Canada’s Encana hope to join forces in the hunt for shale gas 7




Three Poles were held as slaves at a caravan site in the UK

VOLUME 17, NUMBER 37 • SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011 . z∏.12.50 (VAT 8% included) . ISSN 1233 7889 INDEX-RUCH-332-127

Since 1994 . Poland’s only business weekly in English

A lost generation?



Lokale Immobilia

Poland’s youth have come to expect much at a time when the economic outlook is bleak. Is this a disaster waiting to happen? 12-13

• PKP selling land in Warsaw • Warsaw’s Cosmopolitan • DoubleTree by Hilton 15-18

A guide to Polish business and industry

Euro zone on the ropes

Przewodnik po polskim biznesie i gospodarce

Technology parks

EU policy makers met in Wroc∏aw last week to discuss the euro-zone crisis. 3, 10, 11


In this issue News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-5 Finance & Economics . . . . . . . . . . .6 Listed Firms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Opinion & Analysis . . . . . . . . .10-11 Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-13 Tourism in Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Lokale Immobilia . . . . . . . . . .15-18 Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 The List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20-21 Arts & Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

European ‘war’ Could the current economic crisis result in a European military conflict?





Numbers in the News

Palestine at the UN

z∏.1,500 is the minimum monthly salary that will be in effect in Poland as of January 1, 2012. The current minimum wage is z∏.1,386

Italian bank UniCredit has denied reports in the Italian media that it is considering selling Poland’s Bank Pekao, Parkiet reported. Analysts have also said that the sale would not be in UniCredit’s best interest, since the Polish bank is one of the company’s most valuable assets.

Moody’s downgrades Lukas Bank Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Lukas Bank’s long-term bank deposit rating to Baa2 from A3 last Thursday. Moody’s had downgraded the long-term deposit rating for Credit Agricole, Lukas Bank’s parent firm, the day before. The firm said its Thursday decision reflected that downgrade, plus an added one-notch downgrade for the Polish branch itself. ●


SLD leader Grzegorz Napieralski on the high cost of taking out a home loan

Figures in focus Modest growth Year-on-year change in hourly labor costs in the EU in Q2, selected countries (in %)

Source: Central Statistical Office

Company index Allen & Overy and Squire ..........17 GE Hitachi ....................................8 Play ............................................16 Allianz ..........................................6 GLB Celcius................................14 Plus ............................................16 Alma ..........................................18 Go Hot ........................................14 PointPark Properties ................18 Areva ............................................8 Goldman Sachs..........................12 Polaris Hospitality Enterprises 16


Bank Pekao..................................2 ........................19 BBI Development ......................17 Greenhill+Partners ....................14

Location: Hotel Novotel, Warsaw.


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Warsaw Business Journal will officially launch its Investing in Poland 2012 publication. Learn about opportunities and trends in Poland’s market, and ask investors and government representatives about Poland’s investment climate. To confirm your presence, e-mail: Location: Centrum Bankowo-Finansowe “Nowy Âwiat,” Nowy Âwiat 6/12, Warsaw.


Find out everything you need to know about the energy sector in Europe and in Poland.

Beiten Burkhardt ......................17 Griffin Technology ......................23 Biedronka ....................................5 Hilton ..........................................16 BPH ............................................12 Hines Polska ..............................15




Follow the forum’s top 10 recommendations, announced annually at the European Congress of Finance. Location: Warsaw Stock Exchange, Warsaw.




This year’s event features networking opportunities among members of the British Polish Chamber of Commerce and the German-Polish Chamber of Industry and Commerce. To confirm your attendance, e-mail:, or Location: Courtyard of the Ma∏opolskie Voivodship Office, ul. Basztowa 22, Kraków.

OCTOBER 4 CORPORATE BOND MARKET CONFERENCE Attend the largest seminar on the bond market in Poland. Location: Warsaw Stock Exchange, Warsaw.

PORR ..........................................15 Rossmann ..................................16 RTV EURO AGD ..........................18 RWE Group ..................................8

Bricomarché ..............................18 Hochtief Polska....................15, 18 Sanders & Dempsey ..................17 BZ WBK ........................................6 ING Real Estate Development ..18 Serenus ......................................17 Carry ..........................................18 Intermarché ..............................18 Sheraton ....................................14 CB Richard Ellis ........................16 Ipopema......................................15 Sifteo Cubes ..............................23 CB Richard Ellis Polska ............15 J&S ............................................15 Skanska......................................18 CCC ......................................16, 18 Jones Lang LaSalle ..................15 SMG/KRC..............................11, 13 Colliers International ................16 Juvenes ......................................17 Strawberry Travel ......................14 Credit Agricole ............................2 JYSK............................................18 Cushman & Wakefield ........17, 18 Knight Frank ..............................17 Deichmann ................................16 LC Corp ......................................15 Deloitte ........................................5 Lukas Bank ..................................2 DI BRE ..........................................7 Maçków Pracownia Projektowa......18 Douglas ......................................18 Mercuria Energy Group ............15

Super-Pharm ............................18 Tabak ..........................................16 Tacit Development Polska ........15 Tesco ..........................................16 Toshiba ........................................8

DuPont........................................17 Mirbud ........................................16 TPSA ..........................................16 EDF ..............................................8 MJZ ............................................18 Tradis............................................7 Eiffage Bud-ownictwo Mitex......18 Modzelewski & Rodek ..............15 Tradis Group ................................7 Elbfonds ....................................18 Moody’s ........................................2 TUI ..............................................14 Emperia........................................7 NBP ........................................6, 12 UniCredit ......................................2 Empik ........................................16 Neinver ......................................18 UOKiK ..........................................7 Encana..........................................7 Net4Gas........................................8 Epedal ........................................18 Nordea Bank ................................6



15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 Slovakia

Poland’s Oscar candidate takes a look at Poland’s candidate for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award, “W ciemnosci” (In Darkness) by Agnieszka Holland. The film received multiple positive reviews following its world premiere last week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The most effective contraceptive in Poland is taking out a mortgage”



Quote of the Week


Remi Adekoya

is the GDP growth the European Commission now predicts for Poland for the year, which is the same as the government’s forecast

Czech Republic Germany

prospects for peace between Palestine and Israel. Many observers had suggested the Palestinians would settle for the General Assembly option, where the United States would have no power of veto. But that alternative, which would almost certainly be approved, would not give the Palestinians the full statehood rights that they could get through approval from the Security Council. Meanwhile, Israeli daily Haaretz reported last Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told the EU’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, that “Israel would agree to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the United Nations as long as it is not declared a state.”


US has promised to veto any Security Council resolution aiming to grant Palestine full statehood, but to do so would serve a huge blow to President Obama’s image in the Middle East, where he is perceived as genuinely favoring a two-state solution to the conflict. The US has spent months trying to avoid a vote on such a resolution. It had also hoped to even avoid having to vote on a second, less ambitious, potential motion – namely a vote for a more symbolic change in the General Assembly elevating the status of the Palestinian Authority from nonvoting “observer entity” to “observer state,” a status equal to that of the Vatican. US officials, echoing the Israelis, had warned that this would be harmful to


Despite a flurry of diplomatic activity going on behind closed doors as WBJ went to press, all indications suggested that activity at the UN this week would be dominated by the divisive issue of Palestinian statehood. Last Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would submit an application for full membership of a Palestinian state to the UN Security Council at the UN General Assembly next week. “We need to have full membership at the UN,” Mr. Abbas said in the speech, broadcast live on TV. “We need a state, a seat at the United Nations and nothing more.” This puts US President Barack Obama’s administration in a difficult position. The


The BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are scheduled to meet in Washington this week, where they will discuss coordination of an EU rescue plan, said Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega last week. Also last week, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, as well as the Russian president’s chief economic advisor and India’s finance ministry all separately hinted that Europe would first need to come up with a clear strategy for its current debt crisis before their countries made any decision on potential assistance.



BRICS to the EU’s rescue?

is the rate at which the z∏oty was trading against the euro at one point last week, its weakest level since November 2009


Poland’s budget deficit came in at z∏.20.7 billion at the end of August, far lower than the expected z∏.36.2 billion. The result was largely due to dividends from stateowned firms that were higher than planned, while expenditures were lower than expected. The government has said that the deficit may amount to z∏.30 billion by the end of the year, z∏.10 billion less than budgeted.


August deficit lower than expected

4.3% was the annualized rate of inflation in Poland in August, up slightly from the 4.1% recorded in July and higher than expected


UniCredit deniesPekao sale rumors

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011



Euro RTV AGD ............................16 Orlen ............................................7 Eurocash ......................................7 Other Way Travel........................14 Euromedic International Polska ....17 Peter Nielsen Partners ..............6 Europlan ....................................15 PGE ..............................................8

Vantage Development ................15 Vertano Real Estate ..................18 Warimpex ..................................15 Warsaw Stock Exchange ..........17 Westinghouse ..............................8

Fiege ..........................................18 PGE Energia Jàdrowa ................17 Wierzbowski Eversheds ............13 Foren Group ..............................16 PKN Orlen ....................................7 X-Trade Brokers Fronius ......................................18 PKO BP ......................................15 Dom Maklerski SA ....................19 Gaz System ..................................8 PKP ............................................17 Yareal Polska..............................17


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011


European crisis talks

Leaders meet to combat European crisis As WBJ went to press on Friday, European Union finance ministers had completed the first day of a two-day meeting in Wroc∏aw, Poland, aimed at brokering agreement on measures to fight the growing debt crisis in the euro zone. One significant development was the approval by the European Commission of the so-called “six-pack” agreement, which consists of measures to strengthen the euro zone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and increase fiscal discipline among EU member governments. “All of the points which were contentious in the past have been agreed upon, and thus we are quite certain that the proposals will be accepted by the two European institutions between which there were some tensions,” Poland’s Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said, referring to the European Parliament and the European Council.

US concern Little else had come of the first day of talks, except some bickering between US and European officials, and the announcement that a payout of a tranche of Greece’s bailout would be delayed. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was in attendance in Wroc∏aw, where he urged European policymakers to leverage the European Financial Stability Facility as a step towards solving the crisis. This idea was met with little interest by many of the meeting’s participants. Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and president of the Euro Group, said that the group was not discussing “an increase or expansion” of its bailout fund “with a non-member of the euro area.” The US treasury secretary also had some strong criticism for Europe’s leaders. “What is destructive for Europe are not so much divisions in matters of strategy but

conflicts between governments and the central bank, which should act together to find a solution to the crisis. Governments and central banks should act in a way that removes catastrophic risk from markets and avoid casual statements about the break-up of the euro zone,” he said.

Delay on Greece decision Mr Juncker announced at the meeting that a decision concerning approval of the next tranche of a multi-billion euro loan for stricken Greece would be put off until October. The decision comes after EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund inspectors unexpectedly left Greece at the beginning of September, prompting speculation about whether the Greek government would be able to meet the requirements attached to the financial aid. But EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn attempted to calm nerves on Friday, saying the inspectors were back in Greece and would soon conclude the work they had started there. “If the Greeks

meet the fiscal and other requirements, the decision should be made at the beginning of October and the money would be available by the middle of October. The ball is now in the Greeks’ court,” he said.

Slowing growth The Wroc∏aw meeting marked the first time EU finance ministers had gathered since July 21, when a deal was hammered out to expand the EFSF and to extend a second round of lending to Greece. A lack of concrete decisions by European policymakers since then and a delay in ratifying the July 21 decision has led to criticism that not enough is being done to stop the crisis from spreading. “The biggest problem is that the ratification of the July decisions has taken too long, and that has caused insecurity and led to a weakened economic outlook for the whole of Europe,” Mr Rehn told the press. The European Commission echoed Mr Rehn’s words last week, saying in a statement that “economic growth


EU finance ministers convened in Wroc∏aw last week, where US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called on them to “act together”

Jean-Claude Juncker was less than receptive to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s suggestions in the European Union is slowing down.” Implementation of the July deal has been held up largely because of a demand by Fin-

land and several other member states that Greece provide collateral in return for the funding. Remi Adekoya

European Union

President, PM push to keep Europe united President Komorowski and Prime Minister Tusk emphasized the importance of keeping the EU together Despite the EU’s recent difficulties, Poland believes deeply in Europe and wants a union

that is “dynamic, brave, open and shows solidarity,” said President Bronis∏aw Komorowski in a speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week. Mr Komorowski said diversity was not a threat, but was instead both an opportunity and an advantage. He added

that the current crisis was not only a danger, but also a chance to add extra impetus to the deepening of European integration. Poland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, and Mr Komorowski admitted that the bloc was going through a trying period.

“We are currently facing the most difficult challenges we have had in recent years,” he said. Nevertheless, he added, Europeans have learned from experience that cooperation and integration help to rise above historical divisions. Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Donald Tusk met

with the president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, in Brussels, where he also expressed his opposition to division in the EU. “Poland is against the creation of new divisions in the [European] community,” Mr Tusk said in a statement, adding that economic hard-

ship should not block attempts at enlarging the EU. “We are both determined to make sure that the crisis does not harm in any way the efforts to ... finalize negotiations over further EU integration and enlargement,” added Mr Tusk. Remi Adekoya


Asked if this marked a pivotal moment in transatlantic relations, Mr Baranowski was cautious. He said that Europe, with its exceptional economic problems, lack of a true common foreign policy and dwindling military power, is not a great source of trouble for the US, but also not a great help. Nevertheless Americans are not likely to turn away from Europe. “If Americans are looking for friends, they will still turn to Europe before going to anyone else,” Mr Baranowski said. Alice Trudelle

Looking east, looking west More important region for national interest, according to surveyed citizens United States


70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Turkey







0 Portugal

While most Europeans still consider the United States to be more important to their respective countries’ national interests than Asia, Poles are especially likely to feel that way, a recent survey has found. Sixty percent of Poles believe that the US is more important than Asia to their national interest, while only 19 percent feel the reverse is true, according to the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ 2011 Transatlantic Trend survey. This compares to an average of 52 percent and 37 percent respectively for the 12 European nations surveyed. According to Micha∏ Baranowski, senior program officer at the German Marshall Fund in Warsaw, this suggests a lack of understanding among Poles about the growing importance of Asia. “Poland’s foreign policy is very much regional: we are mostly focusing on the east, on our immediate neighbors,” he said. If Poland wants to succeed

in its bid to become a key player on a variety of issues within the EU, the country’s policy makers need to have an informed opinion about issues outside of Poland’s immediate zone of interest, argued Mr Baranowski. Asia, whose rise in prominence will strongly impact the development of the EU, should be a focus, he added. Perhaps surprisingly, the study found that a majority of Americans, especially young ones, think that Asia is more important to their country’s national interest than European nations.


Americans, however, see Asia as more important to their nation than Europe


The Senate has blocked amendments to laws governing oil and gas storage, in a move that could mean the liberalization of the country’s gas market will be delayed. Poland currently forces gas importers to store a certain percentage of gas in the country, which “discriminates against EU companies importing gas to Poland and forces them to seek ways to transport gas to these storage facilities,” according to the European Commission. ●

Poles, Europeans still see PO promises to eliminate tax US as key relationship return forms


Gas market liberalization blocked

Tax returns


Problems in the euro zone are now undeniably seeping into Poland and their most obvious victim is the z∏oty. The Polish currency has been losing ground both against the dollar and the euro recently. Last Wednesday, after five days of sell-offs, investors paid nearly z∏.4.4 for the euro, the most since July 2009.

