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Interview: Ryszard Kalisz

VOLUME 18, NUMBER 24 • JUNE 18-24, 2012 . z∏.12.50 (VAT 8% included) . ISSN 1233 7889 INDEX-RUCH-332-127

LOKALE IMMOBILIA

Since 1994 . Poland’s only business weekly in English

Beacon of business

REAL ESTATE

The Polish-American business community wants to boost economic ties to match their countries’ longstanding political relationship COURTESY OF LIBERTY DEVELOPMENT

12-13, 14

• Liberty Tower in Warsaw • Airport office locations • GTC sells offices

COURTESY OF SYN.GR

Greece in the spotlight

Greece has held its latest election. Now what?

2

In this issue

SHUTTERSTOCK

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-6 Finance & Economics . . . . . . . . . . .7 Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-9 Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-11 Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-13 Opinion & Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Lokale Immobilia . . . . . . . . . . .15-17 The List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Safety first

Score uncertain

A bit of hooligan brawling aside, security held tight during the first week of Euro 2012

Soccer fans are flocking to Poland, but not all of the country’s businesses are profiting 4

9


NEWS

www.wbj.pl

was the total net profit for Poland’s banking sector in the first four months of 2012, 14.2% higher than in the corresponding period of last year.

62% of Poles believe the government should block Russian investors’ attempts to control businesses in Poland, a survey found last week.

z∏.1,600 will be the new monthly minimum wage in Poland starting next year, according to a government proposal. Alexis Tipras

Quote of the Week “I propose that every year on June 12, [Poland and Russia] play a friendly match” Advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Michai∏ Fiedotow came to Poland after violent incidents between Polish hooligans and Russian fans on June 12. He suggested Poland and Russia should make this date go down in the history of both countries as a day of sport, not of conflict.

Figures in focus Room at the inn Net occupancy rates of bedrooms in hotels and similar establishments (%), February 2012, selected EU27 countries 80 70 *Highest in EU27 **Lowest in EU27

60 50 40 30 20 10

Strolling around Muranów If ever there was a microcosm of modern Warsaw, then Muranów is it: ugly on the outside, but something special on the inside. Follow WBJ’s sister publication Warsaw Insider as it takes you through this intriguing area of the city.

ria *

UK

Au st

Fra nce

an y

0 ain

Remi Adekoya

3.6% was Poland’s inflation rate in May. The figure came in lower than analysts had expected.

rm

from risking the havoc that a “Grexit” would cause to the continent’s economy. If Greece eventually reneges on its deficit-cutting promises, the EU and IMF could refuse to release the rest of the financial aid Athens had been scheduled to receive. That could leave Greece unable to service its debts or pay public employees. Most analysts believe such a scenario would lead to Greece leaving the euro zone, though it is not clear how such a process would be handled. Arguably the worst scenario would see another hung parliament, with the parties again unable to create a governing coalition. This would mean a new, third round of elections in the fall and continuing political and economic uncertainty for Greeks – and the rest of the world.

On WBJ.pl

Source: Eurostat

Company index Acron............................................................8 Kulczyk Holding ..........................................6 Alior Bank..................................................16 Kury∏owicz and Associates ......................15 Allianz Group ............................................15 LC Corp......................................................15 Apple ..........................................................23 Liberty Development ................................15 Areva ..........................................................13 Asseco........................................................15 Marathon Oil..............................................13 Azoty Tarnów ..............................................8 McFit ..........................................................12 BASF ............................................................8 Motorola ....................................................12

DATELINE

June/July JUNE 20 POLAND-US BUSINESS SUMMIT Event:

PiS urges Solidarity Poland to come back Location:

Politicians from main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) offered an ultimatum to members of the Solidarity Poland party, a splinter group: If by July 27 they don’t join PiS, they will be excluded from PiS election lists. ●

Democracy in the last preelection poll, has vowed to scrap the bailout program, nationalize banks, stop privatizations and freeze any austerity measures demanded by international lenders. He has nevertheless vowed to keep Greece in the euro zone. “Where has it ever been heard that the annihilation of a people and the dissolution of a country is a condition for participation in the euro [zone],” thundered Mr Tsipras at a pre-election rally in response to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warnings that Greece must fulfill all its commitments as a condition for remaining in Europe’s currency union. He dismissed her statements as “scaremongering.” Mr Tsipras says he can get more favorable terms for Greece from its international lenders, since Europe’s decision-makers will shy away

Sp

On June 17, Greece was scheduled to hold its second parliamentary election in just over a month. Some fear the result, still unknown when WBJ went to press, could lead to a deepening of the eurozone crisis or even a total collapse of the currency union. A new Greek government will have to decide whether to continue accepting the conditions of the country’s bailout program, and all the unpopular austerity measures that go with it. An inconclusive parliamentary election in May failed to produce an outright winner as voters largely shunned Greece’s two mainstream probailout parties, the conservative New Democracy and the socialist PASOK, for the radical leftist SYRIZA and the nationalist Golden Dawn. Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, which was running neck-and-neck with New

Ge

Former Polish President Aleksander KwaÊniewski has been chosen as a special EU envoy to monitor Yulia Tymoshenko’s appeals trial in Ukraine. Ms Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for alleged abuse of power. She plans to appeal her sentence on June 26. Mr KwaÊniewski, along with former EU Parliament President Pat Cox, will have full access to Ms Tymoshenko before and during the trial.

z∏.5.66 bln

nd

KwaÊniewski to monitor Tymoshenko trial

The Greek elections

Po la

In the second quarter of 2012, revenues from the Euro 2012 soccer tournament will increase Poland’s gross domestic product by 0.2 percentage points, according to estimates by experts from the Institute for Market, Consumption and Business Cycles Research. They also predict that the country’s GDP growth will not rise by more than 3.4% this year, but it will only get that high if eurozone GDP doesn’t fall by more than 0.3%, and the slowdown in Russia and China isn’t too sharp.

Numbers in the News

** Slo vak ia Lith ua nia Por tug al

Euro to add 0.2 pp to GDP

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

via

Over 60% of men and 50% of women in Poland are overweight or obese, according to the National Food and Nutrition Institute in Warsaw, which is launching a national awareness program to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity. Low levels of physical activity among Poles heavily contribute to the high percentage of overweight individuals, the organization said.

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Lat

One in two Poles overweight

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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Web:

JULY 14 Event:

This event will look at the business opportunities for Polish-American Economic Cooperation in 2012 and beyond. Special guest speakers include Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Poland Waldemar Pawlak and US Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca M. Blank. Copernicus Science Center, Warsaw summit2012.pl

Place: Web:

15

NAC VII SUPERFINAŁ

Event:

The championship of the top league of Poland’s American football association, known as NAC the NAC 7th Superfinal, will pit the country’s two best teams from this up-and-coming sport against each other – and in the National Stadium in Warsaw no less. There will be several activities during the day leading up to the final, which is set to be a family friendly affair, with plenty for the kids to do. National Stadium, Warsaw superfinal.pl

RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRANCE A new way of celebrating July 14. On that day supporters of France, inhabitants of the capital and tourists will come to Saska K´pa. It should be a great opportunity to promote

the French presence in Poland, and to strengthen the image of companies. Saska K´pa ccifp.pl

Place: Web:

BZ WBK ......................................................7 Nuctech ......................................................8 Chevron......................................................13 Nurol Holding ..............................................8 China BlueChemical ..................................8 PCC ..............................................................8 Citi Handlowy ..............................................7 ConocoPhillips ..........................................13 PCC Rokita ..................................................8 Costas Kondylis ........................................15 Peter Nielsen & Partners ..........................8 Deloitte ......................................................17 PGNiG ..........................................................8 DTZ ............................................................16 PKN Orlen................................................6, 8 Echo Investment........................................16 Pol-Aqua ....................................................15 EDF ............................................................13 “Polish Airports” State Enterprise ..........16 Eiffage Budownictwo Mitex ......................16 ExxonMobil ................................................13 Polnord ......................................................15 Fatima Group ..............................................8 PwC..............................................................8 France Telecom ..........................................6 PZU ..............................................................9 General Electric ........................................13 Robyg ........................................................17 Globe Trade Centre ............................15, 16 Ronson Development ................................17 GTC Real Estate Holdings ........................16 Hackett Group ..........................................13 SABIC ..........................................................8 Hitachi........................................................13 Talisman Energy Poland ............................9 Holiday Inn ................................................15 Telekomunikacja Polska ............................6 Hubei Yihua Chemical ................................8 Toshiba ......................................................13 IBM ............................................................13 Jones Lang LaSalle ..................................16 Kardan ......................................................16

TRW............................................................13 Vinci ..........................................................23

Keen Property Partners............................15 Westinghouse ............................................13 Kinoteka Multiplex ......................................9 Yara International........................................8


4

NEWS

www.wbj.pl

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Euro 2012 violence

Though limited, the incidents of violence between the two countries’ “fans” did their damage in the media Violence erupted between groups of Polish and Russian hooligans last week in the runup to the two countries’ match in the group stage of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Police detained 184 people as

Make trouble they did, with both the local and international media replaying the brawls in their television reports. And though the police did have to resort to water cannons and tear gas in a limited number of

“This wasn’t Poland and Russia battling it out in the streets, it was a few hundred fools trying to attract attention.” Donald Tusk a result of the scuffles, for which a march by Russian fans through Warsaw became a flashpoint. The Russian march was meant to celebrate Russia Day, July 12, the day on which the match was held. But tensions were high in anticipation of the event, with worries that Polish hooligans would take the opportunity to make trouble.

incidents, it was generally agreed that for the most part, the hooligans on both sides didn’t manage to ruin the festive atmosphere. The game itself went off without a hitch – with the large contingent of Russian fans even unfurling a giant flag with a sword-wielding warrior and the words “This is Russia.” There was no violence reported during the match, which

ended in a 1-1 draw. In anticipation of the violence, Warsaw dispatched 6,000 police officers ahead of the match. Among those arrested were 156 Poles, 25 Russians, and one person each from Algeria, Hungary and Spain. As WBJ went to press, the Warsaw District Court had issued 49 convictions against the hooligans. The most severe punishments were prison sentences of one-and-ahalf years, according to Warsaw District court spokesperson Wojciech Ma∏ek. Others included suspended prison sentences and fines. As of press time, the district court was looking into four more cases.

AFP/EAST NEWS

Polish, Russian hooligans brawl in Warsaw

There were some ugly scenes on the streets of Warsaw Mr Tusk was also keen to present the fights as isolated events involving marginal troublemakers. “This wasn’t Poland and Russia battling it out in the streets, it was a few hundred fools trying to attract attention,” he said. Prime Minister Tusk and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke on the phone on June 13, both condemned the hooligans’ behavior. The two leaders agreed

‘Fools’ Echoing the sentiment that the reports of violence had been overblown, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters the following day that “we got through the night without the drama some were expecting.”

Euro 2012 security

that “bad stadium emotions should not impact PolishRussian relations,” and that “hooligans should be arrested by the police regardless of their nationality,” a statement on PM Tusk’s website read. UEFA also condemned the behavior of the hooligans. As WBJ went to press, UEFA officials were in talks on whether to penalize the Polish Football Association PZPN and its Russian counterpart RFS. A deci-

sion was expected on June 27. “UEFA is in talks about whether to punish the Russian and Polish football federations, as they are partly responsible for their fans’ aggressive behavior,” Juliusz Gluski, spokesperson for UEFA in Poland told WBJ, although he declined to give further details on the nature of the potential penalties. Izabela Depczyk, Andrew Kureth

Euro 2012 attendance

Russian and Croat fans English fans hesitant cause trouble in Poland to visit Ukraine

Improper conduct? There have been other, isolated, incidents of unsavory behavior by fans at several games and host cities in Poland. In the concourse area

Empty seats have been an all-too-common sight in Ukraine

SHUTTERSTOCK

Before Euro 2012 kicked off earlier in June, many worried that violence and racism would rear their ugly heads in Poland, where soccer leagues are sometimes blighted by these twin curses. However, with the exception of clashes between Polish and Russian fans in Warsaw, fears of large-scale street or stadium violence weren’t borne out to the extent that some had feared. Mainly as a result of the Polish-Russian violence, nearly 50 sentences were handed out last week in fast-track trials held to convict soccer hooligans. A number were sent to jail while many received suspended sentences and fines.

SHUTTERSTOCK

Russia could be docked six points in the qualifying round for the next European Championship, following the thuggish behavior of some of its fans in Wroc∏aw

Police have had a heavy presence in Poland of Wroclaw Municipal Stadium, following Russia’s 4-1 win against the Czech Republic, dozens of Russian fans attacked four stewards, all of whom were taken to the hospital for treatment. None sustained serious injuries. UEFA has since charged the Russian soccer association with the “improper conduct” of its supporters, who were videotaped punching and kicking the volunteers. During the same match, monkey chants were allegedly directed at Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie. UEFA is investigating the allegations. Russian fans also set off and threw fireworks and displayed illicit

banners during the game. European soccer’s governing body has said it will dock Russia six points in qualifying for the next European Championship if its fans misbehave again, a suspended sentence that the Russian soccer association has said it would appeal. Elsewhere, Croatian soccer fans appeared in force in the center of Poznaƒ, parading with posters of Ante Gotovina, a convicted war criminal, and banners with symbols evoking the fascist “Ustasa” movement. Police, who have been deployed in great number throughout Poland, monitored events but did not intervene. Gareth Price

The party seems to be in Poland, with fans less eager to head further east Foreigners are flocking to Poland for Euro 2012, according to PL.2012, the official organizer of the tournament in Poland. During the first four games, 162,000 fans packed Poland’s stadiums, half of whom were foreigners. The country’s five fan zones have welcomed over 740,000 people. However, while tickets have long sold out in Poland, Ukraine is having more trouble filling its empty seats. Whole sections of the stadiums in Donetsk and Kharkiv have been noticeably empty during the first round of group matches. Thousands of tickets still remain to be claimed.

English fans in particular have been hesitant in heading east for the tournament. That may be due to fears about safety. Just before the tournament, the BBC’s Panorama program aired a scathing documentary on racism and violence at soccer matches in Poland and Ukraine. “The threat of racism is one of the drivers behind the small number of fans expected to attend the tournament,” admitted Kevin Miles, the head of the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) in England, in a press release. Prices for tickets to England’s game against Ukraine in Donetsk on June 19 have been dropped to £14. The FSF predicts that only a total of 6,000 English fans will visit Ukraine for the group matches, a

record low for a tournament of this caliber. In contrast, fans from nearby Ireland have flooded into Poland – some 30,000 Irish have made the trip to Polish host cities. Ticket prices for Ireland’s group matches have gone up to as much as £300. But despite warnings from the British Foreign Office for English travelers of Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent to take special care while visiting Ukraine, even many English acknowledge that the racism issue has been over-hyped. “We know Ukrainians are friendly, the sun always shines in June, the beer is cheap and there’s plenty to see,” wrote Mark Perryman of the London England Fans Group in a blog for ITV News. Natalia Kopytnik


NEWS

www.wbj.pl

Euro doesn’t boost ad market Experts say that Euro 2012 hasn’t brought the huge upsurge in advertising they had been expecting. A day before the tournament, TVP, which is carrying the games, still had air time to sell, although not for the period before the opening game between Poland and Greece. The reasons advertisers are not using the promotional advantages of Euro 2012 in greater numbers include the high price of ads and concerns about the economic situation in the euro zone.

Euro teams spend big The 13 teams that are staying in Poland during Euro 2012 pay a total of €227,000 a day for accommodation in or near the host cities, Rzeczpospolita reported. Portugal, residing in the Remes resort located in Opalenica near Poznaƒ, pays the highest rate, as booking the entire complex for a day costs €33,000. ●

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Law and Justice

Opposition’s executive body to be ‘purged’? PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski may be looking to consolidate his power within the party Law and Justice’s (PiS) political committee, the party’s highest organ, will likely see its membership reduced to just a few personnel belonging to leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski’s inner circle, reported the Polish Press Agency (PAP). A member of the committee reportedly told PAP that Mr Kaczyƒski had recently presented such a proposal to PiS MPs and senators. “Kaczyƒski explained that information from the committee’s meetings was being leaked, a situation which could not continue. He said he was seriously considering

changes in the committee’s make-up,” PAP cites the anonymous PiS politician as saying. He also added that “a reduction in the membership of the committee is very possible, but there is also a possible scenario which would involve watering down the committee’s powers. The committee could change how it functions, regional leaders would be let in and it would become a charade.” When Mr Kaczyƒski was asked at a press conference about the possibilities of change in the political committee, he said he “wouldn’t expect a revolution.” There are currently 29 politicians in PiS’s political committee. Up until now, the trend had been to increase the committee’s membership ra-

COURTESY OF FLICKR/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

6

Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski has often been accused of keeping an iron grip on the party reins ther than to reduce it. Mr Kaczyƒski has often been accused of running his

party in an authoritarian fashion. A decision by him to weaken his party’s highest

executive organ would likely strengthen that perception. RA

Former Kulczyk Holding president arrested for corruption Poland’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) has arrested Jan W., the former president of Kulczyk Holding and head of the supervisory board of refiner PKN Orlen, for alleged bribery during the privatization of Telekomunikacja Polska. Wojciech J., who was

also a board member at Kulczyk Holding, was also arrested on charges of corruption. Both men, whose last names cannot be revealed for legal reasons, are accused of giving bribes worth up to $1.1 million during the privatization deal, reported Puls Biznesu.

