Posts Tagged ‘Poland’

Poland downgrades the EU

November 26, 2015

The EU has probably never before been subject to as much internal dissent as it is today. And that’s even without the frustration and anger at the chaos within the EU about the flood of refugees at its borders. The Schengen agreement is effectively suspended if not yet in its death throes. The concept of the “Holy European Empire” is fundamentally flawed and member states are rebelling against the interfering hand of Brussels.

Poland’s new government has decided that it will no longer display the EU flag at its weekly government press conferences.

October 2015:

Polish govt weekly press conference October 2015 photo AP

Polish govt weekly press conference October 2015 photo AP

The new Polish government was quick to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with the EU. There could not be a clearer statement that the Polish cabinet does not intend to be bullied by the EU.

Lodzpost:

“We have adopted the principle that the statements made after the meeting of the Polish cabinet will be held against the background of the most beautiful, white-and-red flags,” Ms Szydlo, who was sworn in as prime minister last week, said in response to a question asking where the EU flags, which had previously featured alongside Polish flags, had disappeared to.

Szydlo’s Law and Justice party (PiS) won the majority of votes of last month’s election. This was the first time a party won the elections with a majority of votes in Poland since the collapse of communism.

November 2015

Polish govt press conference Beata Szydło November 2015 photo via Lodzpost-com

Polish govt press conference Beata Szydło November 2015 photo via Lodzpost-com

 

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Poland demonstrates that the EU is not one country – yet

October 26, 2015

Poland has moved quite decisively to the right and towards an anti-EU stance. It demonstrates once again that the dreams of a New Holy Roman Empire in the form a single European nation state are more than a little premature. A single state can only follow a levelisation of living standards and a natural homogenisation of fiscal and monetary policies. Brussels has to learn (and so do Hollande and Merkel) that a single EU state cannot be imposed by dictat or by fiscal and monetary coercion. The Euro has to be a consequence of levelisation. As a tool for levelisation, it is a very blunt and ineffective instrument.

Colours of the EU

Colours of the EU

BBC:

Poland’s conservative opposition Law and Justice party has won parliamentary elections. Exit polls suggest it has enough seats to govern alone, with an anticipated 39% of the vote.

Its eurosceptic leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has claimed victory, and the outgoing Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz of the centrist Civic Platform party, has admitted defeat.

Law and Justice has strong support in Poland’s rural areas. If the numbers suggested by the exit poll are confirmed, it will be the first time since democracy was restored in Poland in 1989 that a single party has won enough seats to govern alone, the BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw says.

Good news today: “Green groups walk out of UN climate talks”

November 21, 2013

The UN Climate conferences must count as the most useless, misguided and profligate international cooperation ever.Therefore one hopes that this report in the Guardian is true. The best thing that could happen would be if everybody walked out of these orgies of decadence and the world could forget the last two decades of waste.

I doubt it will happen, since these UN jamborees provide a wonderful and regular forum for the do-gooders and the catastrophe mongers to gather and wallow in their delusions. Mostly financed by taxes. The IPCC is at best a disgrace to both science and to international cooperation. I suspect the green groups think they will get valuable publicity with their walk-out stunt but will all return tomorrow.

They are on to too good a thing and I doubt that they will walk out never to return. But I can always hope:

The Guardian: 

Environment and development groups together with young people, trade unions and social movements walked out of the UN climate talks on Thursday in protest at what they say is the slow speed and lack of ambition of the negotiations in Warsaw. 

Wearing T-shirts reading “Volverermos” (We will return), around 800 people from organisations including Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the Confederation and ActionAid, handed back their registration badges to the UN and left Poland’s national stadium, where the talks are being held. 

“Movements representing people from every corner of the Earth have decided that the best use of our time is to voluntarily withdraw from the Warsaw climate talks. This will be the first time ever that there has been a mass withdrawal from a COP,” said a WWF spokesman. 

“Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel that governments have given up on the process,” he said.

More bad dreams for Boeing as Polish LOT demands compensation for Dreamliner problems

September 29, 2013

Yesterday it was an airline sending an aircraft back to Boeing. Today Polish airlines LOT has warned Boeing to settle compensation claims by year-end or face legal action.

Reuters: 

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Poland’s LOT  airline had to land unexpectedly in Iceland on Sunday due to a fault in its air identification system, a spokeswoman for the airline said on Sunday.

The plane was flying from Toronto to Warsaw when it was forced to land at the island’s Keflavik airport.

“The aircraft had to land due to an air identification system fault. The Norwegian authorities have refused permission to fly over its territory, even though other countries gave permission to fly over theirs,” Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras said. …

For state-owned LOT, which has struggled for years with huge operating losses, the incident adds to a list of problems with the Dreamliners. Last week it had had to delay flights after check-ups showed two planes lacked gas filters.

LOT is demanding from Boeing compensation for lost revenue and has given Boeing time until the end of the year to settle on compensation over faults or face court action.