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

International perceptions


Z∏oty hammered



Source: Transatlantic Trend 2011, German Marshall Fund of the Unites States

PiS, though, is offering voters a slimmed-down version of the current procedure Poland’s ruling Civic Platform (PO) party and its main rival, the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, are promising voters less red tape at tax return time as part of their respective election platforms. While PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski said his party would replace all personal income tax (PIT) return documents with one simplified two-page form, PO has taken the idea a step further and is promising to eliminate the forms altogether. It would be a “revolutionary” change, PO MP Adam Szejnfeld explained at a press conference last week. Taxpayers would no longer need to submit tax returns, as they usually do. Instead, tax offices would calculate the sum of money tax payers are due based on information received from employers. The amount would then be approved online by the taxpayer, who would also be able to amend the calculated value.

The change could be implemented as soon as 2015, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance Maciej Grabowski told television station TVN24. Taxpayers will still be able to claim returns via the traditional paper-based route if they so wish, PO said. PO MPs were critical of PiS’s proposal to simplify the traditional returns procedure, with Mr Szejnfeld likening it to a “sieve that’s full of holes.” Mr Grabowski said that PiS’s proposal would mean taxpayers would no longer be able to donate 1 percent of their earnings to a charity and that tax offices would not be able to return overpaid taxes. However, Janusz Kobeszko, an expert in public finances who once worked as the director of the Fiscal Control Department at the Ministry of Finance, said both parties’ proposed changes were largely cosmetic. “I don’t think either of them are ‘revolutionary,’ the parties are rather playing a political mind game with the tax payer,” he said. Gareth Price

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SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Europe in crisis


Croatia’s EU accession treaty

Rostowski’s ‘war’ comment Poles enslaved draws sharp criticism in eastern England

During a speech before the European Parliament last Wednesday, Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said Europe was in danger and that if the euro zone collapsed, the European Union itself would not be able to survive for long. But what really caused a stir were the FM’s allusions to the possibility of war in Europe as a result of the current crisis. “I recently met a friend who worked with me during the period of [economic] transformation and is now the president of a big Polish bank. He said, ‘You know after such economic and political shocks, it rarely is the case that after 10 years, there isn’t a catastrophic war. I am seriously thinking of getting my children an American green card,’” he said. Mr Rostowski concluded by saying European leaders “cannot allow that to happen.” Reaction was swift.

Four men were arrested and face up to 14 years in prison


Poland’s finance minister alluded to the possibility of a European war before the European Parliament

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski employed dramatic rhetoric at the European Parliament “Speaking today about the possibility of war and the need to move to the USA is, one could say, the Mount Everest of irresponsibility,” Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski, leader of opposition party Law and Justice, told journalists. Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Jerzy Wenderlich from the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) said “such a person shouldn’t be holding a piggybank in his hands, much less the state’s budget,” and called for

Mr Rostowski’s resignation. Prime Minister Donald Tusk, meanwhile, defended his minister stoutly, saying “if there are no quick decisions and quick actions, then we are really headed in a dangerous direction … please treat Mr Rostowski’s words as a dramatic warning towards all those eurozone politicians who for many, many months, instead of making decisions, have remained in a state of inertia,” Mr Tusk said. Remi Adekoya

The Bedfordshire Police arrested four men last week after raiding a caravan site where the police found 24 individuals who they believe were being held against their will. Aged between 23 and 33 and all from the same family, the four suspects are charged with conspiracy to hold a person in servitude and requiring them to perform forced labor, an offense punishable by up to 14 years in prison. The rescued men are mostly from English and eastern European backgrounds, the police said, including three Polish nationals. All are believed to be victims of slavery, the Bedfordshire Police said in a statement. “The men we found at the site were in a poor state of physical health and the conditions they were living in were shockingly filthy and cramped. We believe that some of them had been living and working there in a state of virtual slavery, some for just a few weeks and others for up to 15 years,” said Detective Chief Inspector Sean


Poland, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, announced last Wednesday that members of the EU Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee have reached an agreement on the text of Croatia’s EU accession treaty. This marks the end of a nearly two-year process of drafting the treaty, according to a statement on the Polish EU presidency’s website.

O’Neil, from the Bedfordshire Police’s Major Crime Unit. Mr O’Neil told the BBC that the men appeared to have been “recruited” from soup kitchens and benefits offices and were told they would receive a salary, board and lodging in exchange for work. But in the worst cases, “when they get here, their hair is cut off them, they’re kept in in some cases [in] horseboxes, dog kennels and old caravans, made to work for no money, given very, very small amounts of food,” he added. Of the 24 men taken from the caravan site, nine are refusing to support the police investigation, none of them Polish. The Guardian reported that one of the men refusing to cooperate told them on condition of anonymity he had been working and getting paid at the site for years. He said the police raid was an act of discrimination against Travellers (traditionally nomadic people of Irish origin). In a statement, Mr O’Neil said he was confident the operation had broken up an organized crime group.

Biedronka biggest in CEE In a report from Deloitte, Biedronka was ranked as the biggest retail network in Central and Eastern Europe, and as one of the 10 largest companies in the region. The main criterion used in the ranking were sales revenues from 2010. Tomasz Suchaƒski, CEO of Biedronka, welcomed the news. “Such a high position in the ranking proves that our customer-oriented strategy is correct,” he told Rzeczpospolita. ●

Alice Trudelle

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SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Poles get richer


The total value of personal financial assets in Poland grew threefold over the last decade, according to Allianz’s latest Global Wealth Report, which analyzes the wealth and debt dynamics of private households in 50 countries. The report finds that per capita financial assets amounted to €7,377 (z∏.31,700) in 2010, which puts Poland in the “middle wealth countries” bracket.

Minimum wage to increase in 2012


would automatically be increased if GDP were to grow by more than 3 percent. If it grows by less than that amount, minimum wage increases would need to be negotiated with the Trilateral Commission (consisting of representatives from the business community, labor organizations and the government), as they are today. Ella Pa∏ka

Inflation quickens in August Inflation in Poland held stable in August, at 4.3 percent yearon-year, faster than July’s rate of 4.1 percent. The figures were slightly above expectations – the market consensus was at about 4.2 percent. Analysts said the results would reinforce the dominant view on the Nation-

talk about interest rate cuts,” Anders Svendsen, a chief analyst at Nordea Bank, said in a research note. He added that the numbers would mean the council would continue its wait-and-see stance, and could still cut rates, despite the high inflation rate (the bank’s target is 2.5 percent plus-or-minus one percentage point), if the global economy turned sour. “Higher core inflation is particularly concerning for the RPP. It also supports our call for unchanged interest rates for the next year. Should global economic indicators continue to worsen and translate into a weaker outlook for the Polish economy than we currently foresee, then we are convinced that the NBP will be fast to cut interest rates despite the current high inflation rate. In that sense, [the] numbers do not change much,” he said.

al Bank of Poland’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Council (RPP) that it was too early to consider any changes in the interest rate. “Inflation was slightly higher than expected and probably adds to the view that appears to be the consensus on the RPP that it is still too early to

A hit to the wallet Consumer price inflation in Poland, August 2010-August 2011 5.5



Oc t. 2 0 No 10 v. 2 0 De 10 c. 20 1 Jan 0 .2 0 Feb 11 .2 01 Ma 1 r. 2 0 Ap 1 r. 2 01 Ma 1 y2 0 Jun 11 .2 01 Jul 1 .2 0 Au 11 g. 20 11


10 20

Polish exports, is already losing steam – its GDP grew by just 0.1 percent y/y in the second quarter. In 2010, Poland’s exports increased by 22 percent y/y and similar growth was reported during the first half of 2011.

eign demand, but exports in the coming quarters will not be able to play the role of the driving force for economic growth,” economists at Bank BZ WBK wrote in a research note. Germany, Poland’s main foreign trading partner, which buys a quarter of total


Deutschland, über alles Countries’ shares of Polish export market, January-July 2011 (top 10 destination markets, %) 30 25 20 15 10 5

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In July of this year, the annualized growth rate of Polish exports was a mere 5.5 percent, the lowest in the past 18 months, according to data reported by the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Economists have been predicting a slowdown in export sales for some time now, since Polish manufacturers started noting smaller orders from abroad in early summer. This past July, domestic businesses sold €10.7 billion worth of merchandise abroad, the lowest since the beginning of the year and only 5.5 percent more than in July of last year – the slowest annualized growth since November 2009. Analysts said that exports would therefore not be a significant driver of economic growth in the near future, but that a weak z∏oty could help to prop exports up. “The undervalued z∏oty will partially dampen a drop in for-


There is a possibility that next year an amendment to the act on the social insurance system will be drafted. This amendment would broaden the category of civil agreements from which social insurance premium deductions have to be made, possibly to include the contract for specific work (umowa o dzie∏o) in certain cases. ●

Polish export growth slows in July


Contract for specific work may become subject to social insurance premium deductions


Source: Central Statistical Office


The Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, is currently working on another amendment to the act on public procurement. The draft is aimed at limiting problems caused by entities that submit below-market prices in a public procurement procedure. Specifically, bidding entities would need to prove they can do the work at the price they have offered. In case of any doubts, the ordering party would be able to ask the offering party why the price it has offered is so low. The offering party would then have to prove that the price is reasonable, taking into account the situation on the market and the expected costs. The change is designed to improve the public procurement process, where in 90 percent of cases the price offered is the


Un ite

Parliament looks at public procurement rules

Planned amendments to the act concerning liability for violating public finance discipline stipulate that tax and customs administration officials, as well as their superiors, may be penalized if they do not repay customs receivables, overpaid tax, or tax returns on time, and if the delays result in the necessity of authorities having to pay interest and penalty charges on behalf of the wronged tax payer. Under the amendment, actions also considered to constitute a violation of public finance discipline would include late payment or incorrect payment of social or health insurance premiums, in cases where these actions would result in penalties, charges or interest payment by the state on behalf of the wronged claimant. The draft of the changes is now being discussed by the Senate.


.2 01

Tax and customs officials’ liability for delays


On September 8 this year the president signed an amendment to the act on banking law. The changes pertain to the provisions governing both the rules and the procedures banks need to follow in order to outsource activities to outside entities. The changes are intended to make it easier for banks to benefit from outsourcing through, among other things, broadening the number of banking activities that banks can entrust to outside entities. The act will become binding 30 days after its publication in the official register.


decisive factor in the offer being chosen.

Au g

Changes in banking law – outsourcing


Contact: Miros∏aw Stefanik


Legal News


In a few months, consumers can expect to pay less for fruit and vegetables, as harvests across the country bring bumper crops and thus lower prices, but the average shopper will pay more for fats, poultry and sugar, experts say. Price increases will be manageable, with average price increases of 4% expected for the second half of 2011. ●

The Polish government has agreed to raise the monthly minimum wage in Poland from z∏.1,386 to z∏.1,500 at the start of 2012. The move comes after several years of discussions and negotiations among workers’ unions, business owners and the government. After taxes and deductions, the net minimum wage will amount to z∏.1,100 per month. PKPP Lewiatan, a group which represents Polish business owners, released a statement saying the move to increase wages will simply discourage firms from hiring new employees. Moreover, the group believes that net wage increases should not come from business owners, but rather from the lowering of taxes and from a reduction in bureaucracy. Any increase in remuneration

should be the result of increased productivity, they say. Although the government’s decision was welcomed by trade unions, particularly by Solidarity, representatives have said more needs to be done to help workers on low wages. Piotr Duda, a representative of NSZZ “Solidarity,” said that the latest wage increase does not sufficiently address the problems facing low-paid workers. “There is nothing worse, or more degrading for a worker than the inability to support oneself and one’s family despite working hard and fairly for an entire month’s worth of work,” he said. His comments were made before the Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, where Solidarity outlined its latest initiative for further increases to the minimum wage. The initiative, signed by 350,000 Polish workers, seeks to amend the constitution so that the minimum wage

era Ne tion the rla nd s Sw ed en

Food-price increases

Trade unions want more to be done, while business leaders criticized the decision

Source: Central Statistical Office


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Shale gas

Orlen poised to drill for shale gas in US? A new partnership could help the oil giant gain access to US shale gas deposits Polish fuel giant PKN Orlen is negotiating an agreement to establish a strategic partnership with Canadian gas company Encana for the exploration of shale gas, Encana has confirmed. According to Rzeczpospolita, Encana has agreed to cover a substantial part of Orlen’s exploratory costs in Poland. Citing sources close to the deal, the daily also said that Orlen was set to give the Canadian firm a portion of some of its shale gas concession rights in the Lubelskie voivodship, in southeastern Poland, in return for access to Encana-owned shale gas deposits in the US. As WBJ went to press these reports had not been confirmed. But if the deal were to

go through, it would make Orlen the first Polish company to have access to US shale gas deposits. Although neither of the companies have released details on the potential deal, an agreement with Encana would likely be positive for Orlen, said Kamil Kliszcz, an analyst at DI BRE. “At the moment such a deal would be a way to diversify the risk for Orlen,” said Mr Kliszcz. Currently, Polish shale gas licenses are based solely on geological analysis, not on actual drilling, making it difficult to evaluate how much they are worth. The details of an potential Encana-Orlen deal could reveal more about the market value of Polish licenses, Mr Kliszcz said. The deal could also benefit Orlen, which has little experience in gas exploration and extraction, by giving it access

to expertise from Encana, Canada’s largest gas company and one of the biggest extractors of shale gas in North America. State-controlled Orlen’s supervisory board, which has to approve the agreement, may sign the document as early as this month, Parkiet reported. Orlen has not made any official comments regarding the agreement, but during the recent Economic Forum in Krynica, Victor Boraks, from Encana’s management board, did admit that the Canadian concern has been observing the Polish market and is interested in obtaining shale gas concessions and conducting exploratory works. As of September 1, Poland’s Environment Ministry had granted a total of 101 licenses for exploring shale gas. Orlen held seven. Alice Trudelle

Takeover dispute


Eurocash and Emperia await arbitration hearing

The deal would see Tradis going to Eurocash for z∏.926 million

The validity of a z∏.926 million takeover deal will be decided by a tribunal An arbitration tribunal will decide if an agreement between FMCG retailers Eurocash and Emperia for the former to take over the latter’s distribution arm, Tradis, for z∏.926 million is still binding. The court will also decide if the transaction value is equal to the company’s actual value, based on its assets. Emperia said it was pulling out of the deal with Eurocash when the latter failed to make a payment for Tradis by the agreed deadline of July 15. Emperia now wants z∏.200 million in damages, while Eurocash has applied to a tribunal court to have the agreement enforced.