Jan W. was released after questioning but will have to pay bail of z∏.1.5 million. Wojciech J. will have to pay bail of z∏.1 million. From 2000 to 2001 a consortium comprising Kulczyk Holding and France Telecom bought 47 percent of all shares

in Telekomunikacja Polska, then Poland’s telecoms monopoly. Jan W. was then the president of Kulczyk Holding, owned by Poland’s richest man, Jan Kulczyk, and later became head of the supervisory board of oil giant PKN

Orlen on Mr Kulczyk’s recommendation. In 2005, France Telecom bought Kulczyk Holding’s shares in Telekomunikacja Polska. The prosecutor has yet to specify in what circumstances the bribery occurred. Remi Adekoya

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FINANCE & ECONOMICS

JUNE 18-24, 2012

www.wbj.pl

7

Prices

Government Inflation slower than expected, backs minimum-wage rise but Euro could push it back up

Euro to push prices back up? Part of the reason behind inflation staying close to the 4 percent level could be the

European soccer championships, which have seen prices surge for everything from restaurant food to hotel rooms. By the time it’s over, Poland’s Sports Ministry estimates the event could have drawn as many as 800,000 fans. And as businesses raise prices to capitalize it could push up inflation, and, some analysts say, cloud the outlook for interest rates. AK

Above target Poland’s consumer price index inflation rate (which has remained above the NBP’s 2.5 percent target for some 20 months), June 2010-May 2012 (%) 5.5 5.1 4.7 Source: Central Statistical Office

Poland’s inflation rate took a significant drop in May, to 3.6 percent year-on-year, down from the 4 percent seen in April. While most economists were expecting the inflation figures to come in lower than they had in April, the numbers still surprised on the downside. The main reason for the drop were food prices, which grew at a weaker rate than last year, and fuel prices, which declined. Prices in the categories “clothing and footwear” and “recreation and culture” also dropped. “Such an inflation breakdown confirms that monetary tightening should not be on cards. Still, we expect the inflation rate to climb to around 4 percent in June and to maintain close to this level for a couple of months,” said ana-

lysts at BZ WBK. Analysts at Citi Handlowy agreed that inflation was likely to rise to around 4 percent in the near term, and said that inflation should fall to the central bank’s target of 2.5 percent only in the first half of next year.

4.3 3.9 3.5 3.1 2.7 2.3 1.9 1.5

Jun e Ju Au ly Se gus pte t mb Oc er No tobe ve r De mber cem Jan ber Feb uary rua Ma ry rc Ap h ril Ma y Jun e Jul A y Se ugus pte t mb Oc er No tober ve De mbe cem r Jan ber Feb uary rua Ma ry rch Ap ril Ma y

Food and fuel prices were lower than expected in May, but inflation could remain high for the rest of the year

2010

2011

2012

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said his government is supporting the Labor Ministry’s proposal to increase Poland’s minimum wage from z∏.1,500 to z∏.1,600 from 2013. The 6.7 percent increase in minimum wage will exceed the inflation rate, which the government predicts will come in at 2.7 percent next year.

The decision to increase the minimum wage has been made alongside government statements pushing for tighter budgetary discipline in 2013, despite a relatively optimistic 2.9 percent projection in GDP growth. The government raised the minimum wage starting at the beginning of 2012 as well, by 8.2 percent, one of the highest

rises in the EU. Only Hungary (19.2 percent) and Bulgaria (12.5 percent) – saw greater increases. However, Poland still has one of the lowest minimumwage rates in the EU. As of press time, z∏.1,500 came to around €347, while z∏.1,600 equaled about €370. AA, AK

Most Poles against foreign ownership of Polish firms According to a survey conducted by newspaper Puls Biznesu, most Poles do not want foreign investors to hold stakes in Polish companies, especially in the energy sector. Still, EU investors are favored over their Russian counterparts. Some 62 percent of Poles believe the government should block Russian investors’ attempts to control businesses in Poland. Only 19 percent of the survey’s participants supported

unlimited Russian investments in the country. Opposition to Russian investments was prevalent across the social spectrum, regardless of age, education and career. “Poles still perceive Russian capital as a threat, as it may be linked to politics. They are partially right, since many business decisions in Russia do have to receive the Kremlin’s approval,” said Sebastian Mikosz, former deputy chairman of the Polish Information

and Foreign Investment Agency. “It is worth pointing out, however, that many Russian businesses have been operating independently for years. In the past, Poles used to fear German investments for the same reasons, and this has changed now,” he added. Apart from the energy sector, Poles also fear Russian encroachment in the mining, banking and chemical sectors. AS

EU funds

From infrastructure to innovation The Ministry of Regional Development wants to change where the bulk of EU funds go The Ministry of Regional Development, the organ in charge of disbursing EU funds in Poland, wants to boost

spending on innovation with the funds that will come Poland’s way from the EU’s next seven-year budget, covering the years 2014 to 2020. The ministry has published its proposals for how to use the funding, and says it wants a “big increase” in spending on innovation and supporting the transition to a low-carbon

economy. The ministry is also proposing a boost in funds supporting employment and labor mobility. In return, it wants to reduce the share of funding currently going towards infrastructure. For the current, 2007-2013 budgetary period, Poland devoted 13.67 percent of its EU funds to innovation and

2.02 percent to transitioning to a carbon-free economy. The figures should be much higher over the next budgetary period, the ministry says. Meanwhile, the ministry wants a “big decrease” in infrastructure spending, which swallowed 38.52 percent of the funds in the current budgetary period.

The Ministry of Regional Development’s proposals have been sent to Poland’s other ministries and its voivodship authorities in order to open a national debate on the issue. The Ministry also says it believes that having a precise budget-spending plan will help Poland in the ongoing negotiations over the 2014-2020 budg-

et and the future functioning of the cohesion policy. The ministry has also proposed giving more authority for distributing EU funds to regional authorities. By decentralizing the disbursement system, the ministry says, authorities would be able to dole out more funds. Remi Adekoya


BUSINESS

www.wbj.pl

Chemicals

Euro 2012 boosts TV sales

Treasury still holding out on Acron

According to Euromonitor International, television sales in Poland increased by 18% year-on-year in April. Experts say this is the result of Poles preparing to watch the Euro 2012 soccer championships, which Poland is currently cohosting. Similar and possibly even better results are expected for May, when fans were thought to have raced to prepare to watch the tournament.

The Russian firm has offered z∏.1.5 billion for Azoty Tarnów, and pledges to keep its bid alive Russian chemical giant Acron has said it will continue its bid to acquire Polish chemicals firm Azoty Tarnów despite being rebuffed by Poland’s State Treasury, which owns a 32 percent stake. Azoty Tarnów has been put up for sale as part of the Treasury Ministry’s privatization plan for 2012-2013, through which it aims to raise a total of

Polish foreign investment rising

z∏.15 billion. Acron is currently offering z∏.1.5 billion for the chemical company, but last week the Treasury said it would not sell its stake, saying doing so would endanger the company’s strategy and limit the value of other Polish chemical firms. Instead, the Treasury is looking for counter-bidders. Polish business daily Parkiet reported that one of the candidates is German group PCC, owner of PCC Rokita, the largest chemical firm in the Lower Silesia region. Chemical firm Synthos, controlled by businessman Micha∏ So∏owow,

in a consortium with energy concerns PGNiG and PKN Orlen, was also listed as a potential buyer, although analysts see that as an unlikely scenario. The newspaper also reported that firms such as Germany’s BASF, Norwegianbased Yara International, Chinese groups Hubei Yihua Chemical and China BlueChemical, Pakistan’s Fatima Group, Turkey’s Nurol Holding and Saudi Arabia’s SABIC could be interested. However, it is not yet known which, if any, of these poten-

tial candidates will submit an offer. There has been speculation that the Treasury Ministry’s rejection of Acron’s bid could be politically motivated. Poland and Russia share a troubled history, and Poles are wary of Russian firms entering the Polish market. A study by business daily Puls Biznesu recently found that 62 percent of Poles want the government to block Russian attempts to gain control of Polish businesses, especially in the energy, mining, and chemical sectors.

However, analysts say that the Treasury’s unwillingness to sell its stake stems from financial, rather than political concerns. “I don’t think it’s politically motivated,” said Konrad Anuszkiewicz, analyst at Ipopema Securities. “The Treasury is hoping for a higher bid, and will wait for Acron to increase its offer.” Acron is currently offering z∏.36 per share. Analysts believe that a bid of z∏.45 per share may persuade the government to accept Acron’s bid. Natalia Kopytnik

Media and entertainment

Polish media market to see rapid growth through 2016

Definite-period tenancy agreements to be terminated more easily From May 3 amendments to some of the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code have come into force. This includes the provisions concerning the enforcement from real properties. When a property is purchased in an

Minimum wage set to reach z∏.1,600 next year The government will present a motion to the Tripartite Commission for Social and Commercial Matters to raise the minimum monthly remuneration next year to z∏.1,600. Currently, the minimum monthly remuneration amounts to z∏.1,500. The amount would constitute 42.5 percent of the average monthly remuneration (z∏.3,765) as forecasted by the Ministry of Finance for this year. ●

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grow by 26 percent in the same period. “Poles always liked technological novelties. Much more so than in Western Europe where consumers are more traditional in their approach to technology,” said Mr Prucnal. As categories such as music and books move increasingly from more expensive physical distribution, onto cheaper mobile and digital distribution, consumer spending is set to see only moderate growth. PwC expects Polish consumers’ spending on media and entertainment until 2016 to grow by 2.9 percent, compared to compound GDP growth of 5.8 percent. Izabela Depczyk

Media oriented Forecast compound annual growth rate for the entertainment and media market, selected countries 12 10 8 6 4 2

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From June 26, children who until now could cross borders based on the entry in their parents’ passports will have to have their own traveling document (their own passport or identity card). This amendment concerns only children who were entered into their parents’ passports before August 28, 2006. Since that time, the “one person, one passport” rule has been applicable, meaning it was no longer legally possible to enter a child into a parent’s passport. The expiry of validity of entries concerning kids in their parents’ passports results from the standpoint of the European Commission with regard to passports and traveling documents issued by EU member countries. The expiry of validity of entries concerning children in their parents’ passports does not affect the expiration date of the document.

enforcement auction, the new owner can terminate a tenancy agreement (as long as it is for a period of longer than two years) within a month of the property being officially granted to that new owner. The termination notice should be delivered with a one-year notice period, unless the agreement stipulates a shorter period. This is possible even if the agreement was concluded in written form and with a certified date (i.e. certified by a notary public) and the real property has been issued to the tenant or lessor. Until now a new owner of any property purchased by way of enforcement proceedings could not have terminated the tenancy agreement for a definite period if it had been concluded in writing with a certified date and the premises had been issued to the tenant before the purchase.

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Entries in passports concerning kids lose validity

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Contact: Miros∏aw Stefanik ms@pnplaw.pl

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Legal News

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The Treasury is hoping for a higher bid for Azoty Tarnów, analysts say

Poland’s media and entertainment market is to grow faster than Western Europe’s over the next four years, according to new data from consultancy firm PwC. The firm’s “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2012-2016” forecasts a 4.9 percent compound annual growth rate for Poland, compared to 3.1 percent for Western Europe. In Poland, this should translate into the segment’s value rising from $10.3 billion this year to $12.7 billion in 2016. PwC forecasts the global entertainment sector will be worth $2.1 trillion in 2016. The media and entertainment market will continue to develop regardless of global economic uncertainty, according to Tomasz Prucnal, manager at PwC in strategy and operations consulting, responsible for digital technologies. Growth in the sector will come mostly on the back of the development and increased availability of mobile technology, as well as increased spending on internet advertisements,

according to Mr Prucnal. In Poland, spending on internet advertising is set to surpass television advertising expenditures by 2016. That’s all the more revealing considering that currently Poland spends a comparatively larger portion of advertising on TV than many European countries, Mr Prucnal said. But it is Poland’s digital media sector that will be at the forefront of its booming media market, as PwC forecasts it to see the second-largest growth in the world over the next four years. Latin America’s digital market should experience a growth of 30 percent by 2016, making it the fastest growing globally. Poland’s is expected to

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Only Latin America will see faster growth in the digital media market, according to a new report SHUTTERSTOCK

At the end of 2011 the estimated value of accumulated Polish investments abroad came close to $44 billion – around $5 billion more than a year earlier, Parkiet reported. According to the Institute for Market, Consumption and Business Cycles Research (IBRKiK) the accumulated value of capital invested abroad this year may rise by $6 billion, despite the economic slowdown. ●

JUNE 18-24, 2012

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Source: PwC

China’s Nuctech ready for further investments in Poland Chinese firm Nuctech, a leading manufacturer of security inspection products and radiation imaging technology, has sent representatives to Poland to discuss plans to build a new production plant in the country. The representatives will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak to dis-

cuss a location for the planned plant, Puls Biznesu reported. During their last visit in March, the company’s representatives visited several locations, including Lublin, Kraków and Che∏m. Nuctech has maintained an office in Warsaw since 2004. Two years ago, the company

opened a €25 million plant in Koby∏ce, on the outskirts of the capital. The plant currently employs 30 people. Nuctech’s next investment in Poland will be much bigger, as the Chinese company is hoping to employ 200-300 workers in the new plant. SR


BUSINESS

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Euro 2012 and business

EBRD pushes for local private equity initiative in Poland

COURTESY OF ADAM KLICZEK / WIKIPEDIA

An economic own goal?

Warsaw’s Fan Zone has accommodated as many as 150,000 fans

Despite high hopes for increased earnings, not all businesses in the Polish capital say Euro 2012 is scoring them profits A number of businesses in Warsaw that had hoped to see takings soar during Euro 2012 have instead met with unexpected profit slumps and a surprisingly negative outlook for the upcoming weeks. A restaurant owner who preferred not to be named explained that many of his regular customers had left Warsaw to avoid the commotion associated with the tournament. Meanwhile, incoming tourists appear to be more inclined to gather in the Warsaw Fan Zone with fellow supporters than in restaurants, even in the periods between matches. The Warsaw Fan Zone, an area designated for soccer fans who want to experience the fervor and excitement of the tournament, is situated on Warsaw’s P∏ac Defilad, next to the Palace of Culture and Science. It includes several large TV screens, a VIP media

zone and a number of bars and food outlets. The zone accommodated over 150,000 fans during the Poland-Russia match on June 12, according to PL.2012, the organizers of the Euro 2012 championship in Poland.

UEFA takeover Permanent businesses – including a movie theater, museums and cafes – located in the area taken over by the Fan Zone say that the large number of fans is not necessarily translating into higher profits. Mariusz Krasowski, a management representative of Kinoteka Multiplex, a cinema located in the Palace of Culture, said that the area immediately outside of Kinoteka, which includes a cafe and parking spaces, has been “entirely” taken over by UEFA. “We are planning to seek compensation from them but it doesn’t seem possible.” “We have had to delay opening the movie theater until 2 pm as few people are willing to go to watch a movie in the Fan Zone. Unfortunately, we will be seeing limited profits until the crowds leave,” he added.

Restaurants struggle But negative effects are not limited to businesses in the Fan Zone, since fans have little incentive to look for alternatives to the wide range of amenities offered there. Milena Machczyƒska, PR manager for Belvedere, a highend Warsaw restaurant, said that Euro 2012 is “destroying” their business. Both individual customers and groups have declined in number since the start of the tournament, she said. According to Ms Machczyƒska, fast-food restaurants might be reaping higher profits at the moment, but tourists visiting Poland in the latter stages of the tournament might turn to restaurants like Belvedere. Some businesses are counting on the fact that the hectic atmosphere may be a turn-off for many. Cities such as Zakopane and Olsztyn, for example, are trying to attract tourists by marketing themselves as being Euro 2012free, believing that the break they offer from the tournament is a big draw for soccerweary Poles and tourists. Anthony Adams

Slow progress on shale gas tax Poland’s Ministry of Environment last week postponed the unveiling of a new proposal to tax hydrocarbons, an important step in the development of the country’s emerging shale gas industry. The first draft was scheduled to be made public in April, with Deputy Environment Minister Piotr Woêniak saying that changes to the law governing hydrocarbon extraction are “necessary to improve conditions for investment.” Experts agree that taxation is a major issue on which clear answers are needed so that the 18 companies prospecting on

over a hundred concessions across Poland continue to invest in this capital-intensive venture. Neil Pozak, finance director at Talisman Energy Poland, said that in his opinion, some items in the current regime could be adjusted in order to improve conditions for investment. “Experience shows us that changes to a tax regime can have a significant impact on industry activity. Consequently, any such changes should be carefully considered and consulted with industry. We would be pleased to have consultation with the government,” he said.

“For now we continue to follow our previously approved exploration plan, but will have a decision to make in the near future. We are keen to see modernization of the regulatory framework. We believe that a more efficient process for the permitting and construction of drilling operations will be a prerequisite to shale gas development.” The Ministry of Environment did not respond to WBJ’s requests for information regarding the reasons behind the delay in unveiling the new draft law. Alice Trudelle

www.wbj.pl

Poland could use its local debt capital market as a buffer against the economic woes that are plaguing Europe, according to Lucyna Stanczak, director for Poland at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The bank, whose mission is to promote the development of local capital markets, is therefore looking to engage local institutional investors such as pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies that would be “natural partners” in creating an investment fund. “As a result of the financial crisis the appetite of private equity has diminished, and large countries like Poland, with important internal demand and local financial infrastructure like the Warsaw Stock Ex-

change, pension funds and insurance companies, could provide an important alternative to international funding or FDI inflow,” said Ms Stanczak. The EBRD sees insurance giant PZU as an important candidate in such a project, she said. However, no specific arrangement has been made so far with any potential partner, said Ms Stanczak. The view of financial regulators would also need to be taken into account when it comes to getting pension funds involved. “It is too early to make a statement about any national fund. We are in the early stage of dialogue. I would expect something may materialize within the coming year or 18 months.” Alice Trudelle

The EBRD in Poland Number of projects

299

Net business volume

€5.5 billion

Total project value

€28.7 billion

Gross disbursements

€4.9 billion

Portfolio in private sector

89% Source: EBRD

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Poles distrust media The European Trusted Brands 2012 study conducted by Reader’s Digest indicates that Poles have little faith in media outlets. Over 60% of those surveyed said they don’t believe the information they get from the media. Only 37% said they trust what they hear on the radio or watch on TV. Meanwhile 56% indicated they believe online content is more trustworthy, higher than the European average of 45%. Some 32% of Poles surveyed said they distrust journalists.

