How to reform labor market in Poland
Percentage of employed adults in Poland and Italy: 41 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
Percentage of employed adults in Great Britain, Holland, Scandinavian countries, Spain, and Austria: about 75 percent on the average.
European countries with high unemployment related to an outdated model of job security: Poland, Italy, and France.
Countries that invest in old-age pensioners (and allow retirement before the age of 65-67) instead of investing in young people and their children: Italy, Poland.
Percentage of British population working in factories 30 years ago: 40 percent.
Percentage of British population working in factories in 2006: 12 percent.
Percentage of British population employed in agriculture in 2006: 2 percent.
Sources of jobs for Britishers in 2006: services and information technology.
Recommendations: countries have to be open to change and have to reduce or abolish the unsustainable “cradle to grave” security. Education is the key to these changes: information society requires that an American model of employment practice be introduced in Europe.
Source: Anthony Giddens, “Jak ocalić model socjalny,” tr. by Anna Topczewska, Europa (Dziennik), no. 46/2006, 9 <www.dziennik.pl/magazyny/europa/wydania/artykul,324.html>.
Robin Hood reversed
2006 GDP per capita in Poland and Germany, respectively: 7,100 dollars and 34,580 dollars.
Reason this is relevant: in 2006 the German organization Preussische Treuhand [Prussian Trust] demanded reparations from Poland for German losses of property due to border changes after the Second World War.
Sources: World Bank figures for 2006, as reported by BBC at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1054681.stm>, as of 30 January 2007; Thomas Urban, “Historische Belastungen der Intergration Polens in die EU,” Bundescentrale f�<r politische Bildung, <www.bpb.de/publikationen/M680RU,2,0,Historische_Belastungen_der_Integration_Polens_in_die_EU.htm>l, as of 30 January 2007.
Projected drop in the population of Germany by 2050: 12 million, or 15 percent (from 82.4 million in 2006 to 69-74 million in 2050).
Projected drop in the working age population by 2050: 22 percent.
Areas where decline will be the steepest: former East Germany.
Source: German government report, as reported by UPI (Berlin), 8 November 2006.
Restitution by Poland of Jewish property lost during the German Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939-45 and never restored by governments of Soviet-occupied Poland in 1945-1989
Day when 20 representatives of world Jewish organizations are scheduled to begin to arrive in Poland to make a unified demand for the return of said property: 27 February 2007.
Percentage of original value to be reimbursed, as proposed by the Polish government and Sejm: 15 percent.
Percentage of American Jews who are willing to accept this percentage, according to Yehuda Evron of the Holocaust Restitution Committee: 50 percent.
Alleged goal of organizing a Jewish meeting in Poland: to demand a larger restitution.Percentage of value of Jewish property that he state of Hungary reimbursed claimants: 7 percent.
Jewish proposal for how the claims should be handled: payments should start in 2009 and should be made in four installments.
GDP per capita in the United States (where most of the Jewish claimant organizations are located), Israel, and Poland: 43,740 dollars, 18,620 dollars, and 7,100 dollars, respectively.
Market capitalization per capita in the United States, Israel, and Poland: 57,165 dollars, 18,199 dollars, and 2,432 dollars per person, respectively.
Sources: Jędrzej Bielecki and Katarzyna Zuchnowicz, “Przywódcy amerykacańskich Žydów: czas na odszkodowania z Polski,” Rzeczpospolita, 3 February 2007; World Bank figures for 2006, as reported by BBC at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles.stm; Pocket World in Figures: 2007 (London: Economist, 2007).
Organic foods in Poland
Cost of campaign (launched in November 2006) to promote cultivation of organic fruits and vegetables in Poland: 12 million zloties (4.2 million dollars).
Campaign underwriters: ministry of agriculture (50 percent) and EU ecological fund (50 percent).
Certified organic products as percentage of all foodstuffs sold in Poland in 2006: 1 percent.
Number of farms and plants that produce and process them: 8200 farms and 125 processing plants.
Source: Rzeczpospolita, 7 November 2006.
Who buys Polish goods
Percentage increase in 2006 (by comparison to 2005) of Polish exports to the Czech Republic: 49 percent; Slovakia: 44 percent; Ukraine: 56 percent; Bulgaria: 52 percent.
Average increase of Polish exports to post-Soviet countries of Central and Eastern Europe: 50 percent.
Goods exported: cars, food products, household items, building materials.
Overall increase in 2006 of Polish exports in 2006 (in comparison to 2005): 20 percent.
Main export destinations: Germany (29.5 percent of all exports); Italy (6.0 percent;, and France (5.9 percent).
Estimated total value of exports in 2006: 100 billion dollars.
Source: Rzezpospolita, 3 February 2007; Pocket World in Figures: 2007 (London: Economist, 2007).
Expenditures on research and development in selected countries, in descending order
No. 1, Israel: 4.35 percent of GDP; no. 2, Sweden: 4.27 percent; no. 7, United States: 2.59 percent; no. 10, Germany: 2.51 percent; no. 24, Russia: 1.28 percent; no. 25, Czech Republic: 1.26 percent; no. 41, Poland: 0.59 percent.
Source: Pocket World in Figures: 2007 (London: Economist, 2007).
Siberian oil and Europe
Percentage of Siberian crude oil exports to EU that went through Belarus in 2006: approximately 33 percent, or 80 million tons.
Percentage change since 2005: about 10 percent less than in 2005.
Reason for the decrease: deliberate cessation of Russian oil deliveries by pipeline to Lithuania since mid-2006, and switch of some Russian crude transit to Primorsk.
Russian plans for expanding export of Siberian crude through the Baltic ports via tankers and the Russian-German pipeline: expanding Primorsk and other Baltic ports to handle tankers carrying up to 200,000 tons of crude, and building a pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Ecological dangers from this venture: Russian companies have no experience in producing oil pipes able to withstand pressure, salinity, corrosion, and other adverse factors at the bottom of the Baltic Sea; the Straits separating the Baltic from the North Sea would become crowded and endangered.
Source: Vladimir Socor, “Growing Risks to Baltic Sea Safety from Russian
Energy Projects,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 4, no. 22 (31 January 2007).
Sideshow in Chechnya
Percentage of Russians in 2007 who believe that only genocide or deportation of all Chechens will solve the situation in Chechnya: 10 percent.
Percentage of Russians who unequivocally recommend Chechen genocide: 2 percent.
Percentage of Russians who believe that granting Chechnya independence is the answer: 19 percent.
Percentage of Russians in 2007 who regard the situation in Chechnya and the Caucasus as “tense”: 67 percent.
Percentage of Russians in 2007 who regard the situation in Chechnya and the Caucasus as “critical and dangerously explosive”: 10 percent.
Percentage of Russians who regard that situation as “calm”: 15 percent.
Percentage of Russians who believe that the situation in the region will not change for the better in the near future: 54 percent.
Percentage of those who think the war is still going on vs. those who think it has ceased: 44 percent vs. 42 percent.
Year in which the Kremlin instructed all Russian TV channels to report only optimistic views of the region: 2006.
Source: The Levada Poll in Russia, as reported by Andrei Smirnov in
Chechnya Weekly (The Jamestown Foundation), vol. VIII, no. 5.
to the April 2007 Issue
The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 4/3/07