Eurocash has already said that it was not able to pay for Tradis on time because it had not received approval from UOKiK, Poland’s anti-monopoly regulator. Jan Domaƒski, a spokesperson from Eurocash said he saw no reason why the agreement should not go ahead. “An application before an arbitration court has been made to confirm that the agreement is still valid and that it is worth z∏.926 million. The process will take several months before any decision is made.” “This is an important matter for our clients and shareholders. And there is no basis on which the agreement should not stand,” Mr Domaƒski added. Emperia, on the other hand,

is convinced of the opposite. “We were expecting that this dispute would only be settled before the court and we are prepared to effectively defend our rights under the contract. We are convinced that the arbitration hearing will confirm our arguments,” Artur Kawa, chairman of the board at Emperia Holding, stated in a press release. He added that despite the future proceeding the company plans to continue with implementing its strategic goals for the development of Tradis. “The ongoing proceedings will have no impact on the current operations of the Tradis Group, which will continue to fight to be the market leader in FMCG distribution,” Mr Kawa said. Ella Pa∏ka




SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Energy infrastructure

New gas line connects Poland, Czech Republic


The connection is expected to increase the two countries’ energy security

The prime ministers open the pipeline in Cieszyn

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Czech counterpart, Petr Nečas, opened a natural-gas pipeline connecting the two countries in the border town of Cieszyn last Wednesday. Both said the new link connecting the two countries’ gas transmission systems would increase energy security for their respective nations. The 32-kilometer link, built jointly by Polish pipeline oper-

ator Gaz System and Czech company Net4Gas (a subsidiary of the German RWE Group), has an initial annual capacity of 0.5 billion cubic meters, which is expected to eventually reach 2-3 bcm. The line, built partly to increase Polish connections in readiness for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the country’s Baltic coast, is due to come online in 2014. The ÂwinoujÊcie LNG terminal will initially have a yearly capacity of 5 bcm, which should grow to 7.5 bcm by 2020. Upon opening the pipeline, PM Tusk said new gas connec-

tions are also necessary for the potential future exploitation of shale gas in Poland. Indeed, experts agree that in order for the country’s potentially enormous reserves of shale gas to eventually transform its energy market, Poland must develop its infrastructure for domestic gas distribution and export. The Cieszyn gas link is expected to be part of the North-South Gas Corridor, which aims to integrate gas markets in the entire CEE region, said Gaz System CEO Jan Chadam in a statement. As such, the pipeline goes hand-in-hand with the Euro-

pean Union’s strategy of connecting energy markets and diversifying energy sources. The investments will also help liberalize and deregulate the European gas market, and may contribute to the development of low carbon energy sources, as fuel availability will be an additional incentive for energy companies, to invest in gas-fired power plants, said Filip Thon, CEO of RWE Poland. Construction of the Cieszyn pipeline cost z∏.120 million, of which EU funds covered around half. Gareth Price, Alice Trudelle

As public support for nuclear energy dwindles in Europe and economic uncertainty abounds, Poland’s plans to build the country’s first nuclear power plant remain unchanged. Six months after Japan’s nuclear disaster, General Commissioner for Nuclear Energy Hanna Trojanowska says Poland needs nuclear energy to remain competitive.

“We uphold our decision about the necessity of carrying on with this project because of the long-term energy security, electricity production economics as well as the need to maintain the Polish economy’s competitiveness,” Ms Trojanowska told Reuters. A poll by Poland’s Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) showed that in April, a month after Japan’s nuclear

disaster, 53 percent of Poles were against the idea of building nuclear plants in their country, compared to 39 percent in September 2010. The gloomy economic prospects in Europe have dampened enthusiasm for the estimated €18-21 billion project, admitted Ms Trojanowska. But the government is sticking to its date of 2020, she added. Poland’s PGE, the main

domestic investor, is expected to launch a tender for selecting the firm which will supply nuclear technology for the two 3,000 MW plants this week. The process should be completed by mid-2013. Firms under consideration are French companies Areva and EDF, GE Hitachi, and Toshiba’s US-based unit Westinghouse. Alice Trudelle


Poland maintains nuclear ambitions

The first of Poland’s two planned power plants is due to come online in 2020


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011



MP Eugeniusz Grzeszczak, secretary of state in the Chancellery of The Prime Minister and head of the Polish People’s Party’s (PSL) election campaign, talks with WBJ about his party’s election program, his assessment of the ruling coalition, reaction to the Law and Justice party’s controversial comments concerning the rural population and PSL, and his predictions for the post-election political scene Ewa Boniecka: Law and Justice (PiS) spokesperson Adam Hofman attacked your party and its traditional electorate recently, saying: “MPs from PSL and the peasants who came to Warsaw have turned wild and lost their senses.” What consequences do you think will stem from this? Eugeniusz Grzeszczak: Adam Hofman’s statement was scandalous and I think that it will bring negative political consequences both for him as a candidate in the election and for PiS, especially as he did not apologize and PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski defended him, before making further abusive comments about our party. Adam Hofman will seek election to the Sejm from the same constituency as me – KoniƒskoGnieênieƒski – and its electorate consists mainly of people from villages and small towns. I am therefore very curious as to how he will fight for their vote, because I know from talking with local people how offended they are by his remarks. It is obvious that Hofman’s statement offended many Poles, because 80 percent of our population has peasant roots, despite living and working in many parts of the country. Members of various sections of society, among them scholars, artists, priests, members of the Catholic hierarchy, bishops, and high-ranking military officers, all feel proud of their peasant roots. In my opinion the political affair created by PiS’s spokesman is more than a blunder – it shows the arrogant political attitude of PiS towards rural groups of voters and it will have a negative effect on the election result of that party. PSL’s leaders often stress that the party has no part in the “Polish-Polish war” between the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party and PiS. But with two different parliamentary commissions finding that political pressure was exerted by state organs during PiS’s time in government, and given PiS’s attacks on PSL, is the party reconsidering its stance?

We do not want to participate in the war between those two big parties – we have a pragmatic and peaceful approach to politics. Yet this does not mean that we are not assessing developments on the Polish political scene and that we will not present a stance towards them. It looks like the commissions’ reports will be dealt with by the next parliament and it is now too early to present our final stance on their findings. Yet it is clear that we consider the use of state organs for political purposes to be disgraceful and unacceptable, and we are against PiS’s policy of fighting with different groups of people. Such a policy brings harm to Poles and is poisoning our political life. What is PSL’s main offer for voters in the present election campaign? PSL’s slogan “The person is the most important” (“Cz∏owiek jest najwa˝niejszy”) defines our electoral offer. It means that we offer to everyone, regardless of their material status, an education and a place to live, as well as security in social, economic, environmental and other fields, and the internal and external security of the state. We want to create conditions in which every Pole will feel good in this country. But how is this reflected in your economic program? We want to reduce the budget deficit and to reduce nominal increases in expenditures to the level of inflation, which will allow us to introduce structural changes and to rationalize expenditures. We want to limit the so-called gray economy which would allow us to increase the tax base and to simplify the legal procedures entrepreneurs need to go through to create new jobs. We want to enlarge our trading relations with Eastern countries and world economic powers. We will support innovative ventures in our economy and introduce information technology on a large scale. We believe that the most important capital is human capital, so we need to

harness the intellectual ability and energy of Poles with the support of European Union programs. PSL is determined to speed up developments in the fields of energy and infrastructure and to encourage foreign investors to do business in Poland by keeping the [current] system of tax concessions. All these efforts should lead to GDP growth being maintained at around 4 percent. That sounds very optimistic, and being a member of the present coalition government, PSL cannot avoid partial responsibility for the past four years, during which time the government was criticized for avoiding making many needed reforms. How do you respond to these charges? Every coalition needs to learn the art of compromise, and I


Traditional values, modern goals Mr Grzeszczak thinks another PO-PSL coalition would be the best outcome for Poland difficult reforms. We had to face the harsh economic and financial crisis around us, and such situations are not favorable for executing radical reforms. So even when we were not able to realize all our projects, the total effect of our cooperation and the performance of the PO-PSL government was positive overall. What is PSL’s attitude towards genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are presently the subject of a strong debate in Poland? We want the matter to be legally regulated and the control of production of GMO food to be established, because now there is no system for monitoring the production of GMO food and its components. We opt for the healthy and natural production of food because it is an asset for us in foreign markets, but cur-

“Every coalition needs to learn the art of compromise” see on the plus side that our coalition with PO has functioned well … [with] agreement in the most important matters. We have convinced each other about the legitimacy of particular reforms and accepted some realistic solutions. There were some disagreements and PSL had different positions on certain matters, sometimes prevailing, like in the case of VAT when, due to our position, the VAT for food was reduced to 5 percent. I am not saying that all matters went smoothly – it is always possible to argue that more could have been done, yet the fact is that at the time of world and European crisis our economy maintained a good rate of growth. When we established our coalition government in 2008 the economic conditions were not as favorable as our predecessors had, yet the previous government did not undertake

rently we do not really know what agricultural components are used in the production of [GMO] food and we do not know which products on offer have been grown using GMOs. So the situation is in need of some regulating, while scientists are still divided in their opinions about GMOs. How about the postponed reform of KRUS (the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund) and sharp criticism from PiS that the government is not fighting hard enough for Polish farmers to receive the same level of financial support as farmers receive in other parts of the EU? PSL has no objection to the evolutionary reform of KRUS, yet it should be linked with the reform of ZUS [the Social Insurance Institution]. Minister of Labor and Social Policy [PSL member] Jolanta Fedak was very successful in taking

some steps towards reforming the retirement system. When we evaluate EU support for farmers, we notice that it is provided by two systems. The first pillar relies on direct support, depending on the size of land, and here our farmers receive less than their Western European counterparts. There is also a second pillar, where the EU provides funds for investments in agriculture, and here we receive more than others. Minister of Agriculture Marek Sawicki, from PSL, negotiated successfully with the European Commission during the Hungarian presidency and obtained assurances from the EU that those payments would gradually be equalized. It is also worth noting that this was done in a situation of financial crisis in the EU. Thus, accusations made by PiS, as well as the letter sent by [PiS leader] Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski to [European Commission President] Jose Manuel Barroso with demands to increase direct payments, are just pre-election political games. The postulate expressed by PiS member and MEP Janusz Wojciechowski that the Polish government should “knock on the table” in the EU to achieve an instant increase in direct payments for farmers is an example of PiS’s purely demagogic approach to conducting European policy. Which group of voters does your party hope to win over in the upcoming parliamentary elections? As a centrist national party we link our program for the modernization of our country with respect for traditional Polish values – Christianity, family, love for the land. Being liberal in economic matters and conservative in our approach to ethical problems we appeal to voters of moderate views, primarily from among the rural electorate. We also appeal to small business owners in small and larger towns, to professionals, some linked with the agriculture industry, to activists in

cultural fields and to members of local governments. We stand for improving conditions for entrepreneurs with small and medium-sized businesses, by reducing administrative barriers. We are turning to those people who look at Poland’s modernization as an opportunity for the country and as a chance for them to have a better life, but who do not want the traditional values they are so fond of threatened. So PSL looks at modernization across a large spectrum – we need to improve the functioning of our state in those areas where we still lag behind some other countries. Ours is a comprehensive program, free from populist elements and manipulation – which I believe Poles do not want – so I think that we should gain more support. While in the last local election PSL received a good result of 16.3 percent of all votes, which helped us win third place, I would like us to repeat such a good result in the parliamentary election. I am certain that this will happen and that we will win more sets to parliament. How do you envisage the Polish political scene after the election? If PSL receives better results than in the previous parliamentary election, when we won 8.6 percent of the vote, and PO maintains the same level of support it achieved last time around, then I think that our two parties would once again form a coalition government. Our coalition has proved it can work very well, and my party brings level-headedness to it. Therefore I am convinced that it would be the best outcome for Poland. We would have – for the first time in the last 20 years – the continuation of a stable coalition. This coalition would, in its second term, push forward our projects for modernizing the country and improving the quality of life of Poles, as well as for delivering a secure Polish position in the EU and building good relations with our neighbors. ●



SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

The saver’s dilemma Daniel Gros


nterest rates are now close to zero throughout the developed world (the United States, Europe, and Japan). But the global economy is slowing down, and financial markets went into a tailspin during the summer. This suggests that the problem is more profound than one of insufficient monetary stimulus.

“The market cannot be brought back into equilibrium when savers do not want to lend to those who would be willing to take these savings” The heart of any economy is the mechanism by which funds are channeled from savers to investors. In normal times, capital markets perform this function smoothly; but these markets break down from time to time, owing to sudden large changes in perceptions about the riskiness of important asset classes.

Europe in a pinch In the US, this happened when

investors discovered that even AAArated asset-backed securities were, in reality, risky. China experienced a similar surprise when the US government lost its AAA rating. But nowhere is the problem as acute as it is in Europe, or, rather, the euro zone, where German savers are suddenly discovering risk across the European periphery. What is true of Germany is also true of most of the countries of northern Europe, many of which now run current-account surpluses that are even larger as a proportion of GDP. These countries’ households continue to save, accumulating deposits at their local banks and buying bonds from their local wealth managers. But they feel that the euro zone has become such a dangerous place that they no longer dare to invest abroad. Greece, Ireland, and Portugal are off-limits because their bonds no longer rate as investment-grade, which means that banks are not allowed to sell them to individual savers. But even investment-grade Spain and Italy have now suddenly been classified as precarious, implying that risk managers everywhere tell investors to cut their exposure. The fundamental problem is simple: the market cannot be brought back into equilibrium when savers do not want to lend to those who would

be willing to take these savings.

Aggravating the problem Lower interest rates are not a solution to this dilemma. In the US, demand has not recovered, despite almost three years of near-zero interest rates. In Europe, lower rates risk aggravating the problem by lowering the returns for savers. When the yield on German government bonds falls to 2 percent, which is negative in real terms, German savers must redouble their efforts to achieve a certain target for retirement income. This is why the current spiral of ever-lower interest rates in Germany (and northern Europe) and higher risk premia for most of the rest of the euro zone is so destructive. Lower interest rates can thus lead to lower consumption in surplus countries, thereby increasing the supply of loanable funds. But higher risk premia elsewhere force the rest of the euro zone to cut spending, thus reducing their demand for these funds. Indeed, stock markets are tanking precisely because investors fear that ever-increasing risk premia in the euro zone’s peripheral countries will force them to stop consuming and investing, leading to lower German rates and thus inducing German households to reduce their con-

sumption as well. But a weaker German economy makes adjustment in the periphery even more difficult.

Breaking the vicious cycle The most radical way to break this vicious circle would be to introduce Eurobonds. National risk premia would then disappear, and German savers would have no problem investing their savings in the euro zone’s periphery, knowing that the German government would ultimately underwrite these countries’ government bonds. The euro zone economy could then recover quickly. This is why market participants like to repeat that only Eurobonds will end the crisis. But Eurobonds would also create huge incentive problems, because debtors in the euro zone periphery would no longer have to fear any punishment by markets and might thus be induced to consume and invest too much. What Europe needs is a mechanism that lets the capital market work most of the time, but that enables intervention when it ceases to function. In other words, the euro zone needs a European Monetary Fund that prevents this vicious cycle from tightening by providing bridge financing when capital markets break down. Europe now has such an institution in the form

of the European Financial Stability Facility – but the EFSF needs to be much better financed to allow it to fulfill this function. But even the creation of a European Monetary Fund cannot save the world economy if confidence between China and the US breaks down. The US government’s loss of its AAA rating is a first sign that the most important outlet for excess Chinese savings might be losing its luster.