Moody’s praise for pension reform Poland’s pension reform, which raises the retirement age to 67 for both men and women, shows commitment to structural improvements, ratings agency Moody’s said in a report last week. The legislation highlights the government’s commitment to achieve sustainable economic development and fiscal integrity, the report said. ●


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INTERVIEW

www.wbj.pl

JUNE 18-24, 2012

The Polish left

A vision for the left Ryszard Kalisz, an important figure of the Polish left, talks to WBJ about the shortcomings of Poland’s political parties, the necessity of making the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) more ideologically inclusive and the dilemmas and hopes of the left in Europe standards of our political and public life. You are very critical about the way in which all of Poland’s major political parties function. Why is that? In my opinion the Polish political system, including the party system, is not in its final state. Over two decades after the political and economic transformation of our country, we are still in the process of shaping the political system. The situation in our established parties raises many questions about their future. Civic Platform (PO) is in the process of disintegrating, Law and Justice (PiS) puts itself in a corner with its nationalistic and xenophobic ideas, and the Polish People’s Party (PSL) focuses solely on the interests of the rural population. Even though SLD gained credit for helping to shape the

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Ewa Boniecka: In a recent opinion poll on the level of confidence in politicians, you came in second after President Bronis∏aw Komorowski, and ahead of others such as Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Foreign Minister Rados∏aw Sikorski. How do you plan to use this personal capital to help your party, SLD? Ryszard Kalisz: I think that my standing in confidence polls, which of course I appreciate, is linked to the fact that the party I represent has recently gained more support. As a politician of the left I am consistent in my actions and ideas and I express my views in my own way, regardless of the circumstances. I suppose this has helped build confidence in me as a person. To answer your question directly, I don’t have any particular plans to use my personal “confidence capital.” I will act as usual, trying to improve the

Mr Kalisz believes the wind is blowing in favor of the left in Poland Third Republic and build a lawful, democratic state, we have become a tired and worn-out party, lacking dynamism and the ability to regain the confidence of larger groups of voters and communicate with the younger generations.

Janusz Palikot and his Palikot’s Movement party are devoid of political seriousness. So we are in a kind of political limbo, where the political scene lacks a party that is able to fully respond to the expectations of Poles and generate confidence

in the political class, which is now generally seen in a very critical light. Do you see any brighter prospects on the horizon? If I see some brighter prospects it is because I predict that our

political scene will evolve. The financial crisis in the European Union is affecting our economy, the unemployment rate is high and the situation of certain large groups of society is worsening. People are worried about their future and disillusioned

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INTERVIEW

JUNE 18-24, 2012

with the government, while the war between the parties of the right – PO and PiS – is becoming more and more tiresome for the majority of Poles. They are looking for some fresh air to be blown into a stagnant political scene and for a new approach towards their problems. And it’s here that I see room for building a center-left formation. It will require a deep analysis of what kind of alternative the left can offer, how to build an open party that puts the interests of voters above the interests of party structures and the ambitions of party leaders. I am working to make SLD that kind of party, and while I am critical about some of Mr Palikot’s activities, I think that the ongoing battle between SLD and Palikot’s Movement does not make sense, is dysfunctional and has a mostly emotional and personal character. What is most important is that the battle is alienating the left and center-left and is harming our chances of strengthening the left and reversing the conservative trend prevailing in Poland since 2005. You are seen as being someone who acts on his own, despite recently being elected to SLD’s national committee. How can you convince your party to reform itself internally and pursue your idea of building a center-left formation? I am a free man of the left who does not think he must follow the narrow tactical interests of the party. But I constantly act to promote and support SLD adopting a shape that would allow it to realize my idea of opening it up to new groups of people, because I am deeply convinced that left and centerleft ideas are shared by millions of Poles. But for me the party cannot exist for the sake of itself. I say to my colleagues: let’s do everything to rebuild and revive SLD, yet if we come to the conclusion that we have reached a barrier we cannot cross, let’s not be afraid to search for other solutions. S∏awomir Sierakowski, a sociologist and proponent of leftist views, wrote recently that Polish parties are not divided into left and right but into “right and

wrong,” and that until Poland produces a competent left, there will not be a competent right. Do you agree with his opinions? Things are much more complicated than Mr Sierakowski is claiming. I value him and his activity highly, but he is a theoretician, who follows something of a doctrine, and looks at the left from an intellectual point of view and not from a down-toearth perspective. I agree with him that sharp divisions between left and right on many issues are diminishing in Poland and in Europe. But the additional problem in Poland is that the political divisions are generated by spreading hate and some conflicts are created intentionally by some parties. This has a general negative effect on our political, social, cultural and economic relations.

“Poland is in political limbo” In my opinion there are no leaders in Poland and Europe with the long-term political vision or charisma that would enable them to mobilize their nations and the whole European Union to undertake ambitious efforts to build a better future. I hope that there are Polish politicians among the younger generation with the charisma of [former President] Aleksander KwaÊniewski who will emerge in the future. SLD reacted with joy at the victory of socialist Francois Hollande in the French presidential election, and many are saying that the wind is blowing in favor of the left in Europe. Does this give rise to optimism on the Polish left? Yes, the wind is blowing in favor of the left in Europe and I observe this same trend in Poland. Hollande’s victory is a very important event for all leftist parties and also poses the question of how leftist parties plan to deal with the present financial crisis. We face the globalization of capital and the growing role of capital markets and financial institutions, while the rightist parties try to push the cost of fighting the crisis

Biography Ryszard Kalisz was born in 1957 in Warsaw. He has been a member of the Polish parliament since 2001 within the Democratic Left Alliance party. He was the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration from 2004 to 2005. Prior to that, he was the head of President Alexander KwaÊniewski’s chancellery from 1998 to 2000. His leftist politics can be traced back to his early political participation in the Socialist Union of Polish Students and later the Polish United Worker’s Party until it was dissolved in 1990. He was one of the founding members of the Democratic Left Alliance in 1999. Mr Kalisz has a legal background with a degree in law from the University of Warsaw. ●

onto ordinary people. I agree with President Hollande, as does my party, that the stabilization of finances in European countries should be achieved not solely by imposing severe restrictions on states, but by a policy of stimulating economic growth. I think that Mr Hollande’s idea of emitting euro bonds is right and Poland should support it. Why is SLD against reforming the retirement system? Would you throw that act out should you regain power? We are not against increasing the retirement age, we are against forcing men, and especially women, to work till 67. The retirement system costs a certain amount of money and it is possible to reduce that by prolonging the working period, but it is also possible to raise the amount of money coming in by reducing unemployment and raising economic growth. Only after those two goals have been achieved successfully should we evaluate by how much the retirement age should be raised. The government did not conduct such an analysis and instead just forced the bill through. SLD is not talking like PiS about throwing the bill to the trash when they obtain power, we are talking about rationalizing the whole retirement system. I do not imagine myself that we would force all men and women to work till 67. What is the state of proceedings concerning your motion to put former Prime Minister Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski and former Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro before the State Tribunal for abuse of power? This motion is very important, because it concerns the responsibility of the people who previously held the most important positions in the state and, in my opinion, their actions violated the constitution’s provisions. It is not a matter of any possible repercussions, because the State Tribunal deals only with constitutional responsibility. It is first of all a problem of political prevention for the future and of setting proper standards for the highest state functionaries to act according to the constitution. And in my opinion there is a big chance that this motion will proceed. I am in contact with people from PO and a common motion is being prepared. ...Yet Civic Platform is constantly postponing the opening of procedures, because [Prime Minister] Donald Tusk is afraid – in my opinion totally without reason – that it could be seen as repression of PO’s political opponents. Nevertheless, I am convinced that after some time he will allow that motion to be forwarded to the Sejm, because by postponing the accountability process for the abuses of [power] … Civic Platform is acting against its own interests and those of the public. ●

www.wbj.pl

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COVER STORY

www.wbj.pl

German gym chain McFit to enter Poland German gym chain McFit is eyeing the Polish market, Puls Biznesu reported. McFit is one of the largest players on the German market, with more than 150 gyms in the country. The company confirmed its interest in the Polish market, but refused to divulge any details. McFit will be facing a competitive, fragmented market in Poland, which has more than 5,000 fitness clubs, but only a few chains.

JUNE 18-24, 2012

US-Poland business relations

Blossoming partnership Andrew Nawrocki

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a $15 trillion GDP and over 500 million consumers, American companies cannot ignore the largest and wealthiest economic bloc in the world. Therefore, notwithstanding the debt crisis plaguing several EU members, Europe still matters greatly, and by extension, so does Poland.

Service, service, service

cost-effectiveness, and its welleducated labor force,” he said. A recent report by Joseph Quinlan from Johns Hopkins University and the German Marshall Fund of the United States found that Europe accounted for over half (53 percent) of total US foreign affiliate income in 2011. With

speaks with enthusiasm when describing Poland, citing the country’s comparatively low labor costs, Poles’ strong language skills, and a well-educated youth that excels in “breakthrough thinking.’’ All of this has led Poland to become the “gateway to the rest of Europe,” according to Mr Lada.

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Two young Poles found and returned a wallet with the equivalent of z∏.20,000 plus several credit cards in downtown Warsaw last week. The owner turned out to be a 36-year old Russian citizen. The young couple found the wallet on a bench. ●

Few would downplay how far Poland has come in the past 20 years. Richard Lada, vice chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, is among those who witnessed and helped bring about change in Poland.

“Now is the perfect time for the two governments to set a new, forward-leaning agenda for commercial cooperation”

Poland’s foreign trade turnover by major countries, 2011, as a percentage of total exports and imports

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Poles return lost wallet

Gateway to Europe

And that’s exactly how he presents the country to wouldbe investors. “Poland is the right place to invest in the European Union in order to take advantage of the country’s

Having moved from California to Poland in the early 1990s, Mr Lada, after a few years with Apple Computers, came to head Motorola in Poland, and eventually for all of CEE. He

Room for improvement

ed

Poland’s national budget deficit came in at around z∏.27 billion at the end of May, about 77% of the annual plan, reported deputy minister of finance Hanna Majszczyk. For the period, the Ministry of Finance planned a deficit of around z∏.27.1 billion – 77.3% of the annual total of z∏.35 billion. In June, the national budget will receive a profit of z∏.8.2 billion from the National Bank of Poland.

contracts being signed as a result of Poland’s foray into nuclear and shale gas. But much more can be done, argue the organizers of the US-Poland Business Summit, which brings together the key players in US-Polish business in Warsaw this week.

Although trade numbers fail to reflect it, American investors are well aware that Poland provides a great foothold for further investments in Europe. As a matter of fact, they are continuing to invest despite a financial crisis that led to a massive drop-off in US business activity in Poland in 2009. The service outsourcing sector, which has seen countinuous growth on the back of strong US investment, is a perfect example. American giants are also moving fast to take advantage of the potentially lucrative energy

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Budget deficit at z∏.27 billion

WBJ sits down with top members of the PolishUS business community to discuss economic ties, new areas of growth and obstacles to closer collaboration

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In April 2012, 4.953 million people were receiving benefits from Poland’s state-run social security fund, ZUS, compared to over 5 million in November 2009. The number of new retirees is also diminishing, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. Last year, there were 102,500 new retirees, compared to 243,000 in 2009. The average retirement age also increased from 58 in 2008 to 59.6 years in 2011. One of the reasons for this situation is a partial elimination of retirement privileges dating back to January 2009. The reform prevented almost 800,000 workers from taking early retirement.

SHUTTERSTOCK

Fewer people retiring

Investors looking to Europe are starting to get the message that Poland is all about location, location, location. One sector that is benefiting is the service outsourcing industry. In “The next level: PolishAmerican economic cooperation 2012 and beyond,” a recent report prepared jointly by the American Chamber of Commerce, the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, and the USPoland Business Council for the US-Poland Business Summit, out of the 282 business service centers with foreign capital in Poland at the end of 2010, approximately one-third were American investments. In terms of value, from 2000 to 2009, the service center sector in Poland increased more than six-fold, from $1.3 billion to $7.6 billion. The growing importance of the business services industry is also visible in job creation, with the report estimating that in 2010, the sector employed Continued on p. 13 ➡


Everything you need to Insider presents a round-up Warsaw gets know for a short stay in of the first week of Euro its own luxury Warsaw 1-2 2012 action 6-7 department store

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JUNE 18-24, 2012

I N S I D E R

Essential Warsaw

72 hours in Warsaw Pushed for time? Warsaw Insider brings you the best ways to get the most out of Warsaw Personally speaking, I don’t need a timetable when I find myself following England abroad. That’s always a one-dimensional affair with no planning required: Stake your territory with a Bristol City flag, bask like a seal in a beer garden, fail to score tickets then shout at a screen in a murky-looking dive. Happy days, and certainly a schedule I’ll be keeping this summer. Of course, not all visitors this June will be viewing Euro 2012 as a jumbo-drinking challenge. And why would they? The Warsaw of today is not short of attractions, sights and curiosities. With your time no doubt limited, we bring you the best:

DAY 1 Morning Central Station: No matter how you arrive, you will pass

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through Central Station. Opened on December 5, 1975, to coincide with Leonid Brezhnev’s junket to the 7th Workers’ Party Congress, it was trumped as a triumph of socialism: out-of-towners mobbed the place to gawk at space-age touches like Italian clocks and escalators from France … the nation’s first vending machine, even. Constructed in under 1,000 days, sloppy workmanship soon became apparent, and in the following years the station rotted into ruin. Now though, thanks in part to the Euro 2012 tournament, this evil concrete underworld has been reinvented with designer toilets and electronic timetables that measure waiting times by the amount of cheeseburgers your guts can process at the nearby McDonald’s.

Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site between a metro or a tower, they asked), it’s totally Gotham City in its brooding excess. Featuring 3,288 rooms, the highlight of this 231 meter monolith is the viewing platform perched on the top: Stretch out to touch neighboring skyscrapers like Daniel Liebeskind’s weird work in progress, Z∏ota 44, or the InterContinental Hotel, host to Europe’s highest pool.

Palace of Culture: Resist the temptation to lose yourself in the

COURTESY OF KEVIN DEMARIA

attractions of the Fan Zone, and instead take a trip up Poland’s tallest building. Built as a present from the Soviet Union (choose

Take a trip up Poland’s tallest building

Jewish Warsaw: Home to Europe’s largest ghetto during World War II, the Nazis did a thorough job of erasing their dirty work: Methodically flattened, the post-war Muranów housing estate was plonked on the ruins of the ghetto and today only fragments survive – a section of original wall on Sienna 55 (enter from Z∏ota 62), for instance. More recently, a dramatic installation has been added to ul. Ch∏odna: illuminated at night, a trail of overhead lights mark the spot where a bridge notoriously connected the large ghetto with the small. The focal point of pre-war Jewish life, however, was to be found on pl. Grzybowski, a triangular plot close to the Palace of Culture. A small maze of streets leads to Warsaw’s only surviving synagogue (ul. Twarda 6), and nearby don’t miss a look at ul. Pró˝na – now rife with cranes and industrial machinery, this was the only ghetto street to escape obliteration. While one side is being busily redeveloped, the other offers an eerie glimpse into the past: propped up by wooden scaffolds, the empty blackened tenements lean inwards on the street, lending a spooky feel to this part of town.

Afternoon Center: Inch through the crowds to make it to Rondo de Gaulle’a. The roundabout takes its name from Charles de Gaulle (who got stuck in against the communists during the 1920 Battle of Warsaw), and is easily recognized on account of its palm – fifteen meters tall, the artificial tree celebrates its tenth birthday later this year. Titled “Greetings from Jerusalem,” the palm is intended as a reminder of Warsaw’s lost Jewish population, and provides a stark contrast to the bleak concrete construction that looms in its shadow. That’s the former Communist Party HQ, a blockish building reputed to have underground tunnels running to secret train stations. In an ironic twist the structure, which incorporates masonry from Hindenburg’s former mausoleum, briefly served as the home of the stock exchange after the Iron Curtain fell.

The Royal Route: Make your way to Stare Miasto (Old Town) by heading past the store fronts and cafe terraces of Nowy Âwiat and up the regal looking Krakowskie PrzedmieÊcie. It’s the same road Polish monarchs once Continued on p. 2 ➡

In this supplement Essential Warsaw . . . . . . . . .1-2 Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Insider recommends . . . . . . .4-5 Euro 2012 summary . . . . . . . .6-7 Warsaw Fan Zone . . . . . . . . . . .7


BEST OF WARSAW

www.wbj.pl

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Evening

➡ Continued from p. 1 followed on their way to and from town, and there’s still much to pause for. Composer Fryderyk Chopin was raised around these parts, and while he’s famous for his associations with France, home is where the heart is – literally. Following his death his heart was pickled in brandy then sealed in an urn inside Holy Cross Church (Krakowskie PrzedmieÊcie 3). Tucked past the elegant Bristol Hotel find the Presidential Palace: the official residence of the big man in charge. In 1955 it entered history when

DAY 2: COURTESY OF KEVIN DEMARIA

Morning

The right bank of the Vistula is well known for its vivacious nightlife the Warsaw Pact – the red reply to NATO – was ratified inside. With Old Town already in view, spare a breathless few minutes to climb the viewing platform at St. Anne’s Church (Krakowskie PrzedmieÊcie 68), before heading back down … deep down. The escalator on the other side of the street was the first in Poland. Opened in 1949, socialist reliefs have been preserved to this day, as have period signs warning repeat offenders against using the escalators over and over (hey, there really was that little to do under the old system).

Set the alarm early – museum time! The Warsaw Uprising Museum is a standout, and does a sterling job of educating visitors about the tragedy of the Uprising – the ill-fated 1944 rebellion which resulted in “the death of the city.” Costing a quarter of a million lives, the battle for Warsaw left 84 percent of the capital in a heap of rubble. Using 3D CGI effects, a high impact film takes viewers on a five-minute aerial tour of the devastated city. If you’re keeping a “to-do” list, this should go somewhere at the top. Joining its ranks in Warsaw’s Mega Museum League is the Chopin museum, a place worth visiting even if you have no interest in the chap – reckoned to be one of the most hi-tech museums in the world, it completely redefines the sightseeing experience. Finally, the Copernicus Science Centre completes the Big Three, with hundreds of hands-on science displays that appeal not just to kids – let’s face it, who doesn’t want to return home and boast they’ve experienced an earthquake or flown on a magic carpet. Yes, that’s exactly what awaits at the Copernicus.

COURTESY OF KEVIN DEMARIA

Warsaw’s Old Town is a tourist-exclusive district. Come night, the locals head to the center – if you’ve packed some knockout aftershave join other predators and night owls as they prowl around the clubs of Mazowiecka and others in its radius. After the club, convene to one of the all-night shot bars that have become increasingly vogue – Meta, Pijalnia, Bar Warszawa and Przekàski Zakàski are all great spots to raise a vodka and toast your surroundings.

