Poland

The government leaders of Poland and the neighboring Czech Republic held intensive talks Tuesday in an attempt to solve a years-long dispute that resurfaced recently over a Polish coal mine, the Associated Press reported. The Czech government says the brown coal Turow mine, located in southwestern Poland, near the Czech and German borders, is draining groundwater from communities and causing other environmental harm to Czech citizens.
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Poland ratified the European Union’s pandemic stimulus package, overcoming a rift in the government to help open the taps for hundreds of billions of euros to flow to all member states, Bloomberg News reported. The approval banished worries that the bloc’s largest eastern nation could torpedo the 800 billion-euro ($961 billion) package after Poland teamed up with Hungary in December to protest efforts by Brussels to attach strings to the money based on adherence to democratic rule of law.
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A Polish dispute over the European Union’s 750 billion euro ($892 billion) pandemic stimulus escalated after the government unexpectedly canceled plans to discuss its ratification amid a split in the ruling coalition, Bloomberg News reported. Deputy Speaker Ryszard Terlecki said on Tuesday that parliament may have to gather for an extra sitting later in April to meet the deadline to ratify the program. With Poland in line to gain 58 billion euros from the stimulus deal, the divisions in the coalition are turning into a major challenge for Poland’s de facto leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
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Polish central bank has ramped up its quantitative-easing program, buying the most debt at a single auction since July in a bid to keep a lid on borrowing costs, Bloomberg News reported. The purchases worth 3.75 billion zloty ($968 million) included 1.5 billion zloty of notes issued by state-run lender BGK and seven series of government bonds maturing from 2024 to 2030, according to auction results published on the National Bank of Poland’s page on Bloomberg.
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Poland’s increasingly rickety right-wing governing coalition has split over the €672.5 billion COVID Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) — potentially endangering a project that has to be approved by all 27 EU countries before going into effect, Politico reported. The RFF is part of the EU’s €750 billion Next Generation EU package, aimed at pulling the bloc out of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, as well as boosting key priorities like the green energy transformation. The ruling United Right coalition is dominated by Law and Justice (PiS) with two smaller parties.
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Poland’s government received an EU slapdown over its radical judicial reforms after the bloc’s highest court ruled Tuesday that changes to the way Polish Supreme Court judges are appointed may infringe EU law, Politico reported. The judgment comes amid growing concern about the independence of Poland’s judiciary, and forms part of a years-long legal and political conflict between Brussels and Warsaw over worries that the nationalist government is backsliding on the EU’s democratic standards.
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Polish manufacturer of steel foundations for offshore wind farms, ST3 Offshore – which declared bankruptcy in March 2020 – has been put up for sale by the Official Receiver of the company in insolvency, OffshoreWind.biz reported. A tender has been issued for the sale of ST3 Offshore with a reserve price of the company amounting to PLN 234,680,000 net (around EUR 52 million). To participate in the tender procedure, bids (unconditional and written in Polish) should be submitted in two copies until 14:00 on 10 March.
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Poland’s central bank moved to resolve the biggest threat to the country’s financial industry, offering commercial lenders help in converting $30 billion of Swiss-franc loans into zloty, Bloomberg News reported. The banks asked the monetary authority to step in after a multitude of lawsuits over the loans forced them into mounting provisions. But the stiff conditions attached to aid, which include halting dividends and shoring up capital, are already facing a pushback from the industry, meaning the deal may take time to hash out.

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Poland’s MBank SA and ING Bank Slaski SA are recognizing potential losses from legal battles over Swiss-franc loans, moving the industry closer to resolving a dispute that has long clouded its prospects, Bloomberg News reported. The unit of Commerzbank AG set aside a record 439.5 million zloty ($118 million) to cover risks from its foreign-currency mortgages in the final three months of 2020, likely putting the lender in red for the quarter.

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Polish carrier LOT is acquiring Thomas Cook’s German airline Condor, creating a leading aviation group in Europe carrying more than 20 million passengers a year, the companies said on Friday. Condor, which according to sources was sold for about 300 million euros ($333 million), operates a fleet of more than 50 aircraft while LOT has a fleet of 80 aircraft, Reuters reported. LOT chief executive Rafal Milczarski said he sees a possible order of around 30 planes from Boeing and Airbus.

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