Lesson to learn The general lesson from the euro crisis and the US rating downgrade is simple: given that so many countries have chronic excess savings (Germany, Japan, China, oil exporters), the world economy cannot recover without finding ways to channel these excess savings to economies that are both creditworthy and willing to borrow. Both sides will have to make an effort: Creditors must accept some risk, and debtors must enhance their creditworthiness through structural fiscal adjustment and reforms that improve their growth prospects. ● Daniel Gros is Director of the Center for European Policy Studies. Copyright: Project Syndicate,

Europe solicits American advice on financial crisis

Crisis management 101 Mr Geithner’s presence is particularly useful for two reasons. First, despite the vitriol that is a hallmark of American domestic politics, American monetary policy is remarkably collegial. The transitions between Treasury secretaries are strikingly smooth. Mr Geithner himself worked for the Federal Reserve before coming into his current job, and Mr Geithner’s partners in managing the US system – the chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – are typically apolitical. Mr Geithner holds the United States’ institutional knowledge on economic crisis management. Second, what Mr Geithner does not know, he can easily and quickly

trouble further intensifies, the entire European system doesn’t collapse.

ascertain by calling one of the chairmen mentioned above. This is a somewhat alien concept in Europe, which counts 27 separate banking authorities, 11 different monetary authorities, and at last reckoning some 30 entities with the power to carry out bailout procedures.

American lessons

Burdensome system Getting everyone on the same page requires weeks of planning, a conference room of not insignificant size and a small army of assistants and translators, followed by weeks of follow-on negotiations in which parliaments and perhaps even the general populace participate in ratification procedures. The last update to the European Union’s bailout program was agreed to on July 21, but might not be ready for use before December. In contrast, the key policymakers in the American system can in essence gather at a two-top table for an emergency meeting and have a new policy in place in an hour. Mr Geithner will undoubtedly

All of these steps are simply illegal under existing European law. Changing that, using European rulemaking procedures, would require treaty changes, which entail a minimum two years of negotiations and ratifications. Barring such structural assaults on the problem, all that remains is to discuss crisismanagement tools such as those implemented by the United States during the 2008-2009 crisis. The lessons learned there may be tweaked and applied to Europe’s current dilemmas, but all of them will be temporary and marginal if the crisis’ root causes are not addressed. The Europeans during the meeting will ask the Americans what Washington can do to help. (Technically this is a question for the Federal Reserve chairman, but Ben Bernanke and Mr Geithner have been on each other’s speed dial for some time now.) The answer: Precisely the same thing the American government did COURTESY OF THE US DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY


S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was in Poland last Friday to meet with euro zone finance ministers. This is the first time an American treasury secretary has ever been invited to the table. That aloofness is no surprise; the euro zone is a political creation designed to compete with the US dollar. The reason for the sudden break with precedent is equally obvious: the euro is flirting with outright failure, the consequences of which would at a minimum include a new recession. Sharing crisis-mitigation notes makes a great deal of sense for both Americans and Europeans.

point out that the European system is not capable of surviving the intensifying crisis without dramatic changes. Those changes include, but are hardly limited to, federalizing banking regulation, radically altering the European Central Bank’s charter to grant it the tools necessary to mitigate the crisis, forming an iron fence around the endangered European economies so that they don’t crash everyone else, and above all recapitalizing the European banking sector to the tune of hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of euros – so that when

during the last financial crisis. At that time global markets seized up due to fear, and banks became afraid to lend to one another. Lending and credit specifically, and economic activity in general, ground to a halt. So the US Federal Reserve granted unlimited low-interest dollar-denominated loans to nearly anyone who wanted them and could provide reasonable collateral. Due to the depth of the crisis, even foreign entities qualified. That bought time for investors, lenders and consumers to recover from their shock. After a few nervous months, normalcy returned and the Fed dialed back the liquidity. The key words in that summary are “bought time.” While the American economic model comes in for a good amount of criticism – warranted and otherwise – it is a singular, unified system with relatively clear rules and modes of behavior. The European crisis is a crisis precisely because there is no single authority, no single set of enforced rules, and no arbiter besides another summit. When the American system suffered a crisis, the Fed and Treasury could buy time for a broadly functional system to fix itself. The structures that could carry Europe through a crisis have yet to be built. ● This edited version of “Europe solicits American advice on financial crisis” is republished with permission of STRATFOR


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011


Is PiS now the party of the young? Remi Adekoya


n what came as a surprise to many observers, a recent SMG/KRC poll indicated that the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party now edges out the ruling Civic Platform (PO) among voters in the 18-24 category. Members of the youngest group of voters gave PiS 29 percent support, compared to 27 percent for PO.

“PiS is running an effective campaign, while PO is not” If the upcoming election were to be decided by the 18-24s, the Movement in Support of Palikot (RPP), the party led by the eccentric Janusz Palikot, would get into parliament with 7 percent support, the poll indicates. Another poll that has likely caused some head-scratching among those in the ruling party is a Homo Homini voter survey carried out recently which showed PO with 31 percent support (-3 percentage points from the previous poll) and PiS snapping at their heels with 29 percent (+4).

What is PO doing wrong? The polls clearly show one thing – that PiS is running an effective campaign, while PO is not. Its rather lackluster convention in early September was further evidence of that. There, PO revealed its program for the next four years, promising, among other things, to eliminate Personal Income Tax forms, ensure every county has access to broadband internet and to introduce competition to the staterun and inefficient National Health Fund. These are hardly reforms that will rally the electorate, especially in these uncertain times. The ruling party also unveiled a rather uninspiring campaign slogan of “We will do more,” an obvious and not terribly clever response to PiS’s decidedly pithier slogan of “Poles deserve more.” At his stump speech during the convention, Prime Minister Donald Tusk started by saying that “a Polish child deserves the kind of future an American or French child has. We will make that so.” He then went on to play the muchused card of scaring voters about the damage an eventual PiS-led government could do to Poland.

But the PM wasn’t terribly convincing and didn’t really seem to believe in what he was saying himself.

No longer the ‘cool’ party Despite the obvious momentum it has on its side, PiS is still unlikely to actually win the elections, and such close poll figures will actually serve to mobilize those PO voters who might have felt they didn’t really need to bother voting since their party was a shoo-in anyway. The thought of the PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski (whom many sincerely detest) actually being close to seizing power will no doubt galvanize many. But Mr Tusk and his party need to rethink their campaign strategy and come up with some better ideas if they don’t want to have a nerve-racking campaign finish on their hands, and if they want to have a strong majority in the coalition they will likely have to form after the election. The 18-24s were crucial in getting PO elected in 2007 and the ruling party has often portrayed itself as the party of the young, dynamic and welleducated. In comparison, PiS was often seen as the party of the old, frustrated and less-sophisticated seg-

ment of Polish society. This new poll shatters that image: PiS is in front among the young while PO is actually leading among the elderly. At the beginning of the campaign, it seemed that PiS’s refusal to debate with PO politicians would cost them support, but the opposite seems to have been the case. That is surprising. It seems Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski’s strategy of avoiding direct confrontation with PO politicians and instead stumping around the country is working, especially among the 18-24 group, which is currently quite disillusioned as a recent government report on young people revealed. Polish youths have problems getting jobs and when they do they’re often employed only on a temporary contract. This means they have no access to credit, leaving them feeling frustrated. Not being able to take part fully in Poland’s consumption binge must be particularly galling to a group that was found by the government’s report to be extremely consumption-oriented. Add to that the gloomy economic mood, and one expects they must be

thinking that their prospects aren’t so bright.

Anti-establishment mood PiS and RPP are parties with radical leaders whose messages convey strong emotions. PO, on the other hand, might just have gotten too wishywashy for the young these days – too comfortable and establishment-oriented. Mr Palikot, a former PO member and darling of the youth, has no doubt stolen some young voters from his former party. It seems many Poles are in an anti-establishment mood nowadays and are not finding the status-quo, which PO represents, much to their liking. However, overall, PO is still much slicker than PiS when it comes to political tactics and the perception game, so they will likely come up with a strong counter-offensive. Nevertheless, while PO says it will “do more” after winning the elections, it first needs to do more to convince Poles that it is worth reelecting at all. ● This is an edited version of a post from blog “The business of politics” by WBJ politics editor Remi Adekoya. For more, log on to

Thinking the unthinkable in Europe George Soros


o resolve a crisis in which the impossible has become possible, it is necessary to think the unthinkable. So, to resolve Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, it is now imperative to prepare for the possibility of default and defection from the euro zone by Greece, Portugal, and perhaps Ireland. In such a scenario, measures will have to be taken to prevent a financial meltdown in the euro zone as a whole. First, bank deposits must be protected. If a euro deposited in a Greek bank would be lost through default and defection, a euro deposited in an Italian bank would immediately be worth less than one in a German or Dutch bank, resulting in a run on the deficit countries’ banks. Moreover, some banks in the defaulting countries would have to be kept functioning in order to prevent economic collapse. At the same time, the European banking system would have to be recapitalized and put under European, as distinct from national, supervision. Finally, government bonds issued by the euro zone’s other deficit countries would

have to be protected from contagion. (The last two requirements would apply even if no country defaulted.)

A grave mistake All of this would cost money, but, under the existing arrangements agreed by the euro zone’s national leaders, there is no more money in the kitty. So there is no alternative but to create the missing component: a European treasury with the power to tax and, therefore, to borrow. This would require a new treaty, transforming the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) into a fullfledged treasury. But this presupposes a radical change of heart, particularly in Germany. The German public still thinks that it has a choice about whether to support the euro. That is a grave mistake. The euro exists, and the global financial system’s assets and liabilities are so intermingled on the basis of the common currency that its collapse would cause a meltdown beyond the capacity of the German authorities – or any other – to contain. The longer it takes for the German public to realize this cold fact,

the higher the price that they, and the rest of the world, will have to pay. The question is whether the German public can be convinced of this argument. Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be able to persuade her entire coalition of its merits, but she could rely on the opposition to build a new majority in support of doing what is necessary to preserve the euro. Having resolved the euro crisis, she would have less to fear from the next election.

Offering options Preparing for the possible default or defection of three small countries from the euro does not mean that those countries would necessarily be abandoned. On the contrary, the possibility of an orderly default – financed by the other euro zone countries and the International Monetary Fund – would offer Greece and Portugal policy choices. Moreover, it would end the vicious cycle – now threatening all of the euro zone’s deficit countries – whereby austerity weakens their growth prospects, leading investors to demand prohibitively high interest rates and thus forcing their govern-

ments to cut spending further. Leaving the euro zone would make it easier for the most distressed countries to regain competitiveness. But, if they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, they could also remain: the EFSF would protect their domestic bank deposits, and the IMF would help to recapitalize their banking systems, which would help these countries escape from their current trap. Either way, it is not in the European Union’s interest to allow these countries to collapse and drag down the entire global banking system with them. The EU’s member countries, and not only those in the euro zone, must accept that a new treaty is needed to save the euro. That logic is clear. So the discussions about what to include in such a new treaty ought to begin immediately, because, even with European leaders under extreme pressure to agree quickly, negotiations will necessarily be a prolonged affair. Once the principle is agreed, however, the European Council could authorize the ECB to step into the breach, indemnifying it from solvency risks in advance.

Solution in sight Having in sight a solution to the euro zone’s sovereign-debt crisis would be a source of relief for financial markets. Even so, because any new treaty’s terms will inevitably be dictated by Germany, a severe economic slowdown would be almost certain.

“Leaving the euro zone would make it easier for the most distressed countries to regain competitiveness” That might induce a further change of attitude in Germany, in turn allowing the adoption of countercyclical policies. At that point, growth in much of the euro zone could resume. ● George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2011.

Editorials are the opinions of WBJ’s editorial board. Other opinions are those of the authors alone. Comments, opinions and letters should be sent to Please include a name and contact information and clearly indicate if they are to be considered for publication.




































Goldman Sachs cuts growth forecast Investment bank Goldman Sachs has reduced its growth forecast for the Polish economy for 2012, from 4.2% to 3.8%. The investment bank’s forecast for 2011 has also been adjusted slightly lower, from 4.2% to 4.1 %. Analysts at the bank also see lower inflation in Poland: 4% by the end of this year and 2.5% by the end of 2012 (down from 4.2% and 2.7%, respectively).

BPH ends foreign currency mortgages Last Monday, Bank BPH officially announced that it would no longer offer mortgage loans in Swiss francs or euros, or any other foreign currency, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. This was a major decision for the bank, since it was the first in Poland to offer non-z∏oty denominated home loans. Not too long ago, nearly 80% of all mortgages approved by BPH were in foreign currencies. The bank joins the ranks of a number of other Polish banks offering financing for home purchases in the z∏oty only.

Low rates to increase investment? The low interest rates set by a number of major central banks around the world will encourage financial institutions to invest in emerging markets like Poland, Marek Belka, president of the National Bank of Poland, told Parkiet during the Economic Forum in Krynica. The increased availability of low-cost capital generally leads to growth in the inflow of investments into emerging markets. “Poland may be faced with an influx of capital. Actually it is already happening, but the influx is not contributing to strengthening of the z∏oty,” Mr Belka added. ●

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Poland’s youth

Growing appetites, shrinking opportunity Remi Adekoya A slowing economy and unfavorable labor laws have put Poland’s young generation in a tough spot. The consequences could be dramatic and farreaching The young Poles of today are not much different from their Western European counterparts: Consumption-oriented, individualistic, liberal in outlook on matters like marriage, and driven towards highincome careers, they want to have a position of prestige in society, according to a recent government report. The departure between the values, aspirations and lifestyles of young people in Poland and the generations that preceded them is stark and reflects the huge economic and social changes that the country has experienced over the last two decades. Poland is now a richer and better-developed country than it has ever been in its history, one which offers far more opportunities to its citizens, especially the young, than it did in the past. As could be expected, not everybody is reaping the benefits of the country’s growth, but what is worrying is that after an explosion of new opportunities following the fall of communism, the growth trend now seems to be going in reverse. After 1989, Poland opened



Could we be in store for scenes like this on Polish streets? up to the world and other cultures. It experienced a demographic explosion, took an active part in the internet revolution and became a member of the European Union in 2004. The country then enjoyed relatively robust economic growth until the global economic crisis hit in 2009 and

Graduates in Poland

caused a dramatic slowdown. Today, the threat of a deeper crisis refuses to go away, and although Poland’s economy is expected to grow by around 4 percent this year, many fear the rate could slacken in 2012 as its European trading partners continue to struggle. All of this has had a large effect on on the generation comprising Poland’s youngest adults.

by area of specialization in the 2008-2009 academic year

A lost generation? 2% 2% 3% 4%

10% 26%

4% 5%

Economy and administration



Service industry

Social sciences

Production and processing


Architecture and construction






7% 8%


Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report

Poland’s youth, whose material appetites have been whetted by the recent years of prosperity, today face some difficult challenges, particularly when it comes to employment. The government report into their situation highlights that many young people entering the job market are hired only on temporary contracts (62 percent).