The Chopin statue in ¸azienki Park Saski Palace. More hidden, Warsaw University Library (Dobra 56/66) has a splendid park positioned on the roof, though for the Insider’s favorite little secret, check Osiedle Domków Fiƒskich (ul. Jazdów). Consisting of 28 wooden chalets, it’s an amazing housing project in the center of the city: constructed in 1945 to house architects involved in the rebuilding program, the pre-built cabins were imported from Finland. Set against a serene wooded

Late Afternoon Saska K´pa: With kickoff approaching, head across Most Poniatowski to amble around Saska K´pa, an upmarket district heavily sprinkled with Art Deco villas and Modernist mansions. It’s not rare to find locals declaring the area a “village within a city,” and yes, it does have that temperament. While low on specific tourist sights, it’s a quiet retreat from the madhouse downtown, and that’s especially true of Park Skaryszewski. Hiding amid the trails and ponds find a string of memorials, including a commemorative bolder honoring a British plane shot down while dropping supplies during the Uprising. Only one pilot survived, and he was present when Margaret Thatcher unveiled the memorial in 1988.

Old Town: If you’ve had enough of going up and down the escalator (naughty, naughty), then you could explore Mariensztat at the bottom – a powder-pink housing estate that was a model communist project. Alternately, head into the Old Town. The entrance to it is announced by the statue of King Zygmunt, the regent who chose to shift the capital from Kraków to Warsaw. The original column, taken out by a German artillery round, lies next to the Royal Castle. Leveled by the Nazis in 1944, the Old Town was skillfully rebuilt using pre-war photographs and paintings as reference. Nowadays, you’d never guess that bits of it are probably younger than yourself. Frankly, there’s too many highlights to mention, so without sounding like a tourist comic the best idea is to let your whims lead you down the cobbles and the courtyards. There are some unmissables though, those being St. John’s Cathedral with its echoing crypt, and the square itself with its Historical Museum – inside, view the story of Warsaw’s wartime destruction, before maybe heading down ul. Piwna to the Barbakan: an Italian-designed brick fortress that marks the end of the Old Town. Warsaw’s most poignant memorial, that to boy soldiers killed in the Uprising, is found on Podwale as you curve around Old Town.

COURTESY OF KEVIN DEMARIA

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Saska K´pa is an upmarket district heavily sprinkled with Art Deco villas and Modernist mansions background, the sensation is akin to being teleported to a tiny Swiss village.

Evening

Afternoon

Praga: Of course, there’s an ulterior motive to luring you here.

Retail therapy time, with serious shoppers advised to gravitate around Mokotowska / pl. Trzech Krzy˝y. Designer names shout from each awning, with major international fashion houses sharing the streets with upcoming local names like Maciej Zieƒ. Boutique unique indeed. But no trip to this area can be complete without first exercising the credit card at Vitkac – Poland’s only luxury department store. Celebrate your splurge in the on-site champagne bar. For something totally different, then pencil in a visit to the Ko∏o Market on ul. Oboêna. Held each Sunday, this flea market is legendary for its offer: antiques from various eras vie for space alongside war loot and communist keepsakes.

The National Stadium is bang next to Saska K´pa. While most fans will plod straight back to the center after the final whistle, don’t think you have to. The right side of the river has become synonymous with nightlife, and the bars are its business card. In Saska K´pa, Klubokawiarnia Towarzyska has become a hit with the leftfield community, but for Warsaw at its rawest head to the bars of Praga. While this district has historically enjoyed dark local press, in recent years it’s become the home to a thriving counter-culture, with hip bars flourishing amid artsy workshops and creative projects. In this respect, ul. Zàbkowska stands out for its edgy wall art and scattering of bars. W Oparach Absurdu (Zàbkowska 6) appeals on account of a shambolic design and Bohemian bent, though to really capture the spirit(s) of this area visit Czysta Ojczysta (Zàbkowska 27/31). Entered through creepy neo-Gothic gates, this former vodka factory is currently under development. In the meantime, several of the outbuildings have been utilized for weird and wonderful uses, not least Czysta Ojczysta – a cavernous vodka bar with a “Bladerunner” backdrop.

Evening That’s it: Warsaw in a nutshell. Enjoyed it? Then say goodbye in style. Squeezed between the Old Town and the river, a jazzy looking fountain park amuses each night with choreographed water displays that draw hundreds of onlookers. Then again, maybe drinks at the pub sounds like a far better plan …

DAY 3

Old Town was skillfully rebuilt using pre-war photographs and paintings as references

Ouch. There’s an off chance you may wake-up in a bush looking like a shot badger. Should that be the case, consider a replenishing visit to the park: Warsaw’s a green city, and her parks are her pride. To the south ¸azienki is breathtaking, and closely protected by a battalion of peacocks. If you’re here on Sunday, check out the live Chopin recitals which entertain once a week within sight of his statue. And while there, wave at the Polish team – they’re staying across the road in the Hyatt Hotel. Saski Park pleases in equal measure: opened in 1722, it was one of the first public parks in the world, and her highlights encompass 21 Baroque sandstone sculptures, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – the one surviving element of what was once

COURTESY OF KEVIN DEMARIA

COURTESY OF ANNA J. KUTOR

Morning

Church of St. Andrew Bobola in Saska K´pa


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Shopping

If you’re planning to do a bit of luxury shopping while in town, look no further than the Vitkac – Wolf Bracka department store True luxury brands took their time entering Poland. That was to be expected, with

Varsovians had seen this massive glass edifice go up bit by bit, but few really knew what it was meant to be. That was, until a huge Gucci logo was splashed across the side. Finally, creme de la creme luxury brands had come to Poland. It seems rational that they have just now decided to do so, seeing as Poland was the only country in Europe that wasn’t

Vitkac – Wolf Bracka ul. Bracka 9 http://www.vitkac.com tel. +48 (22) 310-7313 Open Monday-Friday 12 pm – 9 pm; Saturday-Sunday 11 am – 9 pm salaries here still far lower than those in Western markets. Nevertheless, for those with a taste for haute couture, it seemed like Warsaw had been waiting for an eternity for its very own luxury department store. Then, suddenly, it appeared on the horizon – a shadowy black cube hovering like a visitor from space.

pummeled by the global economic crisis. An increasing number of Poles now have the spending power to splurge on a bit of Balenciaga or Galliano. The roster of designers at Vitkac – Wolf Bracka is truly impressive. There’s everything from Alexander McQueen and Chloé to Maison Martin Margiela and Victor & Rolf, as well as Marc Jacobs – every 30-

something’s darling. The mouth waters at the thought of the impeccable tailoring. And there’s over 30 more. Your reviewer spent at least half an hour drooling over everything in the Yves Saint Laurent flagship, strolling past the champagne bar and then up the escalator to the open-space setup. It may be a bit dark and brooding, while the hoped-for throngs of millionaires crowding to hand over their platinum cards remains a fantasy that needs a few more years of nurturing. Nevertheless, the salespeople are in ample supply, all ready to assist in the luxury experience. So for those visiting ladies and gents who would be into something a little more elegant than heading to the pubs and staring at soccer with the boys, Vitkac – Wolf Bracka should do the trick. It’s a great start for the evolution of the upscale retail market in Poland, and it won’t be long until it is known as the Polish Harrod’s. Maybe a champagne shopping party or two will get the crowds going at Vitkac. Agnieszka Lenart

COURTESY OF WOLF BRACKA

Luxury comes to Warsaw

Vitkac – Wolf Bracka offers an impressive range of designer goods


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Food & drink

Food & drink

Taste your favourite coffee in coffeeheaven

Le Cedre 84

offeeheaven is much more than just a coffee – for the customers it has become a synonym of the best-quality products, the best people and the best ambient atmosphere. For 12 years, as an unquestionable Polish market leader, it has been a haven for all those seeking premium coffee and food. Havens of relaxation, recharge and revitalisation, coffeeheaven stores are conveniently located in shopping malls, high streets, railway stations and airports. It’s an ideal place for those on the move as well as for those who wish to relax and enjoy their coffee and snacks. Come and visit the unforgettable cof-

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fee stores of coffeeheaven. Locations: • BUW, ul. Dobra 55/56 • Nowy Âwiat, ul. Nowy Âwiat 46 • Porty Lotnicze / Airport, ul. ˚wirki i Wigury 1 • Forum, Al. Jerozolimskie 33 • Plac Trzech Krzy˝y / Three

Crosses Square, ul. ˚urawia 1A • Plac Teatralny / Theatre Square, ul. Senatorska 18 • Plac Bankowy / Bank Square, Pl. Bankowy 2 • Dworzec Centralny PKP / Warsaw Central railway station, Al. Jerozolimskie 54 Find our location, www.coffeeheaven.pl

ucts, fresh seafood and homemade pasta and bread. Luca, the head chef, is a professor of his art, and his masterpieces number fresh tuna tartar, Fiorentina steak and spaghetti served with half a lobster. On the ground floor, proceedings are more informal, and the café bar is a popular meeting point where Italian expats converge to watch soccer. Passions rise the moment the soccer is screened, with the atmos-

a∏gorzata Potocka’s Sabat Theater is the only place in Poland where one can watch a Revue Show or a Las Vegasstyle show that combines stunning performances alongside an evening of dancing and excellent food. After the performance find the stage transformed into a dance for our guests, while our singers perform some of the greatest hits from contemporary times. Found in the center of Warsaw, we offer a chic, elegant atmosphere inside extravagant Art Nouveau interiors that are unique to the city. ● ul. Foksal 16, www.teatr-sabat.pl tel. 22 826 84 21

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phere pleasantly stoked by the availability of over 100 kinds of Chianti as well as wines from all across Italy. ● Al. Jana Paw∏a II 36, tel. 22 652 16 16

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Food & drink

Food & drink

Tawerna Patris

Belvedere

raditional cuisine from the Greek Islands. Dishes are based on original recipes which have been passed down by generations and enjoyed by Venetians and Turks. Tawerna Patris offers three air-conditioned rooms, each with different interiors, a big parking lot and affordable prices. ●

icture this: the CEO is in town and the evening meal is left in your hands. There’s no room for error, and the last thing you need is a clattering waiter or a rogue cut of beef. Well, promotion awaits with a trip down the Belvedere. A venue of some distinction, this former imperial orangery stares out across the immaculate lawns of ¸azienki, with plant-heavy interiors adding an ethereal quality that improves with the food. Mixing up elements of fusion with molecular, and the orient with Polish, Adam Komar’s menu is both innova-

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TAWERNA PATRIS ul. Wa∏ Miedzeszyƒski 407 (near the National Stadium) tel: 22 357 11 11 www.tawernapatris.pl biuro@tawernapatris.pl

cream – it’s got a subtle tang that keeps vampires away. As far as intimate dining experiences go, this one is impossible to beat. ● Al. SolidarnoÊci 61 www.lecedre.pl tel: 22 670 11 66

Sabat Theater

San Lorenzo or two decades San Lorenzo has been earning accolades and praise as Warsaw’s number one destination for Italian dining. Split in two parts, the top floor offers elegant dining inside extravagant belle époque interiors; especially popular among romancing couples and corporate diners, guests can expect authenticity to the tee. That’s largely down to attention to detail: an Italian chef, original Italian prod-

lies in covering the table with little pots of exotica, before making a mess as you eat with your hands. Aside from staples like tabolleh and hummus, discover dishes like the shanklish (a rich homemade cheese), or the delicious garlic

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ocated on SolidarnoÊci 84, a short hop from the CBD, Le Cedre’s new venue (find their older restaurant on the same street, but on the other side of the water) is a masterstroke: a plush intimate space decorated with deep burgundy colors and soft overhead lights. Aesthetically, it looks perfect – modern and classy, and a clever contrast to the more extravagant original. As for the food, well, the menu is a blinder. The lamb gets an A-grade, but you're missing the point if you overlook the mezze (starters). The very point of Lebanese food

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tive and historic – heck, there’s even a dish once honed by Tremo: the personal chef of Poland’s last King. Put simply, this is fine dining at its best, and a frequent nominee at the Insider’s Best of War-

saw awards. With summer in swing, check out their garden patio, replete with peacocks slinking between tables. ● ul. Agrykola 1 www.belvedere.com.pl tel: 22 558 67 00


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City tours

Behind the Scenes! here’s more to Warsaw this summer than the football, the stadium and that cup everyone is talking about. Discover the hidden side of town on this tour with a twist. Journey to Warsaw’s hidden nooks and crannies in an immaculately preserved communist-era fire van, or a Fiat 125p: yep, exactly the sort of car you’d have found Poland’s retro football stars pootling around in. Whether it’s hidden pre-war remains, or obscure traces of communism, Warsaw Behind the Scenes lifts the lid on the city’s deepest secrets! Promising a total departure from your stereotypical tour,

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your adventure penetrates the mask of this emerging capital – and, along the way, expect to be enjoying some true hospitality: Polish style! Prepare for vodka shots and bites in locations that history has forgotten! Choose

from two tours: one starting at 11:00, and another that peers into Warsaw after dark starting at 7:30 pm! ● For more information www.warsawscenes.com, Marcin +48 605 278 289

Brought to you by Warsaw Behind the Scenes

Food & drink

Enoteka ith a few exceptions, the Old Town does not quite seem to be great restaurant territory. Enoteka Polska, located on the edge of the Old Town, is a unique place as a perfect combo of traditional Italian restaurant, wine bar and specialised wine shop. With a brilliant selection of hand-picked wines from 44 (only European) top wineries and a menu of gorgeous Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients, it is the ideal spot to escape the city and enjoy a casual, rustic vibe with a note of distinguished elegance. In addition Enoteka's wine import policy allows for guests to enjoy outstanding value for money.

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Enoteka started in 2009 and has collected some prestigious prizes like “Best Newcomer 2009,” “Best Wine Bar 2010” (both awarded by Warsaw Insider magazine), “Best Restaurant 2009” (nominated by Gazeta Wyborcza) and the best score among the Polish wine

importers on the Grand Prix 2011 of Magazyn Wino. Quiet, charming and satysfying, Enoteka brings something enticing and unique to Warsaw’s somewhat jaded dining scene. ● ul. D∏uga 23/25, www.enoteka.pl tel. 22 831 34 43

Food & drink

Concept 13 oncept 13 is located on the top floor of VITKAC – the first luxury department store in the country. The bright, modern interior offers breathtaking views of the capital’s vibrant urban scenery. But the architecture is not all – the cuisine will satisfy even the most discerning gourmand. The modern international menu with Polish traditional accents guarantees culinary contentment. On the 4th floor is Bar 13 – those looking for a quick,

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quality snack can enjoy real Italian coffee, salads, steaks and sandwiches while admiring Warsaw’s rooftops. The designer interior, open kitchen and summer terrace will make your trip to Concept 13 a truly unique experience. ●

Concept 13 (5th floor) Bracka 9, Warsaw +48 22 310 7373 www.vitkac.com mon-sun 11.00-23.00 Brought to you by Concept 13

Bistro S∏ony Magda Gessler invites you for the best breakfast in Warsaw in the morning and for snacks served with wine and “shots” of lager in the evening and night We recommend: • „Sznytki” – little canapés with spreads (also as takeaway and catering offer) • The best white sausage in Warsaw • Herring in different styles • Viennese specialties: leberkäse, debreciner and frankfurter sausages • Breakfast sets and breakfast a la carte. On the weekends served till 4 pm. • Wide selection of gluten free dishes

S∏ony 11 Pi´kna St. (crossroads of Pi´kna and Krucza st.) phone: +48 22 629 03 64, 0048 506 052 093, www.slony.pl; slony@slony.pl


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www.wbj.pl

JUNE 18-24, 2012

David Ingham, Alex Webber

Euro 2012

The week that was Warsaw Insider presents a round-up of the first week of Euro 2012 action, providing a dedicated rundown of who to watch and where to watch them

Group A

1940s, with the Polish government settling the majority in the town of Zgorzelec.

The Czech Republic Overview: The Czech Republic were left reeling after being outclassed by Russia, but came back with a slightly fortuitous win over the Greeks. Victory came at a price though, with Tomas Rosicky looking likely to miss their mustwin game against Poland as WBJ went to press. Having hoisted the white flag against Russia, the Czechs will nonetheless have been pleased with their performance against Greece. As of press time it remained to be seen whether they would be able to rise to the challenge of their faceoff against Poland in the bear pit of Wroc∏aw. Where to Watch: U Szwejka (Pl. Konstytucji 1) / Czeska Baszta (Tower 22A, Most Poniatowskiego). Prague street signs and pictures of the simpleton, Good Soldier Szwejk, adorn the walls at U Szwejka, a restaurant serving traditional Czech food. Alternatively, head to Czeska Baszta to try their 80+ brands of import lager. The Polish Connection: In 1968 accountant Ryszard Siwiec set himself ablaze at Warsaw’s 10 th Anniversary Stadium (the site of today’s National Stadium) to protest against the Soviet Union’s invasion of the Czech Republic.

Poland Poland played magnificently in the opening 45 minutes against Greece before, inexplicably, hitting the meltdown button. Even with the referee taking their side, the Poles could only muster a 1-1 draw against battling Greece. A see-saw game against Russia saw a more composed performance, with a fantastic equalizer from Jakub B∏aszczykowski seeing the spoils shared in this high-tempo grudge match. Despite their heroics, Poland were left needing to beat the Czechs in order to advance as WBJ went to press. Where to Watch: This is a tricky one. Expect everywhere and anywhere to be mobbed with face-painted Poles tooting into plastic trumpets: the fan zone, the pub, your neighbor’s shed. For the seminal patriotic Polish experience, hit ¸azienkowska 3 – the Legia Warszawa pub. Did You Know? Better known for dark, chilly winters, Poland is also home to one of Europe’s last surviving deserts: Pustynia B∏´dowska. German military commander Erwin Rommel was so impressed by “the Polish Sahara” he chose to train his desert troops there.

Russia Greece Overview: When you’re down, you’re down. In the first week of Euro 2012 the Greeks had a horrid time, where nearly everything that could go wrong, did. A controversial sending off by the referee in the opening game left Greece facing an uphill battle. Though their fight back to earn a draw was admirable, they’ll be ruing Giorgos Karagounis’ penalty miss. Luck continued to evade them in their following game, with their keeper ruled out in the opening 20 minutes, and a goal disallowed by a linesman. As of press time the Greeks were left needing a victory over Russia to stand a chance of qualifying. Where to Watch: There’s a raft of Greek restaurants in Warsaw, but few match Tawerna Patris in terms of atmosphere. The Polish Connection: Over 12,000 Greeks fled to Poland during and after the Greek Civil War in the

Overview: The Russians fired out a warning in their opening game, producing a scintillating display of soccer during their 4-1 thumping of the Czechs. Were it not for the profligacy of Aleksandr Kerzhakov, viewers would have been tuning in for a cricket score. But while their 1-1 draw with Poland in their next game was beneficial for diplomatic relations, Russia will be concerned that they were unable to put the game to bed. As of the first week of the tournament, this dark horse had impressed with some sparkling midfield interplay between veteran Andrey Arshavin and young buck Alan Dzagoev. Where to Watch: Head to folksy Babooshka for a stiff shot of vodka. The Polish Connection: Most Poniatowskiego, the bridge fans cross to reach the National Stadium, was originally named after Tsar Nicholas II. In less than 100 years this piece of Russian imperialism had burnt down once, collapsed another time, and been blown up twice.