European Parliament defeats alarmist scare-mongering that shale gas will “destroy the future of mankind”

November 22, 2012

Rational thinking still can prevail over alarmist hyperbole.

It is heartening to see that the European Parliament – which is not my favourite institution – has rejected a moratorium on the exploitation of shale gas and has approved the right of each member state to decide for itself on shale gas exploitation. It has been “green” fanaticism and the environmentalists propensity for myopic adhesion to ideology which has caused Europe to forget the simple reality that “the lower the cost of energy the greater the growth”.

On 20th November the EU Parliament debated reports

(more…)

Back to barbarism: Russian pedophiles to be castrated

October 4, 2011

Barbaric and anachronistic punishments – straight out of medieval times – of stoning, lashing, amputation of limbs, mutilation and beheading are not only common but are enshrined in the law of several Islamic countries. Of course even nations which pride themselves on their civilised behaviour still resort to the most exquisite tortures they can devise – whether at Abu Ghraib or at Guantanomo. But at least in most countries barbaric behaviour and cruel and unusual punishments are not enshrined in law.

Now Russia in a burst of machismo is trying to compete with Saudi Arabia.

Svenska Dagbladet reports:

The Russian Duma today approved a proposal to castrate pedophiles by 332 votes to zero. President Dmitry Medvedev had introduced the proposal in May this year. This means that anybody convicted of offenses against children under 13 years and deemed to be mentally ill will be subjected to chemical castration. 

The law must still be approved by the Senate before it becomes effective. Russia is now  one of the few countries where castration may be carried out as a punishment and joins Poland which is the only country in Europe which does so.

A measure of how civilised we really are must be the extent to which we allow or tolerate or excuse or justify barbaric behaviour. And physical punishment to be imposed on the mentally ill sounds to me like a society which is taking an easy way out and abdicating its collective responsibility.

The coming gas glut: Shale gas gets going in Poland

September 19, 2011

An estimate of the world’s recoverable shale gas reserves in 32 countries is as at least as much again as the world’s proven natural gas reserves as of 2010. This does not include large parts of Africa and Russia, the Middle East and SE Asia. It does not include known resources within the 32 countries but which have not yet been assessed. Fears of any kind of “peak” gas scenario being attained are rapidly disappearing into the future.

US EIA: The initial estimate of technically recoverable shale gas resources in the 32 countries examined is 5,760 trillion cubic feet. Adding the U.S. estimate of the shale gas technically recoverable resources of 862 trillion cubic feet results in a total shale resource base estimate of 6,622 trillion cubic feet for the United States and the other 32 countries assessed. To put this shale gas resource estimate in some perspective, world proven reserves of natural gas as of January 1, 2010 are about 6,609 trillion cubic feet, and world technically recoverable gas resources are roughly 16,000 trillion cubic feet, largely excluding shale gas. Thus, adding the identified shale gas resources to other gas resources increases total world technically recoverable gas resources by over 40 percent to 22,600 trillion cubic feet.

Outside of the US the recovery of shale gas is being planned in many countries. In Europe the rush to recover and use shale gas is being led by Poland which has been dependant upon its own coal and on Russian gas. The shale is not very deep down and is mainly in thinly populated areas. And now the recovery has started and commercial production should start within 10 – 20 months.

Shale gas is abundant in Poland: map via Wikipedia

Wall Street Journal: Shale gas is burning in Poland after gas firm PGNiG SA torched a flare on one of its rigs. Poland wants to become one of the major players in the European gas market within the next two decades, with the state-controlled natural gas firm starting commercial production in 2014.

PGNiG has begun technical production of natural gas from its shale gas concession in Lubocino, a village in northern Poland, and plans successive drilling as the company hopes to tap the country’s potentially vast unconventional hydrocarbon reserves.

Outside the U.S., Poland is the first country where companies are making a serious effort to develop shale gas, which Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called the country’s “great chance,” as it could reduce Poland’s dependence on Russia for gas, create tens of thousands of jobs and fill state coffers.

PGNiG now plans to drill horizontally and conduct further fracturing procedures on this concession, which may be completed in 10-20 months and will enable commercial extraction. …….

Prime Minister Tusk Sunday said he was “moderately optimistic” commercial shale gas production would begin in 2014, which would by 2035 free it from its overreliance on Russia’s OAO Gazprom for natural gas supplies and allow it to be a major player in Europe’s gas.

“After years of dependence on our large neighbor, today we can say that my generation will see the day when we will be independent in the area of natural gas and we will be setting terms,” Mr. Tusk said. Poland’s domestically produced shale gas should be competitively priced compared to gas imported from Russia, a government official said earlier. Exploration in Poland won’t pose a danger to the environment, he added.

China and India have not yet even fully mapped all the shale gas reserves they have but plans for commercial gas production from the reserves already known to exist are being prepared. With the slow-down expected in building nuclear plant the gas “glut” comes just in time for the gas based power production that will be needed when the economic recovery is established. Moreover all intermittent, subsidised renewable energy (solar and wind) need capacity back-up and the only viable option is gas based power plants.


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