As a result, they are forced to continue living with their parents, since without permanent work contracts, they aren’t considered creditworthy enough to be granted a mortgage. Uncertainty about their future in the labor market is therefore one of the biggest

current anxieties for young people in Poland, the report finds, going as far as to say that the country risks creating a “lost generation.” Poles between the ages of 18 and 34 make up half of Poland’s unemployed, while unemployment among the country’s

What do young people with no professional experience expect from their first job? (University students)

Good working conditions Job satisfaction Job stability Convenient job location A job right for my qualifications A good workplace atmosphere Promotion perspectives Respect of my bosses No expectations 0









Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Number of workers on temporary work contracts in the 15-24 age group (2009) France Ireland


51% Czech Republic






18% EU-27 average

“Employers are scared of hiring people – especially young, inexperienced ones – on a permanent contract because later, if they want to fire them, they will have to prove in a labor court that they are right in doing so, which can sometimes be difficult,” he said. So while many young Poles only have the option of working on temporary contracts that don’t give them much job security, they might otherwise have no jobs at all, Mr Marczuk said.

eral radicalism,” said Mr Jasiecki. With strong action expected from governments to balance budgets in the face of a potential double-dip, what could the effects be on the world’s young? “Cuts will obviously hit the weakest the most, including young people who don’t have steady jobs. This would probably radicalize them even further,” Mr Jasiecki said.

A key difference So, could Poland’s young peo-

Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report

youth is about double the average rate.

Welcome to the club This is, of course, a problem that is not confined only to Poland. Over 40 percent of Spanish youths are unemployed, while in Greece and Slovakia the figure stands at about 30 percent. Meanwhile, in the UK, Poland, France, Italy and even Sweden, whose economy grew by 5.5 percent in 2010, the figure stands at over 20 percent. That means that relocating to Western Europe – a solution that many of Poland’s unemployed youth have chosen over the past seven years – has become a less attractive option. So what could the consequences be for Poland, and what should be done? “The problem with Poland’s youth is part of a wider problem in Europe, but not only. We have seen the protests in Spain, as well as in Israel. It is a serious issue as the dynamic powerhouse in highly developed countries has always been the young,” said Krzysztof Jasiecki, a sociology professor at the Polish Academy of

Sciences (PAN). “For new jobs to be created in Poland, we need growth of at least 5 percent and that has not been happening for some time now.” Even the biggest optimists don’t expect 5 percent growth in Poland anytime soon. Instead, most economists expect a slowdown, and some aren’t ruling out recession. The situation for Poland’s young is therefore likely to get worse, not better. “I am afraid that the state of public finances might be worse than we are currently being told, so if trouble starts and the government has to radically cut spending, the labor market and the young will definitely suffer,” Mr Jasiecki said. Bartosz Marczuk, a social policy expert at the Sobieski Institute, agreed. “When there is a recession, the youngest workers are usually the first to get fired, while the older, more experienced workers, key to the firm, are kept on,” he said. “But the main reason that young people can’t get permanent employment today is because of the labor laws protecting those hired on a permanent contract.”

Are you ready to move to another city in Poland because of job opportunities? (University students)

17% Yes 12%

No 71% I don't know

Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report

Are you ready to travel abroad because of job opportunities? (University students)


Yes No 57%


I don't know

Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report

What is important in life? (Answers from 19-year-olds) 1976


100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Having a lot of money

Having a colorful life

Prestige and respect

A good education

An interesting job

Source: “M∏odzi 2011” report

A radicalization of Poland’s youth? Young people have the tendency to reject the status-quo, albeit passively, even when things are going very well for them. When times are tougher, they have a tendency to actively rebel against the established order. This could explain the increasing popularity of radical politicians among Poland’s youth. The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, led by its controversial leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski, is now the most popular party among Poland’s 18-24s, with about 29 percent support from that age group, according to a recent SMG/KRC poll. The ruling Civic Platform (PO), which won the 2007 parliamentary elections largely due to the youth vote, is now behind PiS among the 18-24s, according to the poll, with 27 percent backing. Another radical politician, Janusz Palikot, who ditched PO to form his own party, currently enjoys the support of 7 percent of Poland’s young voters, the poll found. The survey therefore suggests that a third of Poland’s youth support the two parties’ proposals for a radical overhaul of the current socio-economic system. PO, meanwhile, which is seen as a party interested in maintaining the status-quo, is having a hard time convincing young people to back it. “This latest poll is a warning signal that anti-establishment sentiment is rising. The young are looking for something different. PiS is offering rightwing radicalism and an antiestablishment message, while Mr Palikot is offering leftist-lib-

ple soon take to the streets like their Spanish, British or Israeli counterparts? Mr Marczuk doesn’t think so. “Youths in those countries are used to prosperity and have a more demanding attitude towards their governments, whereas young Poles haven’t really had enough time to get used to the good life, and I wouldn’t expect any organized protests from them,” he said. Moreover, young people in Poland have no organizational structures or labor unions that would help them to hold large-scale protests, Mr Marczuk added. Miros∏awa Grabowska, head of Poland’s Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) agreed that large, organized protests in Poland are unlikely. “Poles are not interested in public affairs or politics, they are closely connected to their family structures,” said Ms Grabowska. “So while there will be increased discontent, this will be addressed within family circles. Young Poles can always rely on help from their families.” Only time will tell how the situation for Poland’s youth will turn out and how they will react to it. What is clear, however, is that the problems affecting them must be taken seriously. But does the government have any bright ideas about what to do next? “The government’s report was an excellent diagnosis and description of the problems facing Poland’s youth,” said Mr Jasiecki. “The question now is: What are they going to do about it?” ●


Legal Eye

Termination tales Judith Gliniecki is a partner with Wierzbowski Eversheds Need a sure-fire conversation starter? Ask a business person in Poland about the Employee-Who-Couldn’tBe-Fired. You are bound to be regaled with a lengthy tale of frustration resulting from the conniving use of legal loopholes by an otherwise worthless employee. Little wonder then that Polish employers seek to avoid entering into long-term (standard) employment contracts. To put matters in perspective, however, there are other European countries in which it is significantly more difficult to fire employees (France, for example). Shortterm options to the standard employment contract also exist, but one of these options is phasing out soon.

Crying wolf? Difficult employees and perceived injustices make for lively cautionary tales, but how difficult is it really to fire an employee in Poland? Well, Polish labor law is all about the procedures. If you follow them, you should be able to fire your employee in a matter of months. This is assuming, of course, that the employee does not resort to guerrilla tactics. The first thing to determine is the statutory notice period. For a standard employment contract, it is usually three months. If the employee has worked for you for less than three years, the statutory notice period could be as little as two weeks. There is one more complication: the notice period continues until the end of the month. Thus, if you give notice at the beginning of a month, your employee gets almost four months’ notice. In this notice, the employer must give a reason for the termination. As labor courts are notoriously employee-friendly, you should put some effort into preparing a plausible reason for the termination. As protections to employees, Polish law does not allow termination notice to be given to an employee under certain circumstances. Among these are when an employee is on sick leave or is pregnant. A common variation of a termination tale involves the employee who has suddenly gone on sick

leave after learning that his job is in jeopardy.

Alternatives There are some short-term alternatives to the standard employment agreement. The two most common are trial period contracts and fixedterm employment contracts. Hiring someone new, maybe fresh out of school? A trial period contract allows for an extended look-see. The maximum length of this type of contract is three months, and it may be terminated on two weeks’ notice. At the end of the three months, if you decide not to prolong the employment, the contract ends. You don’t need to give notice or prepare reasons for firing. The same principles hold for fixed-term contracts. There is no minimum or maximum length. If the contract term is more than six months, you may include a possibility to terminate the contract on two weeks’ notice. Again, at the end of the contract term, you and your former employee can go your separate ways – no explanations or notices necessary. However, there is a major limitation to fixed-term contracts. The third fixed-term contract in a row (with less than a month between them) becomes a standard employment contract.

Crisis flexibility As part of the anti-crisis legislation of 2009, employers were given additional flexibility on fixed-term contracts. Instead of limiting the number of consecutive fixed-term contracts, this legislation focused on the overall time period. It allows any number of fixed-term contracts for 24 months. After that period, the contract is deemed to be longterm. The anti-crisis legislation is set to expire at the end of this year. As it became effective in August 2009, you should check whether you’ve reached 24 months on any of your back-to-back fixed-term contracts. ● The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Ewa ¸achowska-Brol, the head of our labor law practice, in preparing this article.


Polish embassy reopens in Tripoli Poland’s embassy in Libya resumed activity at its previous location in Tripoli last week, after a two-and-a-half-month period during which the embassy conducted its activities in Benghazi, the seat of the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council (NTC) during Libya’s civil war, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

Poles drink more wine Wine sales in Poland are growing fast. The International Wine and Spirit Research group predicts consumption will rise to 107.6 million liters by 2016. That’s a 25% increase on 2010. But the average Pole still only drinks an annual 2.7 liters of wine compared to 40 liters for the French and Italians, reported Puls Biznesu.

Feminists voice Euro 2012 security fears At a rally in Warsaw last week, Ukrainian feminist organization Femen warned against inadequate security for women at soccer venues in Poland and Ukraine ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship. Femen is trying to gain support from UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, to fight sexual harassment, as well as prostitution and a possible rise in infection rates of HIV and other diseases during the tournament.

Travel agents’ insurance burden One year after the implementation of the amended law on tourist services, travel agencies and tour operators must now purchase insurance for clients, or sign agreements of bank or third-party insurance guarantees. For most tour operators, this means they need to raise the guaranteed amount. The legislation also requires that in the event of bankruptcy, tour operators refund all payments. ●

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

LGBT-focused tourism

Gaining acceptance Members of Poland’s LGBT community are starting to benefit from an expansion in the number of vacation services tailored to their needs An increasing number of enterprises from Poland’s tourism sector are starting to cater to the country’s gay and lesbian community, with statistics indicating the approach makes for good business. Go Hot – an internet travel agency for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) clientele that is owned by Other Way Travel – began operating in January this year. It offers customers a range of offers in gay-friendly hotels, where “no one will ask embarrassing questions,” according to its website. During the summer of 2011 (the company’s first summer season), it offered trips to destinations including Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Greece, the Maldives, Spain and Turkey. It says local trips will also soon be included in its offer: In June, Go Hot announced that talks on cooperation with a number of Polish “rainbow” facilities were in full swing. “We’re negotiating with the three biggest local tour operators as well as an international one in order to join forces and create a product that is not yet offered on our market,” said Adam Rudnicki, a spokesperson at Other Way Travel. The Toruƒ-based agency is not the only one of its kind – the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) lists nine similar enterprises in Poland. And it’s likely there’ll be more on the way, judging by statistics on Poland’s gay community. Data gathered in 2010 by the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) shows there are as many as 2.4 million homosexual persons in the country, with combined annual spending power of more than €35 billion. Six years ago, analysts from research firm GLB Celcius

said that, according to their data, a Polish homosexual allocates twice as much money to products and services than the average Pole and that the salaries of 70 percent of Polish gays and lesbians are above the country’s average.

However, industry players say Poland has not yet reached the same standards as many other European countries when it comes to treatment of members of the LGBT community. In Poznaƒ in 2008, at the first ever conference in Poland devoted to LGBT tourism, Ian Johnson, founder of Out Now Consulting, an LGBT marketing company, quoted an entry he had read on Australian daily The Age’s internet forum: “Even though officially it’s not illegal to be gay, [Poland is] the sort of place where you don’t want to attract attention. With my Polish boyfriend in tow we pretended he was my local guide whenever I checked into a hotel, and got rooms with two beds,” he said at the event. The conference was organized by the Polish branch of IGLTA, which is headed by Piotr Wójcik. His now-defunct Strawberry Travel was the first-ever gay agency in Warsaw. The branch of IGLTA that he runs was also IGLTA’s first in the CEE region. Mr Wójcik’s job as an “ambassador” involves, among other things, working towards changing opinions like the one quoted by Mr Johnson. What prevents members of the international LGBT community from coming to Poland is a negative image – or no image at all – of how they will be received once they get here, participants at the conference said. So, has anything changed since? “The change in the perception of Poland among LGBT tourists is being made very slowly,” said Mr Wójcik. “But contacts with hotels and travel agencies clearly show there are more such tourists here each year. We now have nine Polish companies registered at IGLTA; three years ago there was just one,” he added. Mr Wójcik believes Poland

approval which states that the hotel staff have received proper training. GayComfort is the only training program recognized by IGLTA. TUI, the third largest operator in Poland, shares no information on implementing similar solutions in the Polish market. ●

Who they are

Would they prefer LGBT-focused services?

32.5% live in a city of over

“If you noticed that a company actively promotes its products or services among the LGBT community, would it have an impact on you choosing these products or services?”

one million inhabitants


An ambassador

TUI reaches out Last year the UK’s branch of travel agency TUI, called Thomson, launched a new “Freedom” collection targeting gay and lesbian travelers. It was the first mainstream tour operator to do so. The collection includes facilities bearing a GayComfort seal of

The LGBT community

have higher education


“Definitely”: 33% “Probably”: 38%

have a valid passport

Source: the Out Now Global LGBT2020 Study (Poland)



Data suggests homosexual people in Poland have a combined spending power of over €35 billion has potential, but needs to be better promoted. “Last year we organized 10 study visits to Warsaw for over 50 journalists from the most popular magazines and portals for LGBT readers,” he said.

Everyone’s invited The capital of Poland is today the only Polish city with an official guide for gay tourists. Called “Queer Warsaw” the guide received financing last year from Warsaw’s City Council. But Poland’s capital wasn’t the first Polish city to try to reach out to the LGBT community through official channels. That distinction goes to Kraków. City officials there got their hands early on data that shows gays and lesbians are valuable clients, and by turning some of their attention to them, they saw an opportunity to tap into a different type of market. This is why, in 2008, Kraków announced that a “rainbow guide” would be printed together with the launch of a profiled advertising campaign. The initiative, however, never materialized, partly

because it caused outrage in conservative circles, which in turn forced officials to back down. “A city that advertises itself with claims like ‘Love, like, share’ is friendly to all visitors. I’m certain this message will get through to the LGBT community as well,” said Magdalena Sroka, the city’s deputy president for culture and promotion, admitting that financial reasons, too, played a large part in the city’s decision to withdraw from its previous plans.

Together or apart? According to IGLTA, only 10 percent of gay tourists choose holiday packages specifically geared towards them, in strictly profiled hotels or spas. The rest go to, more or less, the same places as everyone else, picking destinations based on their safety levels and tolerance for sexual minorities. Explaining this phenomenon, Iva Trifonov, director of the Sheraton Hotel in Sopot, cited as an example Sheraton’s attempt to introduce womenonly floors in some of its hotels. Rooms on these floors had increased security, specially designed interiors and more

female-friendly amenities. But the idea fell through as it soon turned out that women preferred not to be isolated. They wanted instead a sense of belonging and equal treatment. Ms Trifonov believes the same thing applies to LGBT clientele: You don’t have to be “gay-friendly,” you just have to be open and understanding towards all the guests regardless of who they are, she said. “We strive to make each guest feel comfortable just by being themselves. Creating separate services for any minority is a ... risky decision; I associate it with creating snobbish, enclosed environments and sort of applying labels,” she added. This view is also shared by some advertising executives. Duke Greenhill, creative director of the New Yorkbased Greenhill+Partners agency, wrote in a recent article that hoteliers’ focus should highlight “everything about gays and straights that is similar.” “Smart marketers will learn that unifying brand messages resonate, while diversifying ones fall flat, he added. Piotr Âlusarski

A new DoubleTree by Hilton hotel will be developed in the capital’s Wawer district

Skyscrapers could go up on prime downtown land being put up for sale by PKP 16



W a r s a w B u s i n e s s J o u r n a l ’s w e e k ly s u p p l e m e n t o n re a l e s t a t e , c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t

Hines exits Twarda high-rise project

Vantage Development is starting construction on a new office building in Wroc∏aw, Lower Silesia voivodship. Called Delta 44, the facility will be located on the city’s ul. Dàbrowskiego, near its main railway station and bus depot, and will comprise more than 3,700 sqm of office and retail space. The company is currently also developing Promenady Wroc∏awskie in the same city, a scheme which is expected to comprise some 80,000 sqm of office space and homes for almost 6,000 people when finished.