Group B Denmark Overview: Here’s a team that clearly didn’t read the script. Rated as 1001 outsiders at the start of the tournament, the Danes had been invited to Group B to serve as cannon fodder. A classic hit and run on a misfiring Netherlands side sent out the message that the Danes weren’t here to enjoy the sights, though they’ll be gutted about the nature of their 3-2 defeat against Portugal. But this group remained wide open at press time, and they were left requiring Nicklas Bendtner – in trouble for revealing sponsored underpants during a goal scoring celebration – to repeat his performance against Portugal to stand a chance against Germany.

Germany,” we wrote last week. How wrong we were. Dazed by defeat against the Danes, Holland produced a largely spineless performance in their following game. Playmaker Wesley Sneijder has slammed the “pathetic egos” in the dressing room, while Arjen Robben has courted criticism for playing like a playground bully: hogging the ball and chancing shots from unlikely angles. Amazingly, the kamikaze Dutch still had a slim chance of going further as of press time. Where to Watch: The diminutive Wiatraki (Warecka 8) regularly holds mixers for Dutch expats and will hit fever pitch this summer. The Polish Connection: Art dealer Hendrick Uylenburgh, who many credit for developing Rembrandt’s career, was raised in Kraków.

Portugal Where to Watch: Poor Denmark. In a city full of niche bars and restaurants, only the Danes lack a place to call home. The Polish Connection: You know that little mermaid that sits in Copenhagen harbor? Well, according to some legends, she’s the blood sister of Warsaw’s own syrenka.

Germany Overview: Germany have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years: Gone is the methodical, mechanical approach of old, replaced by a slick passing game and a cavalier style. Their fans will have been delighted with the comfortable ease with which the Dutch were dispatched, but this side is far too professional to get carried away and lose focus. Worryingly for the rest of Europe you get the idea that Germany have yet to slip out of second gear – expect them to be there or thereabouts come the end of June. Where to Watch: Adler (Mokotowska 69) is better known as a bit of a golden oldies Bavarian themed eatery – their takings will soar this summer. The Polish Connection: In the words of Basil Fawlty: “Don’t mention the war.” So we won’t. Instead, as Poland struggle to breach defenses this summer, their fans will wonder what could have been if Polish-born strikers Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski had opted to represent their country of birth ahead of that country next door.

The Netherlands Overview: “Expect a blood and thunder performance against arch rivals

Overview: This flair side has developed well under coach Paulo Bento, and while their game against Germany was largely woeful, Portugal returned to emerge winners in a five-goal thriller against the Danes. However, the Portuguese will be concerned about Cristiano Ronaldo’s inability to replicate his club form on the international stage. The Real Madrid man has cut a sorry figure this tournament, and as of press time needed to recover his mojo fast if Portugal were to advance. Where to Watch: Warsaw’s Portuguese expats will be gathering at Portucale (Merliniego 2). Wannabe Ronaldos can practice their diving in the Aqua Park close by. The Polish Connection: According to one recent study, Portuguese resident/explorer Christopher Columbus wasn’t of Italian extraction, but actually the son of W∏adys∏aw III, the exiled King of Poland.

Group C Spain Overview: On paper the world champions have the strongest squad in the tournament with a team brimming with major talent. The Spaniards have bedded in nicely, avoiding defeat against Italy, and enjoying plenty of target practice against Ireland. Questions had been raised about their strike force, as well as coach Vincente del Bosque’s curious decision to start the Italy game without a forward. With that in mind,

their 4-0 tonking of Ireland came at the right time, and Fernando Torres will be delighted to have rediscovered his scoring boots. Clearly, these lads remain the ones to beat. Where to Watch: Tapa y Toro (ul. Z∏ota 59). With a location next to the Fan Zone, and a great outdoor area, it’ll be nothing less than packed. The Polish Connection: 13 Polish soccer players have played in Spain’s top division, La Liga, the last of which was goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who warmed the bench at Real Madrid for four seasons.

Italy Overview: Italy followed a surprisingly open philosophy against Spain, pushing the World Cup holders to the very edge. But this was followed with a draw against Croatia, a game they should have finished off had they not decided to make themselves comfortable and sit on their lead. Nonetheless, the Italians have played some elegant soccer, and an early departure from the tournament would be viewed as self-inflicted. Where to Watch: Ristorante San Lorenzo (Al. Jana Pawa II 36). Upstairs it’s a swank eatery. The café downstairs though is popular with noisy Italians cheering the soccer. The Polish Connection: Italian Princess Bona Sforza became Queen of Poland in 1518 after she married King Zygmunt I. She absconded after poisoning her son’s girlfriend, and her ghost now purportedly haunts Czersk Castle.

Republic of Ireland Overview: Oh dear. “You’ll never beat the Irish,” sang their army of fans. “Yes we will,” crowed the rest of Europe. Taken to pieces in their opening two games, Trapattoni’s side were the first to be booted out of the tournament. Former captain Roy Keane has been left unimpressed: “The players and supporters have to change their mentality,” fumed soccer’s scariest man, “let’s not just go along for the sing song.” Where to Watch: Bradley’s (ul. Sienna 39) remains the No. 1 Irish pub in town. It’ll be mad. The Polish Connection: Polish is the most commonly spoken foreign language in Ireland according to the country’s 2011 census.

Croatia Overview: Croatia can always be counted on to bring a bit of drama to a tournament, and they haven’t disappointed. Their fans have already


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hit headlines for rearranging Poznaƒ city center and repeatedly throwing flares on to the pitch. The team have been similarly explosive, with results so far featuring a highly credible draw against Italy, and a firm footballing lesson dished out to the Irish. This is by no means a vintage Croatia squad, but Slaven Bilic’s boys have got a clear system worked out – one that relies on smooth, fast passing and quick-thinking soccer. Where to Watch: Guccio Damagoj (ul. Suzina 8). Located in a former cinema and run by a Croat who has resided in Poland for the past six years, this little restaurant offers topquality Croatian wine and food. The Polish Connection: Croatia ended Poland’s hopes of qualifying through the group stages of Euro 2008 with a one-nil win in Klagenfurt four years ago.

Group D

Kraków with national expectations set at rock bottom, and the stale performance against France served to further highlight the team’s shortcomings. Even so, with talismanic forward Wayne Rooney set to appear against hosts Ukraine, the Three Lions could yet climb out of the group. Don’t count on it though: Here’s a side that seemingly refuses to go beyond playing Neanderthal, hit-and-hope soccer. Where to Watch: Legends (ul. Emilia Plater 25) and The British Bulldog Pub (ul. Krucza 42) will go head-tohead to draw the exiles through the door. If rumors are to be believed, you’ll find the Bulldog open 24/7 for the bigger matches. The Polish Connection: The Great Escape: the daring break away of British troops from Nazi POW camp Stalag Luft III – immortalized in the Steve McQueen film of the same name – took place in ˚agaƒ, 150 clicks from Poznaƒ.

Ukraine

England Overview: Is there an opposite of being on a crest of a wave? If so, that’s where England is. Coach Roy Hodgson’s side of pampered millionaires and celebrity clubbers arrived in

Overview: We didn’t expect that. Perceived as a rollover, Ukraine produced a lionhearted display of aggressive soccer to brush hotly fancied Sweden aside. Buoyed by a baying crowd, this team of aging journeymen and alien names stepped up to the plate when it mattered, with veteran striker Andriy

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Shevchenko ensuring his place in Ukrainian folklore with a spectacular brace. Will they have more left in the tank? Clearly, there’s more to this team than passion and guts – with confidence surging through the side and home support, Ukraine could well book a QF berth.

lobster and a great wine menu. Whether they have a screen remains unknown. The Polish Connection: Former French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is still revered by some Poles after he created the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, following defeat of Prussia – that’s why a statue of him was recently unveiled in Pl. Powstaƒców Warszawy.

Where to Watch: Kresowiak (Al. Wilanowska 43C). Although not strictly a one-country restaurant, with food based around traditional dishes from Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus, Kresowiak certainly provides a real taste of the near east.

Sweden Overview: Danger man Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave the Swedes a dream start against Ukraine, only to see his good work go to waste as the rest of the team crumbled in the pressure

The Polish Connection: The Ukrainian city of Lviv was once the Polish city of Lwów, before becoming part of the Soviet Union in August 1946.

7

cooker atmosphere of Kiev’s Olympic Stadium. Coach Erik Hamren accused his players of being “cowards” after the match, and the Swedes have been further rocked by “bumgate” after players were videoed taking pot shots at the pink, naked bum of reserve keeper Johan Wiland. Sweden, at least, will take encouragement from the dour start England and France have made. Where to Watch: IKEA (ul. Malborska 51). The cheapest hot dogs in Warsaw at just z∏.1. Surely there’ll be a screen!? The Polish Connection: Between 1563 and 1721 Sweden and the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth were involved in series of wars known as the Polish-Swedish Wars.

France Overview: Coach Laurent Blanc has done a fine job of revamping a French side that imploded at the last World Cup. While stifled by a doggedly defensive English side, the French still have a team that’s capable of putting the frighteners on the best. Already though the feel-good factor that returned during the qualifying campaign has evaporated, with the French press left glowering at Samir Nasri’s “shhhh” gesture following his equalizer against the English. Where to Watch: L’Arc (ul. Puawska 16), has excellent French food, fresh

SHUTTERSTOCK

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Finding the fun Official Fan Zone

tertainment heaven includes soccer fields, big screens and accommodation, as well as a palm-lined artificial beach, music stages, catering and, of course, loads of Carlsberg beer.

Pl. Defilad. Open 10:00 am – 1:00 am (closing times will be extended for bigger games).

The Rest

COURTESY OF WARSAW CITY HALL

Built to handle 100,000 fans, the official Warsaw fan zone promises to be the largest such project ever realized. Covering a floor plan of 120,000 sqm, features include eight giant screens for matches, two concert stages and 400 toilets. Set in the open spaces around the Palace of Culture, the zone has been carved up among numerous sponsors, each of which promise something different: Carlsberg will be handling the beer situation thanks to a two-floor bar, while a controversial McDonald’s – occupying the spot slated for Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art – will tout a mysterious contraption called a “Giant Passion Meter.” Orange has revealed plans for an open-air cinema, as well as a Robo-Keeper at whom fans can crack shots at. Adidas claims that if you come around to their corner, you’ve got a chance of meeting players, and Pekao Bank is on hand for currency exchange, pre-paid cards and other banking services. Alter-

natively, head to MasterCard for the inglorious chance to

be a ref for the day. Admission is free.

Carlsberg Fan Camp ul. Wybrze˝e Gdaƒskie 4,

www.carlsbergfancamp.pl This temporary camp site/en-

Expect soccer overload in the pubs and bars of Warsaw, and you’ll find expat haunts like Bradley’s, The British Bulldog and Legends all packing out over the course of the tournament. In the hotels, Champions (Marriott), Someplace Else (Sheraton) and Hemisphere (InterContinental) will also fulfill any soccer-viewing needs. Few places, if any, have made a bigger effort than the Warsaw Tortilla Factory. Each and every game will be complimented by a “Half Time Variety Show,” with entertainment provided by MC Barry Solone, African drummers, soccer tricksters, body-painted party gals, cash-prize sweepstakes and a series of live music acts. Aiming to generate a carnival spirit, some memorable, wobblylegged nights are completely guaranteed. Alex Webber


COVER STORY

JUNE 18-24, 2012

➡ Continued from p. 12 approximately 70,000 highly skilled people. That was about 50 percent more than in 2008, and the report’s authors expect the figure to grow to 100,000 by 2013. It should come as no surprise then that in a recent study by Hackett Group, a global consulting firm, Poland took third spot after India and China as the best location to set up a business process outsourcing (BPO) center worldwide. According to Jolanta Jaworska, governmental programs manager for CEE at American computer giant IBM, collaboration with Polish technical universities is playing no small part in this boom. “Students already understand where technology can help in future careers – be it careers in business, government or medicine,” she said. Hoping to tap this intellectual capital, in 2010 IBM invested in a Multipurpose Cloud Computing Center in Poland. The center is a joint project of IBM Poland and the Wroc∏aw University of Technology and has been recognized by the European Commission as the most innovative educational project in Europe between 2010 and 2011. According to IBM, out of 150 universities participating in the exchange of knowledge and experience between the firm and academic centers globally, 31 are from Poland.

Energy bonanza American firms are also moving into new investment sectors in Poland, the star of which is energy. According to the Polish Ministry of Economy, demand for fuel and electricity will increase by 40 percent in Poland between 2010 and 2030. In a country where the bulk of energy continues to come from coal, greater cooperation in nuclear energy, renewable energy, and shale gas is imperative. US energy giants have already started positioning themselves to profit from these potentially lucrative markets.

“The US is a leader in all of these technologies and Poland is posed to be a leader in Europe. Close cooperation and coordination on energy resources offers the potential to significantly increase our bilateral trade and investment relationship,” said Eric Stewart, president of the USPoland Business Council and one of the co-organizers of the US-Poland Business Summit. Poland has yet to select a technology provider for its two nuclear power plants, scheduled to be built by 2030. Among the bidders for a contract that has been described as one of the biggest in the history of modern Poland are GE Hitachi (a joint venture of General Electric and Hitachi), and Toshiba’s US-based unit Westinghouse. The Polish government has signed joint declarations on energy cooperation with these firms and with French firms Areva and EDF, and is scheduled to make a final decision in 2013. In order to fulfill its commitments to the EU on renewable energy, the Polish government forecasts that by 2030 available renewable generation will increase more than fourfold, up to 11.8 GW. As a result the renewable energy sector is also seeing interest from American investors, with, for example, American capital behind three of the largest wind farm projects in the country. But it is the shale gas industry that has received the most attention lately. Poland’s shale gas fever only started a few years ago, but US giants ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil are among the 19 firms busy exploring over 100 concessions. It is thus not surprising that, highlighting the importance of this new sector for bilateral relations, President Obama called for closer cooperation between the two countries in this sector on his firstever state visit to Poland in May 2011.

Contradictory estimates of Polish shale gas reserves and a lack of clear regulation regarding taxation pose some challenges to investors. But coming from a country with the world’s largest shale gas industry, American companies possess a wealth of knowledge that can be shared with smaller Polish companies, and many seem ready to bet on this emerging high-risk sector. According to the US-Poland Business Summit report, among the most pressing concerns for foreign companies operating in the shale gas industry are a need to “liberalize [the] gas market, introduce market-based pricing and ensure non-discriminatory transportation and storage system access.”

Cut the tape Indeed, although activity in the energy sector points to a revival of US investment in Poland, many companies are finding it difficult to navigate the red tape. When asked to outline the most common investment barriers that frustrate American companies doing business in Poland, Marek ¸y˝wa, vice president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, listed transportation infrastructure, bureaucracy and an opaque tax system. Though much progress has already been made regarding transportation infrastructure, largely thanks to the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament, the remaining two require years of carefully planned work. Despite this, there seems to be a feeling of optimism that is shared by both Americans and American businesses operating in Poland. “After all, when we take a step back and truly get to the crux of why many Americans see Poland as such an attractive place for investment it seems to come down to the people,” said Mr Lada. Indeed, taxes may fluctuate and bureaucracy may change, but when looking at the long term, it really does come down to the power of human capital. ●

In figures Experts argue that politics, especially related to security issues, tends to trump business when it comes to US-Polish relations. A look at bilateral trade figures seems to confirm this, with imports from the US to Poland comprising just 2.3 percent of total imports in 2011. Morever, the United States did not even make it into the top 10 destinations for Polish exports. US investment in Poland also suffered a major drop from 2009, from $23.6 million in 2008 to $14.8 million a year later, and to $9.7 million in 2010, according to figures from the World Investment Report 2011. But that's not the whole picture. According to the report “The next level: Polish-American economic cooperation 2012 and beyond,” American investments’ cumulative volume hovers above the $20 billion mark, making the US the sixth-largest source of FDI flow to Poland and creating around 190,000 jobs. Today US investments span a wide range of

sectors, and last year two of the top-three most important investment projects in Poland were backed by American capital, according to the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. Those were 3M’s €42 million investment in factories producing goods for the space, aviation and automotive industries in Wroc∏aw, and TRW’s €40 million investment in Czechowice Dziedzice and Bielsko-Bia∏a. “Recent years have seen a plethora of new opportunities for, and a few new challenges to, increasing bilateral trade between Poland and the US. Now is the perfect time for the two governments to set a new, forward-leaning agenda for commercial cooperation. … Neither country can afford to rest on its laurels,” Joseph Wancer, Henryka Bochniarz and Eric Stewart, respectively heads of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, PKPP Lewiatan and the US-Poland Business Council, said in their joint report. ●

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13


14

OPINION & ANALYSIS

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JUNE 18-24, 2012

It’s prime time for Polish-US economic cooperation

T

he Polish-American Economic Summit, scheduled for June 20-21 in Warsaw, offers a good opportunity to take stock of the bilateral business relationship. The picture is mixed. On the one hand it features unquestionable progress. On the other, serious challenges to advance the relationship further, especially in the light of the global crisis taking its toll on the transatlantic economy. There remains however, a conviction that the prize for overcoming these hindrances will be worth the effort.

