WARSAW, July 18 (Reuters) – Poland’s decision this week to
suspend one of its budget rules so it can run a bigger deficit
was a U-turn for Jacek Rostowski, the finance minister who has
built a reputation as one of Europe’s toughest fiscal hawks.
Rostowski had been left with no choice but to accept the
policy shift, analysts said, under pressure from an economy that
has slowed more sharply than he expected and a prime minister,
Donald Tusk, worried that he will lose the next election if his
government does not stimulate growth.
WARSAW/VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lawyers for a man who alleges he was held in a secret CIA jail in Lithuania have accused the Baltic state of failing to give proper answers to judges considering the case at the European Court of Human Rights.
Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah alleges that he was held, seven years ago, in Lithuania as part of a global CIA program to detain and interrogate suspected al Qaeda operatives.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Energy major Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it was committed to shale gas exploration in Poland though it wanted more consultation with the government on draft amendments to rules before they are adopted.
Three foreign firms – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Talisman (TLM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Marathon (MRO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – have pulled out of Polish shale gas, citing difficult geology and short-comings in the regulatory environment.
PRAGUE (Reuters) – It was a moment of high drama: the Czech prime minister stood up in parliament to try to salvage a political career torpedoed by the arrest of an aide, and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, sitting next to him, had dozed off.
Schwarzenberg’s habit of napping has, instead of being a liability, made him popular among Czechs fed up with their political class and its endemic corruption, and desperate for someone who breaks the mould.
WARSAW, June 17 (Reuters) – Six European Union states have
asked Poland to explain why it is not paying billions of euros
that foreign construction firms say they are owed for work
carried out under an EU-backed road-building programme.
Poland’s state roads agency says it is the contractors that
are at fault, but the dispute risks harming Warsaw’s reputation
in Brussels, which is pumping huge sums of development cash into
Polish roads and railways.
WARSAW (Reuters) – With his fondness for tea in china cups and upper-class English accent, British-born Jacek Rostowski projects an air of cultivated calm, but the economic slowdown has put his job as Poland’s finance minister in the balance.
Rostowski, an admirer of ex-British leader Margaret Thatcher, has overseen one of Europe’s few economic success stories. When its neighbors were in recession, Poland grew robustly for most of the past six years, and stuck to tough fiscal discipline.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish prosecutors have extended until October a five-year-old criminal investigation into allegations that the CIA ran secret jails on Polish soil, a case human rights activists say the authorities are deliberately dragging out.
The United States has acknowledged it used a network of facilities in foreign countries to detain al Qaeda suspects in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, though it has never disclosed their location.
GARTZ, Germany (Reuters) – Like most people in Szczecin, a port city on the western edge of Poland, businessman Zbigniew Sawicki thought that when his country joined the European Union a decade ago, wealthier German neighbors would pour in and buy up the city.
But events took an unexpected turn. Large numbers of well-to-do Poles from Szceczin, including many of Sawicki’s friends, are moving into Germany and buying properties on such a scale that sleepy Prussian villages are taking on a Polish air.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Delays in Poland’s investigation into whether the CIA ran secret jails on its soil could have caused evidence to be lost and given security services time to cover their tracks, according to a submission to the European Court of Human Rights.
Lawyers for Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah, who alleges he was held illegally by the CIA in Poland, on Tuesday submitted an application the court to hear their client’s case. They argued there was no hope of him receiving fair treatment inside Poland.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Investors do not like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies but unless they pull their money out, causing a run on the forint, there is little to make him change course.
After a successful dollar bond issue last month he does not need an international rescue so the European Union, which says he is backsliding on democracy, and the International Monetary Fund cannot impose conditions to stop him.