The 160-meter residential tower will be completed by its hitherto little-known investor

Feniks project relaunched . . . . . .15 Shopping centers report . . . . . . .16 New Hilton hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Dekada mall opens . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Property-related stocks . . . . . . . .16 Prime land on sale . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 New BBI scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 World Building of the Year . . . . . .18 Arabella in Ciechanów . . . . . . . . .18 Futura Park Kraków . . . . . . . . . . .18

The Cosmopolitan Twarda 2/4 project will stand 160 meters tall

Hines Polska, until recently the developer of a new residential tower, construction on which is now underway on ul. Twarda in Warsaw’s central district, has announced that its cooperation with the scheme’s investor, Tacit Development Polska, had come to an end on September 15. The latter entity will now complete the 160 meter development. Hines was long associated with the Twarda project, which was sometimes even referred to in the Polish media as Hines Tower. However, it turned out that the company actually never owned the scheme and was just responsible for the preparation of the development process, including securing the building permit and finding a general contractor for the investment. Now that construction on the skyscraper is relatively advanced, the investor is going to carry on with the scheme on

its own. “The Hines team is proud of having been able to take part in the planning and preparation of a unique investment which will change the face of central Warsaw,” Mieczys∏aw Godzisz, president of Hines Polska’s management board, said in a statement. At a press conference last week, Micha∏ Borowski, former Warsaw chief architect and now president of Tacit

“The investor wants to become a major player in the Polish property market” Development Polska’s management board, revealed the company is part of a capital group controlled by Grzegorz Jankilewicz and S∏awomir Smo∏okowski, shareholders in Mercuria Energy Group which owns the oil trading company J&S. The investor, which is financing the construction of the development on ul. Twarda with its own funds, wants to become a major player in the

Polish property market in the upcoming years. Tacit Development Polska already owns several other properties and is planning further acquisitions, Mr Borowski said. Designed by the renowned German-American architect Helmut Jahn, and now officially named Cosmopolitan Twarda 2/4, Tacit Development Polska’s 44-storey skycraper project on ul. Twarda will comprise approximately 250 turn-key standard apartments, as well as several thousand sqm of commercial space. The apartments in the building will be furnished in three styles, according to the designs provided by three different architectural studios. They are expected to be managed with modern IT solutions. Construction on the tower, which is being carried out by Hochtief Polska, has just reached the ground level and is expected to finish in the second half of 2013. The sales of apartments in the building, which will be priced at an average of z∏.20,000 per sqm, is expected to launch at the beginning of next year, Mr Borowski said. Adam Zdrodowski

Construction on Warsaw’s Feniks building relaunched Development company Europlan has relaunched construction on its Feniks office building in central Warsaw. The developer is restarting the project after a two-year break caused by a neighborhood protest and the related legal and administrative procedures. Located on the capital’s ul. ˚elazna, the z∏.100 million Feniks scheme will offer 9,000 sqm of class-A office space, as well as 1,000 sqm of retail space. Its completion is scheduled for December 2012. “Feniks is one of the most exciting business locations in Warsaw city center and I have

no doubt that it will attract a diverse range of tenants,” ¸ukasz Ka∏´dkiewicz, director of office agency at CB Richard Ellis Polska, said in a statement. “It is also one of a very few modern office buildings currently being developed in Warsaw city center,” Mr Ka∏´dkiewicz added. His company is the sole leasing and marketing agent for the Feniks project. The Feniks scheme has been designed by ArchiCoprojekt and PORR’s subsidiary Modzelewski & Rodek is its general contractor. Bank financing for the development

has been provided by PKO BP. Europlan was established by Artur Kozieja, a Polish investment banker. Investors in the company’s projects include investment banks and hedge funds, as well as wealthy individuals from the UK and the US. At the beginning of its activity, Europlan was involved in a number of large-scale residential projects in Warsaw and Kraków; in 2004 four of them were acquired by developer LC Corp with the financial investors of the schemes having become minority shareholders in that entity. Adam Zdrodowski


Warsaw’s Cosmopolitan tower .15


Ipopema in Le Palais

In this issue

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011, LI 16/37


Delta 44 construction launch

Financial company Ipopema Group has become the first tenant of the Le Palais office and retail project in Warsaw. Ipopema and the investment’s developer, Warimpex, have signed a lease agreement for more than 2,300 sqm with the tenant, thus occupying almost half of the total office area available in the scheme. Located on Warsaw’s ul. Pró˝na, the Le Palais development involves the refurbishment of two historic structures dating back to the early 1880s. The project is being commercialized by Jones Lang LaSalle. ●

Feniks will comprise 9,000 sqm of office space

Warsaw Business Journal presents Real Estate weekly newsletter • Know about the newest projects before they’re on the market • Keep up to date on the latest tenders and auctions • Learn the latest trends in Poland’s dynamic office, residential and retail sectors • Find out who’s who in Polish real estate To subscribe: e-mail or call +48 22 639 85 68, ext. 201 and sign up for free two-week no-obligation trial subscription



Retail space

Retail market returning to growth

The hotel is set to have 365 rooms


A report by CB Richard Ellis says that Poland’s retail market is once again on a “fast development track” and that the country’s relatively stable economy and weakened currency have helped create an environment conducive to investment. Although Poland’s retail market saw an annualized fall in the amount of total new space delivered in 2010, according to CBRE’s “Retail Destinations Poland 2011” report, the real estate advisory firm suggests that it is now growing once again. For the full-year 2010, some 360,000 of new GLA was brought to the market, compared to 830,000 a year earlier. “There was a slowdown in the market [in 2010] but it was only temporary and the number of current projects again indicates an increase in supply. Since the beginning of 2011 more than 313,000 sqm of space has been opened, and the same amount could be delivered by the end of the year,” Karina Kreja, associate director in CBRE’s market research and consulting department, said in a statement.


The market has plenty of potential for further development

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Poles will have plenty of places to shop, the report says At the end of the first half of 2011, Poland had a total of more than 8.5 million sqm of retail space in 370 projects throughout the country, according to CBRE. However, the advisory firm said the amount of commercial space available is “still incomplete” and that there is “little diversification” in the types of retail

projects available. While the report suggests that there is plenty of room for development still left in the Polish retail market, developers are advised to bring “added-value” to consumers. CBRE says that firms are now trying to “attract new brands to their projects, and that they are also revitalizing railway

stations and introducing innovative architectural solutions.” One problem that exists in the Polish retail sector, however, concerns the financial situation of tenants and potential tenants, who can’t always afford to finance space in new retail projects, according to CBRE’s report. Ella Pa∏ka

Property-related stocks Security

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A DoubleTree by Hilton hotel will be built in Warsaw’s Wawer district following a franchise agreement recently signed by Polaris Hospitality Enterprises and brokered by Colliers International. In accordance with the deal, the facility will comprise 365 rooms, 5,000 sqm of conference space, a fitness, spa and swimming pool complex, as well as an underground parking lot. According to Alex Kloszewski, partner in the hospitality department of Colliers International Poland, the new Wawer hotel will attract the attention of major conference organizers. “Currently, there is no similar facility in Warsaw: a

five-star hotel that can provide a multi-function conference room for 2,000 people with restaurant and recreation infrastructure,” Mr Kloszewski said in a statement. The DoubleTree by Hilton investment in Wawer is valued at z∏.184.5 million. The project will be built by Mirbud and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2013. It will be the second DoubleTree by Hilton brand hotel in Poland, with the first now being developed in ¸ódê. It will also be the third Hilton facility in the Polish capital after an existing project on Warsaw’s ul. Grzybowska and a planned scheme on the city’s ul. 17 Stycznia. Adam Zdrodowski

Dekada Skierniewice shopping mall opens Dekada Skierniewice, a convenience shopping center developed by the Foren Group, officially opened for business on September 6 in the town of Skierniewice, in the ¸ódzkie voivodship. The center, work on which was completed earlier this year, is already about 90 percent leased out. The facility comprises 3,350 sqm of retail space, with tenants including Tesco, Euro RTV AGD, Empik, CCC, Deichmann, Rossmann, TPSA, Tabak and mobile operators Plus and Play. Another convenience shopping center, Galeria Dekada in Sieradz, also in the same voivodship, is set to open in November of this

year. “The [quick] rate at which facilities are opening will allow us to implement plans related to construction of Poland’s first network of convenience shopping centers, that is, spaces intended for fast everyday purchases. At present, we plan to open approximately 10 centers of this kind,” Aleksander Walczak, president of the Foren Group, said in a statement. The Foren Group is a commercial real estate developer established in 2007 that focuses primarily on midsized Polish cities, including Olsztyn, MyÊlenice, Malbork, Skierniewice, Sieradz and ˚yrardów. Ella Pa∏ka

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011


Building land

DuPont in Adgar Plaza


The three plots lie in a prime downtown location

Warsaw City Hall says the land could house skyscrapers Polish State Railways (PKP) last week announced a tender for the sale of three adjacent plots located between ul. Chmielna, Al. Jana Paw∏a II and Al. Jerozolimskie in central Warsaw, opposite the capital’s main railway station and the Z∏ote Tarasy shopping mall. The asking price for the properties totals more than z∏.170 million.

The tender procedure, which is being organized by Cushman & Wakefield, will involve the sale of perpetual usufruct rights to two plots totalling 9,767 sqm and one plot sized 7,411 sqm (along with ownership right to structures sitting on the land) with the asking prices amounting to z∏.97 million and z∏.74 million, respectively. The plots in question are expected to attract strong interest on the part of property developers and investors –

even though the land is not covered by a zoning plan, Warsaw City Hall has already signaled it could house two skyscrapers, each of which could stand approximately 130 meters tall. Experts estimate each of the two offloaded portions of land could house over 40,000 sqm of GLA. “According to a preliminary urban planning analysis, the land could house office-service and apartment-service buildings with a total of more than 90,000 sqm of leasable and

Adam Zdrodowski


PKP puts prime Warsaw plots up for sale saleable space,” said Piotr Szmilewski, a senior consultant in the capital markets group of Cushman & Wakefield. He added that in the present market situation, this amount of space can be effectively commercialized within three to five years from the construction launch, which makes the property even more attractive for potential buyers. “We are counting on considerable interest on the part of both domestic developers wanting to expand their offer through a project located in downtown Warsaw and international investors, including new players for whom a scheme of this kind would be a chance to [establish] a presence in the Polish commercial real estate market,” Mr Szmilewski said. PKP, whose sole shareholder is the state Treasury, is the owner and manager of over 100,000 hectares of properties in Poland, including buildings and plots which lend themselves to the development of residential, industrial and service space. The company’s assets include more than 2,500 railway stations across the country.

Law firms stay at Rondo 1 Two major international law firms have extended their lease agreements for office space at the Rondo 1 office tower in Warsaw. Allen & Overy and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey currently rent out a combined 3,800 sqm of space in the 192-meter-tall building, which is located next to the United Nations Roundabout (Rondo ONZ), close to Warsaw’s Central railway station. Allen & Overy has rented 2,200 sqm of space at Rondo 1 since 2006. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey has been at Rondo 1 since 2007 and currently rents out 1,600 sqm of space there. EP

BBI wants to build six-storey residential building: report Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer BBI Development reportedly wants to build a sixstorey mixed-use building on a plot of land in Warsaw that once hosted the old Simmons Market. The complex will be semi-circular in shape and offer around 80 apartments, along with office and retail space, reported Gazeta Wyborcza.

The developer hopes to locate the building at the intersection of ul. D∏uga and ul. Bohaterów Getta on land that is currently owned by the city. Wyborcza wrote that there is a proposal on the table which would see Warsaw agreeing to hand over the plot to BBI in return for ownership of the developer’s Wars cinema. The developer purchased the cine-

ma four years ago with the intention of erecting a residential project on the site, but the plan has not come to fruition. The Simmons marketplace, which was built in 1900, was completely destroyed during the Second World War. “That building was one of the most recognizable places in the capital, contributing to one of the busiest

and liveliest areas in the city. Today, the area has been undeservedly pushed beyond the main public spaces of the city,” Monika Sarnecka, a spokesperson for Serenus, a special purpose vehicle set up by BBI to carry out the new investment, told Wyborcza. “We want to revitalize the neighborhood by creating retail space and public facili-


ties on the ground floor and first floor of the building,” she added. Juvenes, which merged with BBI Development in May of 2010, will work on the design of the new building. BBI Development is a real estate investment company which focuses mainly on projects in the Warsaw market. Ella Pa∏ka, Gareth Price

DuPont has signed an agreement with Adgar Post´pu for the lease of office space in the Agdar Plaza office building in Warsaw’s Mokotów district. The company will move into the second floor of the building in November 2011. “We decided to move our office to Adgar Plaza building B mainly because of its modern technological infrastructure,” Piotr Gill, the general director of DuPont in Poland, said in a statement. “The new location will also give us the possibility to expand the number of employees in the future,” he added.

Mokotowska Square has new tenants Euromedic International Polska, PGE Energia Jàdrowa, Beiten Burkhardt and Knight Frank are the latest tenants in Yareal Polska’s Mokotowska Square office building in Warsaw. Following the lease transactions, more than 60% of all space available in the project has already been commercialized. Mokotowska Square involves the revitalization and modernization of a building from the 1950s so that it meets the standards required of top notch office and retail space. The development comprises 8,645 sqm and 1,286 sqm of office and retail-service space, respectively. ●


Architectural innovation

PointPark signs lease with Fiege

Three Polish projects will complete against 281 others from around the globe Three projects designed by Polish architects have been shortlisted for the prestigious World Building of the Year Award 2011 which will be granted this November during the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Spain. The 2011 shortlist comprises 284 schemes

selected from a total of 704 entries from 59 countries. Vying for the award is the design of the Miami Pier Museum of Latin American Immigrants furnished by Maciej Jakub Zawadzki of the MJZ studio, as well as two already-completed projects designed by Maçków Pracownia Projektowa: a sports hall in Bytom, Silesia voivodship, and the Thespian office and residential building in Wroc∏aw,

Lower Silesia voivodship. The former structure was built by Skanska in 2010 and offers more than 4,600 sqm of usable space. The latter building, whose investor is ING Real Estate Development, was completed by Eiffage Budownictwo Mitex earlier this year and comprises 38 luxury apartments, as well as over 3,000 sqm of commercial space. Adam Zdrodowski

Construction on Ciechanów’s Arabella mall gets underway


Polish designs on shortlist for World Building of the Year 2011

Developer PointPark Properties recently announced the signing of a new lease agreement with Fiege, a logistics company, that increases the amount of space the latter firm rents at PointPark Mszczonów logistics park in Mszczonów, in the Mazowieckie voivodship. The agreement, which entered into force in June 2011, concerns the rent of 5,887 sqm of warehouse space and 157 sqm of office space in hall DC3 of PointPark Mszczonów. Fiege was already a tenant at the site before the new lease agreement was signed.