Politics trumps economy For the past two decades, political and security cooperation between Poland and the United States has trumped economics. The pulse of the relationship depended largely on issues such as NATO enlargement (more broadly, introducing greater stability and predictability in the erstwhile eastern block), Polish involvement in US-led military interventions, and most recently on the prospects of Poland hosting US missile-defense installations. A quick glance at the economic data says it all. Poland’s long-term economic prosperity depends first and foremost on robust trade and

investment relations with its European neighbors and fellow EU members. Germany is the key export market, followed by France, the UK, and the Czech Republic. The volume of trade in goods and services with the United States pales in comparison with these countries. But there is a success story to be told about Polish-American economic cooperation as well. The US government played a leading role in creating favorable external conditions for Poland’s market reforms in the earliest stages of the transition, and US investors moved in boldly. According to a 2010 report by the American Chamber of Commerce, Poland served as a genuine gateway for American capital entering Central Europe in the 1990s – over two thirds of the companies chose it as an entry point for a broader regional strategy during that period. The size of the Polish economy and the opportunities offered by the local market were enough to offset the uncertainty and risk inherent in entering what used to be an emerging market economy. They were also sufficient to secure Poland the top rank when it comes to the total volume of US direct investment region-wide. Two decades later, it is clear that

the benefits are mutual. American investments’ cumulative volume hovers above the $20 billion mark, making the US the sixth-largest source of FDI flow to Poland. This resulted in the creation of roughly 190,000 jobs, with indirect impact on the Polish economy certainly much larger. At the same time, Poland’s stellar economic performance during the current global slowdown has earned it a great deal of attention and trust, including among US companies. Last year, Poland was the only EU member state outside the euro zone to record a net inflow of US FDI, and was outpaced only by Germany as far as the volume of new investment is concerned. Similarly, even though the Polish-American trade in goods and services is still rather unimpressive when compared with either most of America’s partners in Western Europe or key Polish trade partners, it has kept growing despite the recession.

Economic clout As eye-catching as these facts and figures may be, they require a broader context in order to fully acknowledge the significance of this week’s summit in Warsaw. Granted, US-European ties cannot and should not be reduced to trade and investment vol-

ume, but it would be equally wrong to dismiss the solid, globally unparalleled community of economic interests that underpins transatlantic relations. Neither the number nor the severity of the trade disputes between both partners can reasonably challenge this assertion. Indeed, if Europe is taken seriously in Washington it is because of its economic clout. These days, as the United States is executing a so-called “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region, the enduring importance of transatlantic relations is rarely put in question when it comes to economic ties. By the same token, if anyone expects Europe and European issues to meaningfully impact the US presidential election, it is because of the uncertainty surrounding the euro zone, the much-feared “Grexit,” and the domino effect that it could cause in the European economy. Perhaps crucially, a Europe mired in recession will make it a lot harder for the US to double its exports by 2015 – a goal set by President Obama two years ago. Increasingly, and despite relatively limited importance of the region among the priorities of the US commercial diplomacy, this logic applies to Central Europe, too. Poland is par-

Bartosz WiÊniewski

ticularly well placed to act as a lynchpin for America’s renewed economic interest in this part of the world. The potential for growth and new business opportunities – in the energy sector, manufacturing, IT industries, and many more – is what is driving it. Although it’s unlikely that the

“For the past two decades, political and security cooperation between Poland and the US has trumped economics” relationship will be significantly recast as a result – cooperation in the realm of security will continue to dominate – a greater prominence of economic issues is bound to serve it well, leading to a broader, more balanced and versatile community of interests ahead. ● Bartosz WiÊniewski is a research fellow at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) pism.pl

Polish visa waiver supports US jobs, key ally Tad Taube

If

an American were planning a long-awaited vacation to London and suddenly discovered he needed not only a US passport but also a British visa, he’d be surprised and a little offended that his friends in England required him to run the bureaucratic gantlet, especially when British citizens can enter the US without doing the same. Surely, when two nations have enjoyed such a long and deep relationship, their citizens don’t need to make a big fuss over visiting each other’s shores. That is precisely how many Poles feel today when they plan a visit to the United States, only to learn that they’re required to have a visa. Americans, by contrast, can visit Poland solely on their US passport – 21 years ago Warsaw’s newly installed democratic government repealed the visa requirement for US visitors, a reflection of the friendship the countries have shared since Revolutionary War days. Leading voices in the tourism indus-

try and the US Chamber of Commerce agree: It’s well past time for American lawmakers to match Warsaw’s welcoming attitude and add Poland to the Visa Waiver Program. Not only would such a move make for good foreign policy, it would serve to strengthen US national security and the economy.

rent projections from the European Commission for 2012 show an increase in the annual growth rate from 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent. At a time when the US economy continues to struggle, it only makes sense to encourage tourism from a friendly nation whose citizens enjoy significant disposable income.

Boosting tourism First and foremost, including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program would make it much easier for Poles to visit the US. Millions of Polish tourists travel the world each year, but fewer than 100,000 of them come to American shores. Yet in 2010 alone, countries with waivers were the largest source of inbound overseas travel to the US, generating 17 million visitors and $61 billion spent in the tourism industry, in support of 433,000 US jobs. As the only European Union nation that continued to grow during the global economic crisis that started in 2008, Poland boasts one of Europe’s strongest economies. Cur-

Stalwart ally Moreover, Poland has proved to be a stalwart ally of the United States. Ever since the Poles overthrew their communist regime, the Polish government has consistently been among the most pro-American nations in Europe, even at the risk of incurring the wrath of other EU or NATO members. Today, Polish soldiers fight alongside American troops in Afghanistan, as they fought together in Iraq, and the Polish government recently invested $1.6 billion in the purchase of American F-16 fighters. Poland is also on the front lines of American counter-terrorism efforts,

sharing information that strengthens the security of Americans at home and abroad – and when it enters the Visa Waiver Program, Poland will additionally be required to meet enhanced standards of counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border control and document security. The Visa Waiver Program is not an immigration bill. It is a jobs and tourism bill that will have a positive impact on America’s current economic and employment challenges. The security and commercial advantages the US would gain from bringing Poland into the program have persuaded the White House that it is time to act: President Barack Obama promised in 2010 that he would make it a priority to abolish visas for Poles. He reiterated his promise during his Warsaw visit last year and has lent his support to bipartisan legislation to extend the program to Poland.

Congress must act Now, the US Congress must act. Leg-

islation has now been introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It’s time for Congressional leadership to move ahead with this long-overdue measure. By expanding the Visa Waiver Program, Congress will be both recognizing a crucial US ally and supporting job creation at home. Let’s add to the program the country of Polish-American patriot Tadeusz KoÊciuszko, charismatic Pope John Paul II and fearless champion of liberty Lech Wa∏´sa. Let’s enable this generation of Polish tourists to see firsthand all the United States has to offer, while also contributing to America’s future. ● Tad Taube, honorary consul for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area, is president of the Koret Foundation and chairman of Taube Philanthropies. A version of this piece originally appeared in Roll Call

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 editor@wbj.pl. Please include a name and contact information and clearly indicate if they are to be considered for publication.

PUBLISHER VALKEA MEDIA SA CO-MANAGING EDITOR

GARETH PRICE (GPRICE@WBJ.PL)

REAL ESTATE EDITOR

ADAM ZDRODOWSKI (AZDRODOWSKI@WBJ.PL) SPORTS & LIFESTYLE EDITOR

CO-MANAGING EDITOR

ALICE TRUDELLE (ATRUDELLE@WBJ.PL) POLITICS EDITOR

REMI ADEKOYA (RADEKOYA@WBJ.PL)

DAVID INGHAM (DINGHAM@WBJ.PL) JOURNALIST

COLUMNISTS

ADAM NARCZEWSKI ANDREW NAWROCKI INTERNS

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PRODUCTION MANAGER

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¸UKASZ MAZUREK

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AGNIESZKA BREJWO

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MARKETING &SALES DIRECTOR

(ABREJWO@WBJ.PL)

PR & MARKETING SPECIALIST

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IZABELA DEPCZYK CONTRIBUTORS

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Sites near Poland’s airports are attracting office builders

Poland has some of the least affordable housing in Europe 16

17

LOKALE IMMOBILIA

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

Skyscrapers

LC Corp plans Katowice skyscraper

Liberty Development hopes to begin construction on its Liberty Tower in August this year after receiving a series of building permits. Located adjacent to ul. Grzybowska and ul. ˚elazna within Warsaw’s Central Business District, the project includes a 26floor, 140-meter-tall office skyscraper, two low-rise office buildings and the additional reconstruction of pre-war historical monuments in the surrounding area. “These historical buildings constitute a priceless monument documenting the history of Warsaw and its Jewish community,” said Max Ebenstein, CEO of Liberty Development Poland.

Holiday Inn Express in Wa∏brzych

In this issue

WSE-listed developer Polnord will deliver the A and B3 phases of its Wilanów Office Park project in Warsaw in the next few weeks. Later this month, the firm also plans to select the architectural design of building E of the investment. “Wilanów Office Park is taking shape. This summer our office complex will be enlarged by two new office buildings – A and B3 – which will join the already operating building B1 – the headquarters of Pol-Aqua,” Polnord vice president Micha∏ Âwierczyƒski said in a statement.

Wilanów Office Park

Airport office locations . . . . . .16 Aquarius financing . . . . . . . . . .16 Property-related stocks . . . . . .16 Apartment prices . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Ronson buys plots . . . . . . . . . . .17 Robyg’s land purchase . . . . . . .17

COURTESY OF CITYBELL CONSULTING

GTC sells offices . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Anthony Adams

Polnord finishes work on Warsaw offices

New Warsaw skyscraper . . . . .15 Wilanów Office Park . . . . . . . . .15

The area is known as one of the 19 former gates to the Warsaw ghetto and has been listed as a historical monument by the Mazowieckie voivodship. “In collaboration with a local architectural studio specializing in reconstruction and revitalization of historical monuments, we have developed a conceptual design for the full revitalization of the ˚elazna buildings,” Mr Ebenstein said. The design of the Liberty Tower was made by the Kury∏owicz and Associates studio. Earlier plans to build a residential building designed by New York-based firm Costas Kondylis were dropped. The company hopes to start underground construction this August with the completion of the entire complex expected in August 2014.

The two new phases of Wilanów Office Park will deliver a total of 30,000 sqm of office space. “Tenant interest [in the project] testifies to Wilanów becoming a new business location in Warsaw,” Mr Âwierczyƒski said. Towards the end of this month, software producer Asseco, which has bought the whole of building A, will move into the z∏.120-million property. In July, the over 10,000-sqm building B3, for which Polnord is now trying to secure tenants, will come online. Adam Zdrodowski

The investment will include a 140-meter-tall skyscraper

GTC sells Platinium Business Park in Warsaw Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Globe Trade Centre (GTC) has announced that two of its subsidiaries have signed preliminary agreements for the sale of the Platinium Business Park office complex in the Polish capital. The buyer is a company belonging to the Allianz Group. The total value of the deal, which is expected to be finalized later this year, amounts to €173 million and is subject to adjustments when the final agreements are signed. The transaction concerns five completed office buildings with a total of approximately 56,000 sqm of leasable space and the land on which they sit. Regardless of the deal, GTC may still develop a sixth building in the park that will comprise around 13,000 sqm. “The net cash proceeds of €60 million from this transac-

COURTESY OF ADVANCED PUBLIC RELATIONS

Along with the new Warsaw skyscraper, Liberty Development plans to revitalize a key historical area

COURTESY OF LIBERTY DEVELOPMENT

Construction on Liberty Tower set for August launch

Developer LC Corp plans to build a skyscraper in Katowice on a plot of land it purchased in 2008. The 106-meter-tall structure will be connected to another building standing at 38 meters, providing a total of 27 floors. The original plan had envisaged the construction of a 223meter-tall building, designed by the renowned late architect Stefan Kury∏owicz. Located at Al. Roêdzieƒskiego 10, the plot was purchased for approximately z∏.80 million.

Developer Keen Property Partners (KPP) has completed construction on a new Holiday Inn Express hotel in Wa∏brzych, Lower Silesia voivodship. The facility, which offers 130 rooms, opened on June 8, in time for the kickoff of the Euro 2012 soccer championships. The fivefloor Holiday Inn Express hotel in Wa∏brzych is part of the Galeria Victoria retail complex that KPP Retail has developed in the city. The value of the hospitality component of the investment amounted to approximately €6 million. ●

JUNE 18-24, 2012, LI 17/24

The office park totals around 56,000 sqm of GLA tion constitute one third of €180 million of free cash expected from the announced assets divestment plan according to the three-year financial

forecast,” Alain Ickovics, chairman of the supervisory board of GTC, said in a statement. Adam Zdrodowski


LOKALE IMMOBILIA – REAL ESTATE

www.wbj.pl

Jones Lang LaSalle has announced plans to create a new corporate finance business line in Central and Eastern Europe. The four-person corporate finance business team is expected to handle professional services including equity and debt advisory, consultancy on mergers and acquisitions and advice for entities involved in real estate financing.

GTC rights issue Developer Globe Trade Centre announced in a statement that its largest shareholder, GTC Real Estate Holdings B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kardan N.V., had exercised all of its preemptive rights in the company’s rights offering. GTC is offering 100,000,000 ordinary bearer shares at z∏.4.45 per share through a rights issue, with the aim of increasing liquidity. Kardan N.V., through its subsidiary, subscribed to approximately 27.75 million shares. ●

Business parks

Aquarius Business House financing

Significance of airport locations on the rise: report The growth of the Polish aviation market is creating new opportunities for commercial space developers The dynamic growth of the Polish aviation market will increasingly be turning commercial-space developers’ attention to areas surrounding the country’s major airports in upcoming years, according to a recent report by DTZ. The company quoted Civil Aviation Office forecasts saying that the number of passengers at Polish airports will grow from almost 21.7 million in 2011 to approximately 39

million in 2020, an increase of more than 80 percent. According to DTZ, by adding retail and service services to their offers airports are generating considerable alternative revenues which allow them to grow and be more competitive than their peers. Meanwhile, the growth of airports involves the development of major road and railway infrastructure projects that make the facilities and the surrounding areas far more accessible from outside and thus attractive to the developers of commercial space. “Due to this locations around airports are increasing their attractiveness for business as business and retail

clusters,” Anna Staniszewska, consulting and research department director at DTZ, said in a statement. According to the DTZ study, the first Polish airport city will likely be developed near the Warsaw Chopin Airport, on 22.5 hectares of land which belong to the “Polish Airports” State Enterprise (PPL). PPL touted the project at the MIPIM property fair in Cannes, France, earlier this year and is now in talks with potential business partners. A large commercial development could also be built along ul. 17 Stycznia, on 10.6 hectares of land that is currently looking for an investor. In the long term, some regional markets, including the Tri-city region of Gdaƒsk, Gdynia and Sopot, are also expected to see the emergence of airport-related business areas. In Gdaƒsk, for instance, construction is already underway on the 45,000-sqm BCB Business Park project located near the city’s Lech Wa∏´sa Airport, DTZ said.

A preliminary concept of Chopin Airport City

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Adam Zdrodowski

COURTESY OF ECHO INVESTMENT

JLL’s CEE corporate finance line

COURTESY OF PPL

16

The project will deliver 25,000 sqm of space Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Echo Investment has secured z∏.93.3 million in bank financing from Alior Bank which will be earmarked for the development of its Aquarius Business House office project in Wroc∏aw. “Alior Bank is our new partner. We are happy to be starting our cooperation with such an interesting project as Aquarius Business House,” Grzegorz Iwaƒski, financing department director at Echo Investment, said in a statement. He added that there was a lot of interest in financing the development. “Alior Bank turned out to be a reliable and

efficient partner in the process and we hope to cooperate on other projects in the future,” Mr Iwaƒski said. Located at the intersection of ul. Borowska and ul. Swobodna in downtown Wroc∏aw, Aquarius Business House consists of two seven-storey buildings which will deliver a total of 25,000 sqm of office space. Construction on the first and the second phase of the development is scheduled to finish in November 2012 and September 2013, respectively. Eiffage Budownictwo Mitex is the contractor of the shell of the investment. Adam Zdrodowski

Property-related stocks

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Security

Closing price on June 14

% change (week)

52-week low

52-week high

% change (year)

Total shares

Market value (z∏. mln)

BUDIMEX

64.30

-3.60

63.90

92.00

-27.34

25,530,098

1,641.59

CELTIC

13.50

4.25

12.76

22.70

-33.89

34,068,252

459.92

DOMDEV

27.63

-10.58

23.50

50.45

-45.45

24,670,397

681.64

ECHO

3.78

1.89

3.05

5.38

-30.64

420,000,000

1,587.60

ELBUDOWA

90.00

-1.10

87.00

165.00

-42.05

4,747,608

427.28

ENERGOPLD

0.91

-6.19

0.85

3.91

-76.67

70,972,001

64.58

ERBUD

14.80

-0.20

13.71

30.50

-46.57

12,644,169

187.13

GANT

6.25

-0.79

5.85

12.95

-51.55

20,499,953

128.12

GTC

6.30

14.13

5.20

19.48

-67.53

219,372,990

1,382.05

HBPOLSKA

0.22

15.79

0.15

2.31

-90.27

210,558,445

46.32

JWCONSTR

4.29

6.72

3.86

15.20

-71.78

54,073,280

231.97

LCCORP

1.30

0.78

0.85

1.48

-12.75

447,558,311

581.83

MARVIPOL

8.50

3.66

6.20

9.95

-1.62

36,923,400

313.85

MIRBUD

1.00

-2.91

0.99

3.97

-74.49

75,000,000

75.00

MOSTALWAR

13.60

1.42

11.30

32.60

-60.48

20,000,000

272.00

MOSTALZAB

1.02

2.00

1.00

2.73

-64.58

149,130,538

152.11

ORCOGROUP

11.50

-3.77

9.68

33.48

-66.47

35,415,406

407.28

PBG

7.01

5.41

5.40

154.80

-95.45

14,295,000

100.21

PLAZACNTR

2.25

2.27

1.80

4.37

-50.00

297,174,515

668.64

POLAQUA

4.81

-11.74

4.53

18.80

-73.57

27,500,100

132.28

POLIMEXMS

1.06

-7.02

0.78

3.53

-67.18

521,154,076

552.42

POLNORD

13.19

-9.03

10.49

27.26

-52.79

23,798,439

313.90

RANKPROGR

9.97

6.06

7.85

16.97

-23.78

37,145,050

370.34

ROBYG

1.22

2.52

1.04

1.95

-37.76

257,935,500

314.68

RONSON

0.92

-1.08

0.77

1.45

-35.66

272,360,000

250.57

TRAKCJA

0.92

-1.08

0.65

3.13

-68.81

232,105,480

213.54

ULMA

38.89

-5.17

38.89

83.70

-52.69

5,255,632

204.39

UNIBEP

4.81

-0.41

4.47

6.70

-30.29

34,021,684

163.64

WARIMPEX

3.28

-0.61

2.95

8.84

-62.68

54,000,000

177.12

ZUE

6.90

2.53

5.07

11.27

-37.39

22,000,000

151.80


LOKALE IMMOBILIA – REAL ESTATE

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Residential prices

Housing expensive for Poles France, Italy and the UK, with residences that are less affordable. Despite low levels of affordability, recent years have seen a decrease in prices in the region. Between 2010 and 2011, the biggest drops across Europe occurred in Budapest and Warsaw, with prices falling by 26.1 percent and 9.9 percent respectively. Anthony Adams

Affordable in the north The average number of years it takes potential buyers in selected European countries to afford a 70-meter apartment 10 9.1 8.3 8 6.9

7.3

7.5

8.4

8.5

7.5

6.1 6 3.8

4

3.1 2.4

2

y Po lan d Fra nc e

ly

ar

Ita

ng Hu

ia

a Ne th in Cz erla nd ec s h Un Repu ite bli dK c ing do m

Sp

um

str Au

lgi

Be

rm

nm

ar

k

an y

0 Ge

Poles have more difficulty affording housing than most in Europe, a recent report from Deloitte has found. It takes 8.5 years for an average Polish citizen to afford a 70sqm flat. By comparison, it only takes the average Dane 2.4 years to save up enough for a similar residence, the report found. Warsaw is the most expensive city in Poland when it comes to residential prices, which outweigh Poland’s national average by more than 50 percent. Transaction prices for new dwellings in Warsaw are the second-highest in Central and Eastern Europe, after Prague. When compared to Western Europe however, Warsaw’s transaction price of €1,992 per square meter is low. In cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Rome, prices exceed €3,000 per sqm. The highest transaction

price per square meter was recorded in Paris, where it exceeded €8,000. “The affordability of own housing does not seem to correlate significantly with the economic level of the country,” says the report. It finds that Belgium, Denmark and Germany have the most affordable housing, whereas the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are grouped with

De

It takes an average of 8.5 years for Poles to purchase a 70-sqm apartment

Source: Deloitte

www.wbj.pl

17

Ronson acquires plots for new Warsaw project Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Ronson Development has signed preliminary purchase agreements concerning the acquisition of two adjacent undeveloped plots of land on ul. JaÊminowa in the Polish capital’s Mokotów district. The plots are sized 36,500 sqm and 81,900 sqm and are covered by a zoning plan which allows for the development of multifamily residential space. The prices of the pieces of land have been set at

z∏.25.3 million and z∏.57.7 million, respectively. The planned project will comprise over 700 apartments totaling more than 50,000 sqm of usable residential space. “The project in Mokotów exemplifies our strategy of increasing the scale of our operations,” stated Andrzej Gutowski, sales and marketing director at Ronson Development. The finalization of the deals is to take place between February 1, 2014 and June 30,

2014 and is contingent on a number of conditions, including the conclusion of a legal dispute concerning one of the properties. Ronson will now pay 25 percent of the price of the land, with the rest of the cost expected to be settled in the first half of 2014. By that time, the developer should be able to launch construction and sales of homes in the planned investment. Adam Zdrodowski

Robyg buys more land in Warsaw’s Bemowo district Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Robyg has acquired a plot of land in the Polish capital’s Bemowo district on which it plans to build a housing project comprising approximately 300 apartments. The value of the transaction amounted to z∏.14 million. The newly acquired land is located near the intersection of Warsaw’s ul. Po∏czyƒska and ul. Powstaƒców Âlàskich and lies adjacent to the Osiedle

Kameralne residential investment that the company is now developing in the neighborhood. “We are consistently working on enlarging the portfolio of our investments and the purchase of land in Bemowo is one of our key projects,” Zbigniew Wojciech Okoƒski, president of the management board of Robyg, said in a statement. He added that substantial buyer interest and very good

sales results in the Osiedle Kameralne development have convinced the company that another housing investment in that location will be successful. In the first quarter of this year, Robyg launched sales of a total of 386 new apartments in Warsaw and Gdaƒsk. As of March 31, the developer was offering 1,033 homes. Around 1,100 units were under construction. Adam Zdrodowski


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THE LIST

JUNE 18-24, 2012

www.wbj.pl

19

Travel & Leisure

Passenger Airlines Serving Poland Listed alphabetically

Number of countries served worldwide / Number of destinations / Number of destinations served directly from Poland

Number of flights per week

www.bookoflists.pl

Major destinations from Poland

Adria Airways ul. Marsza∏kowska 28, 00-576 Warsaw 22 696-4520/22 696-4524 adria@globair.pl www.globairgroup.com/poland

22 696-8520

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND

WND WND WND

WND WND

WND 25 WND

Ljubljana; Sarajevo; Podgorica; Pristina; Tirana; Skopje

Warsaw; Katowice; Kraków; Gdaƒsk

Star Alliance

2 2006

WND

Aer Lingus Al. Ujazdowskie 20, 00-478 Warsaw 22 626-8402/22 625-3146 aerlingus@tal.pl www.aerlingus.com

22 626-8402

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

24 WND

26 WND

✓ ✓ -

-

22 75 1

Dublin

Warsaw; Kraków

-

7 2004

Rados∏aw Grabski

Air Canada ul. Marsza∏kowska 28, 00-576 Warsaw 22 696-4520/22 696-4524 aircanada@globair.pl www.globairgroup.com/poland

22 330-9450

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND

WND WND WND

WND WND

40 53 WND

Star Alliance

2 2003

WND

Air France SA ul. Nowy Âwiat 64, 00-357 Warsaw 22 556-6400/22 556-6415 mail.cto.waw@airfrance.fr www.airfrance.pl

22 556-6400

WND 136,468 127,446 132,952

WND 136,646 124,697 127,833

54 54

54 54

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

106 183 1

Paris; Havana; New York; Rio de Janeiro; Chicago

Warsaw

Sky Team

WND 1954

Alitalia Compagnia Aerea Italiana SA - Oddzia∏ w Polsce ul. Nowy Âwiat 64, 00-357 Warsaw 22 556-6800/22 692-8735 alitalia.warszawa@alitalia.it, www.alitalia.pl

801-107-700

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

17 WND

7 WND

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

39 77 3

Rome; Milan; Venice; Barcelona; Buenos Aires

Warsaw

Sky Team

WND 2009

Belavia Belarusian Airlines Poland Branch Al. Ujazdowskie 6A/111, 00-461 Warsaw 22 628-3887/22 629-8219 poland@belavia.by www.belavia.by

22 628-3887

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

4 3

4 3

WND WND WND

WND WND

28 30 10

Amsterdam; Baku; Beirut; Berlin; London

Warsaw

WND

1 1993

British Airways ul. Marsza∏kowska 76, 00-517 Warsaw 22 529-9000/22 628-6341 www.ba.com

22 529-9000

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

28 42

28 42

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

75 600 1

London

Warsaw

Oneworld; Transatlantic Joint Business Agreement

15 1959

Brussels Airlines ul. ˚wirki i Wigury 1, 00-906 Warsaw 22 650-3999/22 650-3998 infopl@brusselsairlines.com www.brusselsairlines.com

22 650-3999

WND WND WND WND

WND WND 69,203 79,515

WND 30

WND 30

✓ ✓ -

WND 70 2

Brussels; Madrid; Lisbon; Porto; Barcelona; Luanda; Entebbe; Dakkar; Nairobi; New York

Warsaw; Kraków

IATA

7 2002

China Airlines ul. Marsza∏kowska 28, 00-576 Warsaw 22 696-4520/22 696-4524 china-airlines@globair.pl www.globairgroup.com/poland

22 696-8520

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND

WND WND WND

WND WND

27 84 WND

Talpei; Denpasar; Bangkok; Jakarta; Kuala Lumpur; Hanoi; Hong Kong; Manila; Sydney; Brisbane

Warsaw; Katowice; Kraków; Gdansk; Poznaƒ; Wroc∏aw

Dynasty Flyer

2 2006

WND

DD Air Travel-Malév Hungarian Airlines GSA Al. Jana Paw∏a II 15, 00-828 Warsaw 22 697-7171/22 697-7477 dominika.domagalska@malevgsa.pl www.malevgsa.pl

22 697-7171

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

13 13

13 13

WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND WND

Beirut; Damascus; Tel Aviv; Ammam; Thessaloniki; Tirana

WND

Oneworld

WND 1957

Dominika Domagalska

Deutsche Lufthansa SA - Oddzia∏ w Polsce Al. Jana Paw∏a II 29, 00-867 Warsaw 22 338-1300/22 338-1301 www.lufthansa.com

801-312-312

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

226 WND

WND WND

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

79 187 7

Frankfurt; Chicago; London; New York; Tokio

Warsaw; Katowice; Kraków; Wroc∏aw; Poznaƒ; Gdaƒsk; Rzeszów

Star Alliance; IATA

WND 1971

Finnair SA ul. Prusa 2, 00-469 Warsaw 22 650-3922 www.finnair.com

22 650-3922

WND WND 52,000 62,000

WND WND 52,000 62,000

44 46

44 42

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

26 72 1

Beijing; Shanghai; Hong Kong; Bangkok; Delhi; Chongqing

Warsaw; Kraków; Gdaƒsk

Oneworld

WND 1973

KLM SA ul. Nowy Âwiat 64, 00-357 Warsaw 22 556-6444/22 556-6415 mail.cto.waw@airfrance.fr www.klm.pl

22 556-6444

WND 94,425 90,352 111,520

WND 93,738 93,675 114,825

42 42

42 42

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

106 152 1

Amsterdam; New York; Chicago; Nairobi; Lima

Warsaw

Sky Team

WND 1956

Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT SA ul. 17. Stycznia 39, 00-906 Warsaw 22 606-6111/22 606-9101 media@lot.pl www.lot.com

801-703-703

1,707,360 1,592,086 1,455,512 1,575,106

1,693,644 1,579,212 1,446,093 1,556,195

1,031 1,043

994 938

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

34 58 58

Gdaƒsk; Chicago; New York; Warsaw; Szczecin; Poznaƒ; Toronto; Hanoi; Wroc∏aw; Katowice; London; Frankfurt; Kraków; Rzeszów; Munich Bydgoszcz

IATA; Star Alliance; AEA; BARIP

2,200 1929

Marcin Piróg

Ryanair Ltd. Dublin Airport, Co, Dublin Ireland Dublin 0044 1279 666-277/0044 1279 666-201 www.ryanair.com

+363-1-609-7800

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

27 160 9

London; Dublin; Brussels; Frankfurt; Milan

Wroc∏aw; Poznaƒ; Rzeszów; Szczecin; Kraków; Gdaƒsk; ¸ódê; Bydgoszcz; Katowice

-

WND WND

WND

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) - Oddzia∏ w Polsce Al. Jana Paw∏a II 29, 00-867 Warsaw 22 850-0500/22 850-0438 reservation.waw@sas.dk, www.flysas.pl

22 850-0500

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

126 WND

WND WND

✓ ✓ -

30 127 3

Copenhagen; Stockholm; Oslo; London; Paris

Warsaw; Gdaƒsk; Poznaƒ; Wroc∏aw; Katowice

Star Alliance

37 1956

Wanda Brociek

Swiss International Air Lines SA - Oddzia∏ w Polsce Al. Jana Paw∏a II 29, 00-867 Warsaw 22 520-3456/22 520-3486 info.poland@swiss.com www.swiss.com

22 520-3456

WND WND WND WND

WND WND WND WND

42 24

42 24

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

38 72 WND

Zürich; New York; Bangkok; Dubai; San Francisco

Warsaw

Star Alliance; IATA

WND 2002

Bart Buyse

Turk Hava Yollari SA - Oddzia∏ w Polsce (Turkish Airlines) Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, 02-017 Warsaw 22 529-7700/22 529-7710 sales@turkish.pl, www.turkishairlines.com

22 529-7700

WND WND 29,260 27,369

WND WND 27,835 26,290

4 4

4 4

✓ ✓ -

✓ ✓

WND 160 1

Turkey; Middle East; Asia; Africa

Warsaw

IATA; Star Alliance

8 2000

Mete Akandere

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

Phone number for reservations

Arriving in Poland

Departing Poland

Summer 2011 / Summer 2010

Reservation

Telephone / Winter / 2010 / 2011 Online Cars Winter 2009/2010

Hotel / Self check-in

2011 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008

Notes: WND = Would Not Disclose. Research for The List was conducted in January 2012. Number of employees is as of December 2011. All information pertains to the companies’ activities in Poland. Companies not responding to our survey are not listed.

Airports served in Poland

Alliance

Number of employees / Year founded

Top local executive / Title

Toronto; Montreal; Warsaw; Katowice; Vancouver; Calgary; Kraków; Poznaƒ; Ottawa Gdaƒsk; Wroc∏aw

Commercial Manager

David Garcia Head of Representation

George Athanassiou Country Manger

Yuri Sobolev General Manager

Anna Ingham Director CEE

Jaros∏aw Nowicki General Director for Poland

General Manager

Bart Buyse General Director

Juhani Nuoramo CEE Sales Director

David Garcia Head of Representation

President

General Director

Director

Director

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, 01-747 Warsaw, via fax to (+48) 22 639-8569, or via e-mail to wbjbol@wbj.pl. 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.


20

MARKETS

www.wbj.pl

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Stocks report

world stock indices DJIA

NASDAQ

12,651.91 (June 14 close)

S&P500

2,836.33 (June 14 close)

1.53% (for the week)

FTSE100

1,329.10 (June 14 close)

0.19% (for the week)

DAX

5,467.00 (June 14 close)

1.07% (for the week)

0.35% (for the week)

Stocks have strong showing

NIKKEI225 6,138.61 (June 14 close)

8,568.89 (June 14 close)

-0.09% (for the week)

0.14% (for the week)

CHANGE: 0.51%

CHANGE: 6.88%

CHANGE: 2.97%

CHANGE: -4.42%

CHANGE: 1.13%

CHANGE: 0.93%

(year to June 14)

(year to June 14)

(year to June 14)

(year to June 14)

(year to June 14)

(year to June 14)

52-week high: 13,359.60

52-week high: 3,134.17

52-week high: 1,422.38

52-week high: 6,084.10

52-week high: 7,523.53

52-week high: 10,255.20

52-week low: 10,362.30

52-week low: 2,298.89

52-week low: 1,074.77

52-week low: 4,791.00

52-week low: 4,965.80

52-week low: 8,135.79

Andrew Nawrocki WBJ market analyst Polish stocks opened last week much stronger than their European peers. On Monday, despite Spanish bond yields rising on concerns of a debt crisis in Spain, investors got relief as a €100 billion deal to shore up Spanish banks was revealed. Though indices throughout Europe closed mixed as details of the deal proved scarce, both the overall WIG and the blue-chip WIG20 managed to gain more than half a percent. Shares continued to climb in Warsaw on Tuesday, marking the fourth-straight day of rises. Spanish bond yields came off euro-era record highs, though investors struggled for clarity over the Spanish bank deal. The WIG20 outperformed its European counterparts, closing 2.25 percent higher.

Major indices WIG

39,286.64 (June 14 close)

WIG20

2,207.85 (June 14 close)

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

06.06

05.06

04.06

01.06

31.05

30.05

29.05

17.05

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

06.06

05.06

04.06

01.06

2,000 31.05

36,000

30.05

2,060

29.05

36,800

28.05

2,120

25.05

37,600

24.05

2,180

23.05

38,400

22.05

2,240

21.05

39,200

18.05

2,300

17.05

40,000

28.05

52-week low: 2,035.80

25.05

Change year to June 14: 0.63%

24.05

52-week low: 36,549.47

23.05

52-week high: 2,895.87

Change year to June 14: 2.53%

22.05

Change for the week: 4.59%

21.05

52-week high: 49,747.78

18.05

Change for the week: 4.19%

Top 5 ATREM SADOVAYA MOSTALPC MAKARONPL PELION

Closing 5.88 4.72 14.08 2.87 28.50

% change (week) 52-week high 36.74 14.36 27.57 11.76 24.27 38.50 22.65 6.70 20.25 51.75

52-week low 3.80 3.41 10.35 2.31 23.01

Top 5 GTC LOTOS KGHM BRE TAURONPE

Closing 6.30 25.77 142.60 285.00 4.70

% change (week) 20.69 11.56 9.36 8.41 8.29

52-week high 19.50 47.50 199.60 338.50 6.81

52-week low 5.13 21.30 102.40 203.30 4.10

Bottom 5 ROVESE ONE2ONE BBIZENNFI RESBUD ELEKTROTI

Closing 1.98 0.47 0.35 15.40 8.30

% change (week) -41.25 -17.54 -16.67 -15.75 -15.31

52-week low 1.98 0.45 0.34 2.88 6.49

Bottom 5 GETIN POLIMEXMS CEZ PKOBP PGE

Closing 1.54 1.06 123.40 32.33 18.79

% change (week) -10.47 -7.02 -3.29 -1.13 -0.58

52-week high 13.56 3.55 148.50 43.75 24.98

52-week low 1.47 0.77 116.10 27.95 15.98

52-week high 11.00 5.05 0.92 70.00 11.90

Currency report

A calm(er) week

Other indices sWIG80

9,292.92 (June 14

WIG-Banki

1

1

5,566.53 (June 14 close)

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

06.06

05.06

04.06

01.06

31.05

30.05

29.05

28.05

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

06.06

05.06

04.06

01.06

31.05

5,100

30.05

35

29.05

5,240

28.05

36

25.05

5,380

24.05

37

23.05

5,520

22.05

38

21.05

5,660

18.05

39

17.05

5,800

25.05

52-week low: 4,944.19

24.05

Change year to June 14: 0.42%

23.05

52-week low: 36.59

22.05

52-week high: 7,071.91

Change year to June 14: -11.45%

21.05

Change for the week: 3.28%

18.05

52-week high: 56.98

17.05

Change for the week: 0.14%

40

Adam Narczewski X-Trade Brokers DM SA

14.06

13.06

1 12.06

0

1 11.06

08.06

0

0 06.06

05.06

0 04.06

3

0 01.06

31.05

3

2

52-week low: 8,218.71

30.05

2

2 25.05

24.05

2 23.05

22.05

21.05

18.05

17.05

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

36.74 (June 14 close)

close)

52-week high: 12,593.39

SOURCE: WSE

NewConnect

06.06

05.06

04.06

01.06

31.05

8,000

30.05

2,000

29.05

8,400 28.05

2,100

25.05

8,800

24.05

9,200

2,200

23.05

2,300

22.05

9,600

21.05

2,400

18.05

10,000

17.05

2,500

2

Change year to June 14: 8.00% 2

52-week low: 2,076.52

1

Change year to June 14: 2.01%

1

Change for the week: 1.55%

29.05

close)

52-week high: 2,922.89

2

2,234.22 (June 14

28.05

mWIG40 Change for the week: 2.49%

On Wednesday, a slew of disappointing economic and corporate data led shares lower, with investors cashing in on the recent mini-rally. Both the WIG and WIG20 shed nearly a quarter of a percent, though shares of GTC continued their impressive climb, gaining an additional 1.5 percent. On Thursday, shares were little changed despite Spanish bond yields nearly reaching 7 percent a day after Moody’s lowered Spain’s credit rating. Both the WIG and WIG20 shed about 0.10 percent. But feel-good moods were back on Friday across Europe, as markets were confident of a win for New Democracy in the Greek elections. The WIG and WIG20 followed the trend, posting strong rises of 1.15 percent and 1.16 percent respectively. ●

After weeks of high volatility, this past week was much calmer for investors on currency markets. After strong corrective movements, markets turned around and finished at the levels they began trading on Monday. Macro news showed that the US economy is slowing down. At the same time, the Moody’s rating agency downgraded Spain’s and Cyprus’ debt by three and two notches respectively with a negative outlook (indicating further downgrades are possible). Markets ignored most of that data and as WBJ went to press, were anxiously awaiting Sunday’s elections in Greece, which could be decisive for the direction of currencies over the next couple of weeks.