Epedal sells development to Fronius Austrian manufacturer Fronius has purchased the mixed-use Epedal Plant from Epedal Polska. Cushman & Wakefield, which acted as the transaction’s sole agent, has not disclosed the value of the deal. Located in Gliwice, in the Silesian voivodship, the plant sits on a 5,400 sqm plot and comprises a warehouse and production area, with an additional 800 sqm of office space. The standalone building is located in the Gliwice subzone of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, on ul. Eiffela Gustawa 8. ●

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Wroc∏aw’s Thespian office and residential building is one of the Polish designs vying for the award



The mall’s 15,500 sqm of space is around 60 percent leased out Vertano Real Estate and German fund Elbfonds have started construction on their Arabella shopping center project in Ciechanów, Mazowieckie voivodship. Located on the city’s ul. Pu∏tuska and scheduled to be completed in the first half of next year, the scheme will deliver some 15,500 sqm of leasable retail space.

The Arabella development’s general contractor is Strabag. The mall is currently approximately 60 percent leased out with already-secured tenants including Intermarché and Bricomarché (a total of more than 7,000 sqm), JYSK (1,100 sqm) and RTV EURO AGD (approximately 800 sqm). Vertano Real Estate has

been present in the market for 14 years. The company’s strategy envisions the development of a number of shopping centers similar to Ciechanów’s Arabella mall in small and medium-sized Polish cities. Elbfonds Development has been present in Poland for several years and focuses on projects in the retail Adam Zdrodowski sector.

Developer Neinver is finishing construction on its Futura Park Kraków retail project in Modlniczka near Kraków, Ma∏opolskie voivodship. The development, which will be comprised of a retail park and an outlet center offering a total of 44,000 sqm of space, is scheduled to open for business on October 19. The two-floor Futura Park Kraków project will house a Factory outlet center with approximately 120 stores on its first floor and a retail park with tenants including Alma, RTV EURO AGD, Super-

Pharm, Douglas, CCC and Carry. The development, which has already been BREEAM-certified, is being built by Hochtief Polska. Neinver has been present in the Polish market since 2000. The company’s completed projects in the country include the Factory Ursus outlet center in Warsaw and the Galeria Malta shopping center in Poznaƒ. Ongoing schemes include a mixed-use development in Katowice and the Factory Annopol outlet center project in the Polish capital. Adam Zdrodowski


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Stocks report

world stock indices DJIA


11,433.18 (Sep 15 close)


2,607.07 (Sep 15 close)

1.22% (for the week)


1,209.11 (Sep 15 close)

3.08% (for the week)


5,337.50 (Sep 15 close)

-1.96% (for the week)

-0.05% (for the week)

A solution in sight?

NIKKEI225 5,340.19 (Sep 15 close)

8,668.86 (Sep 15 close)

-1.26% (for the week)

-1.41% (for the week)

CHANGE: -2.43%

CHANGE: -5.51%

CHANGE: -5.70%

CHANGE: -9.48%

CHANGE: -22.44%

CHANGE: -15.06%

(year to Sep 15)

(year to Sep 15)

(year to Sep 15)

(year to Sep 15)

(year to Sep 15)

(year to Sep 15)

52-week high: 12,928.50

52-week high: 2,887.75

52-week high: 1,370.58

52-week high: 6,105.80

52-week high: 7,600.41

52-week high: 10,891.60

52-week low: 10,529.00

52-week low: 2,301.82

52-week low: 1,101.15

52-week low: 4,791.00

52-week low: 4,965.80

52-week low: 8,227.63

Andrew Nawrocki, Market analyst & trader,

38,945.00 (September 15 close)


2,283.99 (September 15 close)















































52-week low: 2,181.88


Change year to September 15: -14.11%


52-week low: 37,368.93


52-week high: 2,932.62

Change year to September 15: -15.20%


Change for the week: -3.46%


52-week high: 50,371.74


Change for the week: -3.61%


Closing 2.29 23.30 6.30 0.28 2.47

% change (week) 52-week high 22.46 2.96 20.04 61.00 14.55 11.69 12.00 0.55 11.76 4.06

52-week low 1.22 14.70 5.00 0.23 2.01


Closing 219.00 1.38 19.20 7.26 134.00

% change (week) 1.08 0.02 0.41 -0.74 -0.95

52-week high 239.00 4.40 24.90 15.29 154.10

52-week low 210.00 1.38 17.75 7.00 118.70


Closing 1.65 0.21 2.67 0.43 18.15

% change (week) -38.66 -27.59 -25.83 -24.56 -23.64

52-week low 1.65 0.21 2.67 0.39 15.30


Closing 38.50 31.40 37.54 5.19 14.09

% change (week) -23.48 -18.35 -13.67 -12.69 -9.05

52-week high 56.45 46.81 57.90 6.89 18.83

52-week low 36.39 29.22 34.01 4.90 11.25

52-week high 10.55 1.60 25.98 4.89 26.00

Currency report

Banks get dollar liquidity

Other indices sWIG80

8,660.56 (September 15 close)

Adam Narczewski, X-Trade Brokers Dom Maklerski SA









52-week low: 8,494.29




52-week high: 12,932.00

















8,660 30.08


















Change year to September 15: -26.52%


52-week low: 2,086.64


Change year to September 15: -19.97%


Change for the week: -3.78%


52-week high: 2,987.72


2,132.19 (September 15 close)


mWIG40 Change for the week: -5.11%

9 700

43.33 (September 15 close)


5,274.75 (September 15 close)
















































52-week low: 4,944.19


Change year to September 15: -20.09%


52-week low: 42.76


52-week high: 7,387.49

Change year to September 15: -30.48%


Change for the week: -5.19%


52-week high: 64.39


NewConnect Change for the week: -1.70%

roso, suggesting EU bonds could be issued as an immediate step towards bringing the Greek debt crisis under control. Lifting hopes further on Wednesday was a conference call between German, French, and Greek leaders. The real momentum picked up on Thursday, after assurances from Germany and France regarding keeping Greece in the euro zone bolstered risk appetite for stocks. The WIG gained 2.81 percent, while the WIG20 rose 3.34 percent. Despite four days of gains, world stocks are down 3.4 percent this month, and have lost over 10 percent so far in 2011. Concerning the WIG, the main index closed 3.38 percent higher for the week, while the blue-chip WIG20 finished 4.53 percent higher. ●

Global stocks eked out small gains last week, with the WIG up every day besides Monday. After a horrible finish on Friday September 9, Monday began no differently, with investors showing how fed up they were with the never-ending Greek debt crisis, as well as the stagnant labor market in the US. US President Barack Obama’s call on Congress to pass an ambitious $447 billion jobs bill, as well as a recent G7 summit in Marseilles, did nothing to lift sentiment. In Poland the WIG closed 3.28 percent lower on Monday. Both Tuesday and Wednesday saw some reprieve for markets, with the WIG gaining 0.80 percent and 0.39 percent, respectively. Helping markets were comments by the European Commission President José Manuel Bar-

Major indices WIG


Following the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) recent decision to intervene on the currency market to keep the EUR/CHF over the CHF1.20 level, last week saw yet another unprecedented decision by banking authorities. The US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and the SNB decided to implement a coordinated action aimed at providing US dollar liquidity to European banks. The decision was wellreceived by investors, since banks were facing difficulties in obtaining dollar liquidity. Moreover, the action will reduce the direct risk of a banking crisis in Europe. It is also good to see central banks finally cooperating together for the greater good, not only

for their respective economies. Still, we should keep in mind that the underlying source of problems – fiscal issues in the euro zone – is still there and central banks can do little about it. After two weeks of declines, the EUR/USD climbed all the way to $1.39 (from $1.35) to finish the week at $1.38, despite worse-than-expected macroeconomic news. The z∏oty continued to depreciate, reaching z∏.4.40 against the euro, the highest level since June 2009. The USD/PLN remained over z∏.3.20. The situation changed after Thursday’s decision of major central banks and the z∏oty bounced back to finish at z∏.4.31 against the euro and and z∏.3.13 against the dollar. ●

currency rates 4.1058









4.1353 12.09

4.0142 3.8


0.1032 16.09







0.1057 13.09


0.1045 09.09


3.6017 16.09






3.6005 14.09

3.6221 13.09


3.5539 3.5


4.9705 16.09

5.0311 15.09

5.0050 14.09


5.0563 13.09






3.1506 16.09








3.1737 14.09

3.2035 13.09


3.1148 09.09


4.3462 16.09






4.3346 14.09

4.3595 13.09


4.3139 09.09







SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Technology Parks Listed by year founded

Space ready to lease for companies and reasearch institutions

Incubator for newly formed technology companies

Investment complex or space for sale

Leasing land for investment


Total number of business entities

Total employment

Lower Silesian Technology Park ul. Szczawieƒska 2, 58-310 Szczawno-Zdrój 74 648-0450/74 648-0451




218,000 7,135 200,000 12,000

1; 2; 6; 7; 8; 11; 17; 19; 21; 22; 23 12; 13



Lower Silesian Regional Development Agency S∏awomir Hunek

Marek Urbaƒski

Poznaƒ Science and Technology Park – Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation ul. Rubie˝ 46, 61-612 Poznaƒ 61 827-9742/61 827-9741 ppnt@ppnt.poznaƒ.pl






40,000 7,575 20,000

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 11; 12; 13; 17; 18; 19; 20; 23 16



Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation in Poznaƒ Bogdan Marciniec

Justyna Adamska

Kraków Technology Park Al. Jana Paw∏a II 41L, 31-864 Kraków 12 640-1940/12 640-1945





5,288,343 94,000 5,288,343 -

1; 2; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 17; 18; 19; 20; 9; 11; 12; 13; 14; 21; 22; 23 16

27; 29; 30; 31


Kraków Technology Park S∏awomir Kopeç; Wies∏awa KornaÊ

Patryk Bia∏as

Science and Technology Park of Koszalin University of Technology ul. Rac∏awicka 15-17, 75-620 Koszalin 94 347-8416/94 347-8419








89 -



Koszalin University of Technology Artur Sulima

Artur Sulima

Wroc∏aw Technology Park ul. Muchoborska 18, 54-424 Wroc∏aw 71 798-5800/71 780-4034






100,000 15,000 -

29; 30; 31


Wroc∏aw Technology Park Maciej Chorowski; Marek Winkowski

Sylwia Wójtowicz

Szczecin Science and Technology Park ul. Niemierzyƒska 17A, 71-441 Szczecin 91 489-2050/91 433-6053






1,400 750 -

1; 2; 4; 9; 11; 14

17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23



Szczecin Science and Technology Park Grzegorz Fiuk

Anna Szczygie∏

Opole Science and Technology Park ul. Prószkowska 76, 45-710 Opole 77 400-0518/77 543-1502









1; 2; 3; 5; 10; 11; 13; 14; 15; 16




Opole Science and Technology Park Bogdan Tomaszek

Bogdan Tomaszek

Pomeranian Science and Technology Park Al. Zwyci´stwa 96/98, 81-451 Gdynia 58 735-1140/58 622-5588





61,000 13,000 2,000

1; 2; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 17; 18; 19; 21; 10; 11; 14; 16 22; 23

29; 31


Gdynia Innovation Centre Anna Borkowska

Beata Jodel; Edyta Depta

Be∏chatów-Kleszczów Industrial and Technology Park ul. Ciep∏ownicza 5, 97-400 Be∏chatów 44 733-1165/44 733-1165





3,837,220 2,259 3,196,000 1,989,000



Be∏chatów-Kleszczów Industrial And Technology Park Ewa Grudziƒska

Krzysztof Kubicki

Kwidzyn Industry and Technology Park ul. Górki 3, 82-500 Kwidzyn 55 279-7079/55 279-7079




330,000 4,500 160,000 120,000

1; 7; 8; 11

17; 20; 23

25; 26


Kwidzyn Industry and Technology Park Piotr ¸àczny

Justyna Piasecka

¸ódê Regional Science and Technology Park ul. Dubois 114/116, 93-465 ¸ódê 42 684-4444/42 684-5000





137,000 1,100 100,000 30,000

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16

17; 19; 20; 23



¸ódê Regional Science and Technology Park Andrzej Styczeƒ

Joanna Jagas

P∏ock Industry and Technology Park ul. Zglenickiego 42, 09-411 P∏ock 24 364-0350/24 364-0352





2,004,000 2,600 2,004,000 230,000

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23 13; 14; 15



P∏ock Industry and Technology Park Iwona Lewandowska

Micha∏ Dzier˝awski

“Technopark Gliwice” Science and Technology Park ul. Konarskiego 18C, 44-100 Gliwice 32 335-8500/32 335-8500





8,600 2,100 3,000

1; 2; 5; 6; 7; 11; 14

17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23

29; 30


“Technopark Gliwice” Science and Technology Park Jan Kosmol

Jacek Kotra

Poland-East Science and Technology Park ul. Noniewicza 10, 16-400 Suwa∏ki 87 562-8477/87 562-8478





86,000 805 85,000 -

1; 11; 13

17; 19; 20; 21; 23



Poland-East Science and Technology Park in Suwa∏ki Wiktor M. Raczkowski

Stanis∏aw Kurak

Silesian Industry and Technology Park ul. Szyb Walentyny 26, 41-700 Ruda Âlàska 32 789-5105/32 789-5114




376,000 14,614 376,000 -


17; 22; 23



Silesian Industry and Technology Park Pawe∏ B∏a˝yca

Ewelina Mecner

Lublin Science and Technology Park ul. Dobrzaƒskiego 3, 20-262 Lublin 81 534-6100/81 531-8548







40,000 9,689 17,000



Science and Technology Park of Lubelskie Voivodship Jaros∏aw Momot

Jerzy Jaho∏kowski

Nickel Technology Park Poznaƒ ul. Krzemowa 1, 62-002 Z∏otniki 61 658-5485/61 658-5498





330,000 20,000 264,000 66,000

29; 30


Nickel Technology Park Poznaƒ Dagmara Nickel; Lucyna Pieterek

Katarzyna Gawe∏Brudkiewicz

Company name Address Tel./Fax E-mail Web page

Total area (sqm) / Services Roofed space concerning (sqm) / consulting, Investment area information, (sqm) / Green fields (sqm) courses, training*

1; 2; 5; 6; 7; 8; 16

Technical and service infrastructure*


1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 17; 18; 19; 20; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 21; 22; 23 13; 14; 15; 16

1; 2; 3; 6; 7; 11; 17; 19; 20; 21; 23 13; 14; 15

1; 2; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 17; 18; 19; 20; 11 21; 23