The EUR/USD opened the week high at $1.2665, before declining to its weekly low of $1.2442. A strong run towards the end of the week helped the largest currency pair to rebound just below the $1.26 area by Friday. On the local market, CPI inflation grew by 3.6 percent in May (annualized), lower than the previous month’s 4 percent reading. The z∏oty remained rather stable with no major moves. The EUR/PLN traded in the z∏.4.25-4.35 range throughout the week, finishing at z∏.4.29 while the USD/PLN, after reaching its weekly high of z∏.3.49, declined to finish the week at z∏.3.40. This week we are hoping for positive news from the G20 meeting and that the Fed will introduce additional stimulus. ●

currency rates 4.3398

4.3451

4.3394

12.06

13.06

14.06

4.3039

4.2841 11.06

15.06

SOURCE: NBP

4.3643 15.06

14.06

13.06

08.06

0.1046

0.1055

0.1052 12.06

11.06

PLN-100JPY

4.8

4.0

08.06

0.1

0.1041

0.1051

3.5740 15.06

14.06

13.06

12.06

11.06

08.06

3.5

0.1059

PLN-RUB

0.11

3.5977

3.6057

3.5987

3.5870

5.2772 15.06

5.3289

3.5734

PLN-CHF

3.7

14.06

5.3861 13.06

5.3285

5.3552 12.06

11.06

5.20

08.06

3.3971 15.06

3.4420

5.45

5.3020

PLN-GBP

5.70

14.06

3.4591 13.06

3.4566

3.4552 12.06

11.06

3.2

08.06

4.2925 15.06

4.3207

3.5

3.4072

PLN-USD

3.8

14.06

4.3310 13.06

4.3078

4.3222 12.06

11.06

4.20

08.06

4.35

4.2922

PLN-EUR

4.50


SPORTS

JUNE 18-24, 2012

www.wbj.pl

21

Euro 2012

Sparkling soccer and gripping historical sub-plots have enthralled a continent The first week of Euro 2012 was one of the best ever in the tournament’s recent history, serving up some top-class soccer and drama of the highest order. As WBJ went to press, Portugal’s 3-2 defeat of Denmark had been the only game to approach “classic” status, but almost every other had been gripping in its own right – for historical as well as for footballing reasons.

Historic ties As is so often the case in European championships, historic rivalry has been a major theme of the tournament, with sever-

al games stirring memories of past wrongdoing. “More than a game” was the headline in Rzeczpospolita ahead of last Tuesday’s match in Warsaw between Poland and highly fancied Russia, pointing to feelings of historical enmity that were to boil over into violence off the pitch. By a quirk of coincidence the match was also played on Russia Day, although as it turned out it was as much Poland’s day as Russia’s. The host’s Jakub B∏aszczykowski became a national hero by scoring what has so far been the goal of the tournament to earn Poland a 1-1 draw. Germany’s game against the Netherlands was another grudge match that evoked feelings and memories that went far beyond soccer. Germany won that match 2-1,

playing with an authority that was greater than the scoreline suggested. Perhaps the biggest outpouring of emotion was reserved for Ukraine, where veteran striker Andriy Shevchenko turned back the clock with two superbly taken goals to earn Ukraine a 2-1 victory over Sweden that sent Kiev delirious with delight.

Spain excelling in that area, while the tournament also hasn’t been short of goals. The championships are now beginning to get serious, and as the knockout stages begin, the tension is set to be cranked up another notch. Gareth Price

On to the knockout stages

England was one of the few sides to draw criticism for negative play in the first week, with former Germany captain Michael Ballack slamming the English team for “parking three buses” in front of their goal to help secure a 1-1 draw against France. Overall though creative midfields have been the order of the day, with both Germany and (no surprises)

There are two days left of group-stage play before the quarterfinals begin. Below is the schedule of the remaining games. None of the quarterfinal participants had been decided as WBJ went to press.

Monday, June 18 (Group C) Croatia vs Spain – 8:45 pm, PGE Arena, Gdaƒsk Italy vs Republic of Ireland – 8:45 pm, Municipal Stadium Poznaƒ

American football

Warsaw Eagles clinch home-field playoff game

Tuesday, June 19 (Group D) England vs Ukraine – 8:45 pm, Donbass Arena, Donetsk

COURTESY OF MARCIN FIJALKOWSKI/MAFFOTO

Warsaw’s 38-7 win over Poznaƒ guarantees them at least a second-place regular-season finish The Warsaw Eagles sewed up a home-field playoff game and at least the number-two seed in the Topliga playoffs with a sound defeat of Koz∏y Poznaƒ on June 10, 38-7. The Eagles remained undefeated against the Koz∏y (Goats), with seven wins alltime against the team from Poznaƒ. Tight end Grzegorz Janiak starred for the Eagles, pulling in three of quarterback Kevin Lynch’s four touchdown passes. Two of those touchdowns came in the first quarter, dur-

ing which Mr Janiak caught scoring passes of 30 and 15 yards to give the Eagles an early 14-0 lead. Safety Norman Seignious then scored his second defensive touchdown of the season to make it 21-0 after a quarter, and Claude Tindong’s second-quarter touchdown reception made it 28-0 at the half. The Koz∏y got their only points of the game in the third quarter, on a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jakub Kowalczyk. With the score 31-7, Mr Lynch came back out after being rested for much of the third quarter, and he quickly put the game away with his third touchdown pass to Mr Janiak. The Eagles are now in second place, a game behind the

Gdynia Seahawks and a game ahead of the Wroc∏aw Devils. They hold the tiebreaker advantage over both teams, meaning the Devils cannot catch them with only a game to play. However, a win next week for Warsaw and a loss by the Seahawks would give the Eagles the top playoff seed. In the other games over the June 9-10 weekend the Seahawks took care of the slumping Devils 43-28 for their seventh straight win, while the Silesia Rebels trounced the Kraków Tigers 65-0. With their win, the Rebels took sole possession of fourth place and look likely to nab the final playoff spot. The Tigers have been eliminated from playoff contention. AZ, AK

Andriy Shevchenko’s two goals against Sweden sent Ukraine fans into a joyous frenzy

Euro 2012 match schedule

Getting serious

Eagles’ running back Piotr Osuchowski breaks a tackle in Warsaw’s 38-7 win over Koz∏y Poznaƒ. The team now has a shot at gaining the first seed in the playoffs

SHUTTERSTOCK

A week to remember

Sweden vs France – 8:45 pm, Olympic Stadium, Kiev

Quarterfinals Thursday, June 21 (Quarterfinal 1) Winner of Group A vs Runner-up of Group B – 8:45 pm

Friday, June 22 (Quarterfinal 2)

(Quarterfinal 4) Winner of Group D vs Runner-up of Group C – 8:45 pm

Semifinals Wednesday, June 27 (Semifinal 1) Winner of Quarterfinal 1 vs Winner of Quarterfinal 3 – 8:45 pm

Winner of Group B vs Runner-up of Group A – 8:45 pm

Thursday, June 28 (Semifinal 2)

Saturday, June 23 (Quarterfinal 3)

Winner of Quarterfinal 2 vs Winner of Quarterfinal 4 – 8:45 pm

Winner of Group C vs Runner-up of Group D – 8:45 pm

Final

Sunday, June 24

Winner of Semifinal 1 vs Winner of Semifinal 2 – 8:45 pm ●


22

LIFESTYLE

www.wbj.pl

Concert

JUNE 18-24, 2012

Art exhibition

80s fever in Wroc∏aw Ukrainian Asphalt? Asphalt June 19-July 1 Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle ul. Jazdów 2 Warsaw

The Wolf” as part of their Europe-wide tour, which is set to continue until the end of July. Anthony Adams

Tickets cost z∏.89-150 and are available at ticketpro.pl

Opera

Contemporary twist La Traviata June 22-30 Teatr Wielki Plac Teatralny 1 Warsaw Since its Venetian premiere in 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, “La Traviata” has become one of the most performed operas of all time, second only to Mozart’s “The

Magic Flute.” Inspired by Alexander Dumas’ novel “La dame aux Camélias,” “La Traviata” tells the tragic love story of Violetta, an ailing yet beautiful Parisian courtesan, and Alfredo, a young nobleman who defies his family by chasing after her. Mariusz Treliƒski’s producton brings this classic tale to the stage in a contemporary

setting, with Joanna WoÊ and Pavlo Tolstoy in the lead roles. With accompaniment from the Polish National Opera and Dancers and the Teatr Wielki orchestra, “La Traviata” is bound to charm Warsaw as much as it did in Venice over a century ago. Natalia Kopytnik

For more information, log on to teatrwielki.pl

If you are looking for some relief from all the Euro 2012 commotion, then the Center for Contemporary Art will be featuring its own unique Polish-Ukrainian exchange till the end of the month. Zhanna Kadyrova’s exhibition “Asphalt” is bemusing – somehow, blocks of asphalt from Kiev’s streets are intended to constitute art – but it works like a charm. As a young start-up artist, Ms Kadyrova’s work transforms mundane and often

COURTESY OF CSW

Wroc∏aw’s Euro 2012 fan zone will be greeted on June 25 by famous British New Wave band Duran Duran, to the delight of fans of 1980s popular music. The band was formed in Birmingham in 1978 and played a part in developing a new sub-genre in the world of rock, incorporating elements of electronic and experimental music with punk rock. The elegant and sleek

image of the band, created by ad hoc fashion designers, gave them the reputation of being “the prettiest boys in rock.” The band’s appeal allowed it to sell over 70 million records over almost 40 years. The band will be promoting their latest album “All You Need Is Now,” along with playing their greatest hits like “Ordinary World” and “Hungry Like

COURTESY OF DURAN DURAN

Duran Duran in concert June 25, 8 pm Euro 2012 Fan Zone Rynek Pl. Go∏´bi Wroc∏aw

unnoticed urban elements like tarmac and fragments of concrete to form minimalistic objects that imposingly stand out and redefine their usefulness in the viewer’s mind. Many of the objects present in the exhibition have been taken directly from renovation works in Kiev ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament.

The two-week exhibition, part of the PROJECT ROOM initiative, is sponsored through the museum’s partnership with Bank Pekao, which aims to revitalize discussion and promote aspiring artists, like Ms Kadyrova. Anthony Adams

For more information, log on to csw.art.pl

Exhibition

Old Poland, new acquisitions Acquisitions 2010-2011 June 5-September 13 Wawel Royal Castle Kraków The Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków has opened a new exhibition highlighting the museum’s acquisitions from the past two years. Over 150 items were purchased or donated to the museum, including various paintings, jewelry, porcelain and other historical items. Some of the most notable include the so-

called Kodeƒ Gallery – a painted genealogy of nine generations of the Sapieha family made up of 72 portraits commissioned by Jan Fryderyk Sapieha in about 1709 for the Church of St. Anne in Kodeƒ. Among the artworks are portraits of Vincenzo I Gonzaga, duke of Mantua, as well as the Austrian archduke, later emperor, Ferdinand III. There are also two still-lifes by Martino Altomonte, court painter to Jan III Sobieski. Various silver and gold vessels of Polish

craftsmanship from the 17th and 18th centuries are also on display, along with rich Baroque jewelery. This additional exhibition focuses specifically on the art and culture of Old Poland, as exemplified by the so-called Sarmatian era, which reached its apogee in the 17th century. Tickets are z∏.4, free if purchased with admission to the castle. Natalia Kopytnik

For more information, log on to wawel.krakow.pl

Museums, galleries and venues in Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle ul. Jazdów 2 www.csw.art.pl Czarna Gallery ul. Marsza∏kowska 4 www.czarnagaleria.art.pl Galeria 022, DAP, Lufcik ul. Mazowiecka 11a www.owzpap.pl Galeria 65 ul. Bema 65 www.galeria65.com Galeria Appendix 2 ul. Bia∏ostocka 9 www.appendix2.com Galeria Asymetria ul. Nowogrodzka 18a www.asymetria.eu Galeria Foksal ul. Foksal 1-4 www.galeriafoksal.pl Galeria Milano Rondo Waszyngtona 2A (Praga) www.milano.arts.pl Galeria Schody ul. Nowy Âwiat 39 www.galeriaschody.pl

Green Gallery ul. Krzywe Ko∏o 2/4 www.greengallery.pl

Simonis Gallery ul. Burakowska 9 www.simonisgallery.com

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

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

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

State Ethnographic Museum ul. Kredytowa 1 www.ethnomuseum.website.pl Historical Museum of Warsaw Old Town Square 28-42 www.mhw.pl History Meeting House of Warsaw ul. Karowa 20 www.dsh.waw.pl Warsaw Philharmonic ul. Jasna 5 www.filharmonia.pl Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79 www.1944.pl

Galeria XX1 Al. Jana Paw∏a II 36 www.galeriaxx1.pl

Rempex Art and Auction House ul. Karowa 31 www.rempex.com.pl

Wilanów Palace Museum and Wilanów Poster Museum ul. St Kostki Potockiego 10/16 www.milanow-palac.pl www.postermuseum.pl

Galeria Zoya ul. Kopernika 32 m.8 www.zoya.art.pl

Royal Castle Pl. Zamkowy 4 www.zamek-krolewski.com.pl

Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Ma∏achowskiego 3 www.zacheta.art.pl


LAST WORD

JUNE 18-24, 2012

www.wbj.pl

23

Tech Eye

Apple expresses self-love at humdrum WWDC Vinci Tab II

COURTESY OF VINCI

enough to warrant a five-day event? Not really, in Techeye’s opinion, though there’s a small horde of unctuous, segway-humping fanboys that would probably beg to differ. In any case, we’re not inclined to spend more words on WWDC, so let’s have a quick look at the Vinci Tab II (Vincigenius.com). Unlike the average Apple product, which is ingeniously designed for use by adults, the Vinci Tab II has been designed to “inspire the genius” in children. The Tab II is available in two models which are mainly distinguished by the presence or absence of WiFi capability. Both are equipped with batteries estimated to last eight hours, Cortex A8 1.2 GHz processors and 8 GB of internal storage. The WiFi-capable model costs $249 ($50 more than its sibling) and has access to the Android

COURTESY OF APPLE

iOS 6

showed off OS X Mountain Lion, its latest desktop/server operating system, and a couple of MacBook Air and Pro models with updated tech specs. Yawn. The only thing of real interest was the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. This 15-inch notebook is almost as svelte as its cousin, the Air, and comes in two variants (each upgradeable, for a price) that pack some very respectable hardware: a 2.3/2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of memory and 256/512 GB of flash storage with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card. That’s not to mention the 220 pixelper-inch Retina display, which makes today’s HD TVs look like a bunch of ugly step-sisters. The MacBook Pro with Retina display is already on sale, starting at $2,199 and $2,799. And that was pretty much it from WWDC 2012. Yes, there were awards, networking opportunities and a rousing lunch with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alumnus LeVar Burton, but was it really

MacBook Pro

unctuous, segway-humping fanboys. Quintessential Apple, in other words. WWDC 2012 brought the unveiling of iOS 6, a new iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system. Among other things, version six adds an e-ticket app, an update to personal-assistant software Siri, better Facebook integration and iOS 6 Maps, a new map and navigation application. That last one is basically Apple’s way of saying “bite me” to Google Maps (which will disappear from future Apple products). Other than iOS 6, the firm also

COURTESY OF APPLE

There’s been much ado in the tech world recently, what with E3 kicking off the month and the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held last week. Unfortunately the word which best describes both events is “underwhelming.” We covered E3 last time, so let’s talk about WWDC. If you’re unfamiliar with it, all you really need to know is that WWDC is the Cupertino-based firm’s annual self-congratulation fest. It is planned by some of the world’s most talented control freaks, executed more slickly than a seagull in an oil spill and attended by a small horde of

app market. Hardware is only half of the offer, though. There’s also Vinci Curriculum, a set of developmental apps for kids. These are a bit pricey, to be honest, and Techeye hasn’t checked them out in-depth, so we’re not going to vouch for quality. Also, be aware that the original Vinci Tab had decidedly mixed reviews from consumers, so caveat emptor and all that. On the other hand, the second-generation Tab seems to have dealt with some of its predecessor’s bugbears and is a less expensive by a third. Is it on par with, say, Apple’s iPad? No way. But it’s cheaper, kid-friendly, designed to educate and its maker is learning from its mistakes. That’s a welcome sign. ●

Ever lunched with a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alumnus? Let us know: techeye.wbj@gmail.com

Warsaw Business Journal’s hugely popular investment guide To order a print copy or digital version of the publication, e-mail kwilinski@valkea.com or call +48 (22) 639 85 67, ext. 208



WBJ #24 2012