1; 2; 4; 5; 7; 8; 11; 15; 16

17; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23

Financial support*

Year Managing entity / founded Managing person

Contact person

THE LIST Investment complex or space for sale

Leasing land for investment


Total number of business entities

Total employment


Incubator for newly formed technology companies

Space ready to lease for companies and reasearch institutions

SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011

Science and Technology Park of University of Zielona Góra ul. Szafrana 2, 65-516 Zielona Góra 68 328-7390/68 328-7390








500,000 -





University of Zielona Góra Kinga W∏och

Katarzyna Skrzypek

Toruƒ Technology Park ul. W∏oc∏awska 167, 87-100 Toruƒ 56 621-0421/56 654-8824





140,000 8,660 100,000 27,600

1; 2; 4; 7; 9; 11; 14; 15; e-business; CE mark

18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23

25; 30


Regional Development Agency in Toruƒ Wojciech Piontek

Wojciech Piontek

Wroc∏aw Medical Science and Technology Park ul. Kutnowska 1-3, 53-135 Wroc∏aw 71 750-4620/71 780-4621






1,500 1,500 -

2; 3; 7




Wroc∏aw Medical Science and Technology Park Wojciech Homola

Marta Sobczak

Gdaƒsk Science and Technology Park ul. Trzy Lipy 3, 80-172 Gdaƒsk 58 739-6117/058 739-6118






26,044 17,842 -



Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Zbigniew Rau

Katarzyna Wi´ckiewicz

“Ekopark” Industry and Technology Park ul. W.Roêdzieƒskiego 38, 41-949 Piekary Âlàskie 32 289-0484/32 289-0478






105,300 105,300 -

8; 9




“Ekopark” Industry and Technology Park Alina Karnaba∏

Anna Ludyga



1; 2; 3; 4; 12; 13; 16; technologies transfer; modern technologies commercialization




“Euro-Centrum” Science and Technology Park Justyna Kownacka Roman Trzaskalik

1; 2; 8; 11; 14

17; 20; 23


1; 2; 3; 6; 7; 11; 12; 16


Company name Address Tel./Fax E-mail Web page

“Euro-Centrum” Science and Technology Park ul. Ligocka 103, 40-568 Katowice 32 783-4309







Total area (sqm) / Services Roofed space concerning (sqm) / consulting, Investment area information, (sqm) / courses, training* Green fields (sqm)

Aviation Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Park in Bielsko-Bia∏a ul. Stefana Kóski 43, 43-512 Kaniów 32 750-8232/32 750-8233,




159,272 10,960 -

Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park “AEROPOLIS” ul. Szopena 51, 35-959 Rzeszów 17 867-6206/017 852-0611






1,230,000 1,050 950,411 -

Kielce Technology Park ul. Piotrkowska 6, 25-510 Kielce 41 367-6355/41 367-6355








150,000 17,000 120,000 10,000

Lower Silesian Innovation and Science Park ul. Wystawowa 1, 51-618 Wroc∏aw 71 725-4041/71 723-1305




Park Life Science ul. Bobrzyƒskiego 14, 30-348 Kraków 12 297-4600/12 264-4646




Technology Park - Multimedia City ul. Zielona 27, 33-300 Nowy Sàcz 18 449-9463/18 449-9461





Technology Park ul. Partyzanów 17, 75-411 Koszalin 94 316-7910/94 316-7910




Elblàg Technology Park ul. ¸àcznoÊci 1, 82-300 Elblàg 55 239-3316/55 239-3346

KGHM LETIA Legnica Technology Park ul. Z∏otoryjska 194, 59-220 Legnica 76 747-5440/76 747-5444

Bia∏ostocki Science and Technology Park ul. S∏onimska 1, 15-950 Bia∏ystok 85 869-6226/85 869-6211

Olsztyn Science and Technology Park Pl. Jana Paw∏a II 1, 10-101 Olsztyn 89 527-3111 wew. 523/89 527-3111 wew. 496 Regional Industrial Park Al. Lotników Polskich 1, 21-045 Âwidnik 81 722-6022/81 722-6652

Technical and service infrastructure*

Financial support*

1; 2; 5; 11; 15; 16; research results commer- 17; 19; 22; 23; 24 cialization

Year Managing entity / founded Managing person

Contact person


Aviation Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Park in Bielsko-Bia∏a Dariusz Piecuch

Irena Marek

25; 30


Regional Development Agency in Rzeszów Barbara Kostyra

Barbara Kostyra

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 17; 19; 20; 21; 8; 9; 11; 12; 13; 22; 23 14; 15; 16



Kielce Technology Park Szymon Mazurkiewicz

Szymon Mazurkiewicz

35,000 -

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 17; 18; 19; 20; 9; 11; 12; 13; 16 21; 23



Lower Silesian Science Park Innovation Edward Chlebus

Mariusz Cholewa


WND 20,000 -

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 17; 18; 19; 20; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 21; 22; 23; 24 13; 14; 15; 16

25; 27; 29; 31


Jagiellonian Centre of Innovation Pawe∏ B∏achno

Mariusz Piasecki



57,000 1,000 57,000 -

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 11; 12; 14

27; 29


Multimedia City Krzysztof Wn´k

Kinga Paw∏owska




3,500 2,899 -

1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 17; 18; 19; 20; 23 13; 16



Technology Park Robert Szank

Anna Urbanowicz




677,000 1,507 538,500 92,100

1; 2; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 16 18; 19; 20; 22; 23



Elblàg City Hall WND

Rafa∏ Kucimaƒski; Anita Pawlak



319,900 2,480 295,900 -

1; 2; 3; 8; 10; 11; 13; 14; 15; 16

17; 19; 21; 23

26; 29; 31


KGHM LETIA Legnica Technology Park Lidia Ciesielska; Piotr Urbaniak

Ma∏gorzata Jarzynka




260,000 60,00 230,000 -





Bia∏ostocki Science and Technology Park - The City of Bialystok Budget Unit WND

Ma∏gorzata Piekarska






195,600 6,650 157,300

1; 5; 6; 7; 9; 11; 16

17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23



Olsztyn City Hall; Service Department for Janusz Wróblewski European Funds Janusz Wróblewski





510,000 2,200 100,000 -


18; 20



Regional Industrial Park Âwidnik Eugeniusz Hyz

Notes: WND = would not disclose. Collection of selected report data in cooperation with the Polish Business and Innovation Centers Association (SOOiPP - Footnotes: *1. Company formation; 2. Business plan development; 3. Technological audit; 4. Cooperation mediations; 5. Financial and tax services; 6. Bookkeeping and accounting; 7. Legal services; 8. Market analysis and marketing; 9. IT services; 10. HR management; 11. EU funds access; 12. Internationalization and international cooperation; 13. Introduction of new products and services; 14. Business management; 15. Quality management; 16. Intelectual property protection; 17. Reception; 18. Labs; 19. Broadband Internet; 20. Computer network; 21. Database access; 22. Cafe/bar; 23. Seminar room; 24. Creativity Centre; 25. Regional loan fund; 26. Guarantee fund; 27. Seed capital fund; 28. Credits and credit services; 29. Cooperation with “Business Angels”; 30. Subsidies/grants; 31. Venture capital

19; 20; 23

Anna Ska∏ecka

To the best of WBJ ’s knowledge, the information is accurate as of press time. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy and thoroughness, omissions and typographical errors may occur. Corrections or additions to The List should be sent, on official letterhead, to Warsaw Business Journal, attn. Joanna Raszka, ul. Elblàska 15/17, 01747 Warsaw, via fax to (48-22) 639-8569, or via e-mail to Copyright 2011, Valkea Media SA. The List may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission of the publisher. Reprints are available.




SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011



Laboratory of the Future Center of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle ul. Jazdów 2 Through January 15, 2012

The exhibition explores India’s rapidly changing society Generation in Transition Zach´ta National Gallery of Art Pl. Ma∏achowskiego 3 Through November 6 The latest exhibition at Zach´ta National Gallery of Art features an extensive collection of contemporary works from artists of Indian origin. Titled “Generation in Transition” and curated by

Magda Kardasz, the exhibition aims to showcase young artists who have experienced the changing face of India whether directly or indirectly. The group of artists participating in the project explore their country’s economic transformation, its traditions and contemporary realities, as well as IndianPolish relations. The exhibition includes artwork created

The Center for Contemporary Art, in the historic Ujazdowski Castle, situated in the middle of a beautiful Warsaw park, is a place where artists from all over the world put their art on display. Currently, the center is featuring “The Laboratory of the Future Act 1,” a multidisciplinary project that focuses on the future. Part of the REGRESSPROGRESS project, the exhibition focuses on two questions: “Can we expect a progress, a development of


The changing face of India Progression or regression?

The project focuses on the future of capitalism the capitalist system of production in the foreseeable future?” or, instead, “Can we expect a regress, which might in fact prove felicitous?” Artists complete their solo or collaborative projects, while curators prepare collective

exhibitions that include “Where Is the Green Rabbit?” (Ewa Gorzàdek) and “The Landscape of the Future” (Fabio Cavallucci). ● For more information log on to

Concerts previously, as well as pieces prepared especially for the Zach´ta Gallery. Working in a variety of media, artists participating in the exhibition include Ravi Agarwal, Anay Mann, Nandini Valli Muthiah, Akshay Rathore and Praneet Soi, among others. ●

Classical craze

For more information log on to

La Folle Journée is a series of music events that have already been showcased in Brazil, France, Japan and Spain, with the aim of popularizing classical music and bringing it to the widest possible audience. According to organizers,

La Folle Journée de Varsovie / Crazy Days of Music 2011 Les Titans Teatr Wielki Pl. Teatralny 1 September 29 – October 2

La Folle Journée is the biggest music festival in the world in terms of the number of concerts, number of performing artists and audience density. This year in France alone, almost 200,000 tickets were sold and 460 concerts were performed by some 1,800 artists. In Tokyo, over one million tickets were sold. The event will include several simultaneous concerts over a few days, and ticket prices are low, at z∏.5, z∏.7, and z∏.10. The concerts are often

no longer than 45 minutes, and don’t have the usually stuffy atmosphere of a classical music concert: it’s not required to dress up. Organizers tout the “presence of prominent, world-renowned virtuosi.” This year’s edition – Crazy Days of Music 2011 Les Titans – spans a century of music: from 1850 to 1950, from Brahms to Richard Strauss and the Viennese School. ● For more information log on to

Museums, galleries and venues in Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle ul. Jazdów 2 Czarna Gallery ul. Marsza∏kowska 4 Galeria 022, DAP, Lufcik ul. Mazowiecka 11a Galeria 65 ul. Bema 65 Galeria Appendix 2 (Praga) ul. Bia∏ostocka 9 Galeria Asymetria ul. Nowogrodzka 18a Galeria Foksal ul. Foksal 1-4 Galeria Milano Rondo Waszyngtona 2A (Praga) Galeria Schody ul. Nowy Âwiat 39

Green Gallery ul. Krzywe Ko∏o 2/4

Simonis Gallery ul. Burakowska 9

Katarzyna Napiórkowska Art Gallery ul. Âwi´tokrzyska 32, ul. Krakowskie PrzedmieÊcie 42/44 and Old Town Square 19/21

State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw ul. D∏uga 52 (Arsena∏)

Królikarnia National Gallery ul. Pu∏awska 113a Le Guern Gallery ul. Widok 8, Museum of Independence Aleja SolidarnoÊci 62 National Museum in Warsaw Al. Jerozolimskie 3 Polish National Opera at Teatr Wielki Pl. Teatralny 1 Pracownia Galeria ul. Emilii Plater 14

State Ethnographic Museum ul. Kredytowa 1 Historical Museum of Warsaw Old Town Square 28-42 History Meeting House of Warsaw ul. Karowa 20 Warsaw Philharmonic ul. Jasna 5 Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79

Galeria XX1 Al. Jana Paw∏a II 36

Rempex Art and Auction House ul. Karowa 31

Wilanów Palace Museum and Wilanów Poster Museum ul. St Kostki Potockiego 10/16

Galeria Zoya ul. Kopernika 32 m.8

Royal Castle Pl. Zamkowy 4

Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Ma∏achowskiego 3


SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2011


Tech Eye

Ghosts of the past, toys of the present

So many things have changed since Techeye was a juvenile offender. We grew up climbing trees, playing truant from school and daring our less intelligent peers to “milk the one-uddered cow.” Today those trees have been transformed into crappy Swedish furniture, the local schoolmarm calls the cops whenever she sees our trench coat and the kids we bullied now own car dealerships and dental practices. Here’s another big difference: when we misbehaved as a boy, our parents would dress us in a kilt made of ham and lock us in a cage with a feral dachshund. Then they’d give

our favorite toys to Jimmy the Goatboy and he would inevitably nibble them into oblivion. Alternatively, on the rare occasions when our behavior did not reflect poorly on our parents, they showered us with toys. These days the only kilt Techeye wears is made of dachshund. And, in a strange reversal of fortune, all our toys get thrown away if we’ve been too well-behaved and our beloved wife only gives us new ones when we’ve been extra naughty. And what kind of toys might those be? Nothing too dodgy, don’t worry. Some things haven’t changed,

copter’s battery lasts a rather flaccid eight minutes, with a 30-minute charge time. Still, at $56 the Helo TC doesn’t pose much of a threat to your wallet either. There’s one other toy which Techeye is hoping to earn soon with extra poor behavior – Sifteo Cubes ( How these work is a little hard to grasp at first, because there’s little else like them on the market (see YouTube for some enlightening videos). In essence, they’re small (1.5 inch) blocks, each of which has a clickable, color LCD display, motion sensors and a rechargeable battery. You need a computer to load games and link the blocks; once linked, they can sense when they’re touching one another, being tilted or shaken or flipped. The upshot is a host of possible applications to exercise spatial reasoning, logic, math and language abilities. The blocks seem to have been designed with a child’s intuitive

sense of spatial relationships in mind, yet some of the games look to be fun for adults too. If that was it, Techeye would write the Sifteo Cubes off as an interesting novelty. But their maker is also furnishing a creativity kit (for users) and a software development kit (for hobbyists and professionals), and there’s an app store. Given the promise of user-developed content, Sifteo could have a real winner on its hands. Expect to pay $149 for a starter set (three blocks and charger), with extra blocks $45 each. And here’s some advice for any strict parents out there: Sifteo Cubes are not goatboy-safe. ●

Ever bludgeoned a berserk dachshund senseless with a slab of tenderloin? Let us know:



you see – Techeye still loves toys designed for kids, such as the Helo TC helicopter from Griffin Technology ( In brief, the Helo TC is an “easy-to-fly indoor remote-controlled helicopter you control with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.” It’s a twin-rotor aircraft, meaning that if your face gets too close you’re going to suffer twice over. How do you operate it? You have to a download a free app to your Apple device, then clip on a peripheral called the “flight deck.” You can also choose between tilt-to-steer or touch control options, and the app caters for left-handed flying. Southpaws rejoice! According to Griffin, the Helo TC is designed to “deliver an aerial assault on the mundane.” Sounds pretty cool, right? But the mundane needn’t fear too greatly, since the heli-

WBJ #37, 2011  

Warsaw Business Journal vol. 17, #37, September 19-25, 2011