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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » December 19, 2007
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from the News editor
December 19, 2007   
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December 13 has had negative connotations in Poland ever since the former communist authorities introduced martial law on that day in 1981. That period is generally considered one of the most gloomy chapters in modern Polish history. This year, however, Dec. 13 has taken on a whole new meaning.

This is the day the European Union reform treaty was signed in Lisbon. This long-awaited document aims to become the legal basis of the 27-member EU. Prime Minister Donald Tusk, speaking in Lisbon, said that this day crowned Poland's efforts in peaceful transformation and accession to the community of free European nations-efforts that the communists brutally tried to suppress on Dec. 13, 1981. Poland's current leaders say their country should be among the first to ratify the new treaty.

Bird flu is increasingly threatening Poland's poultry industry. At least five cases of bird flu have been uncovered in Poland recently and losses have run into millions of zlotys. Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki-who scored an international success recently when Russia agreed it would lift its ban on Polish meat products following his talks in Moscow -says there is no cause for alarm. But poultry prices have fallen 15 percent so far and the European Commission has banned imports of Polish poultry products from high risk zones. Sawicki says that compensating poultry farmers will not be a problem but that is cold comfort for those producers and retailers who lost sales in the runup to Christmas.

Poland and Ukraine celebrated the decision to award them the right to jointly host the 2012 European soccer championships as a national triumph. Now that the initial euphoria has died down it is time to get to work on building stadiums, roads, hotel infrastructure and the many other facilities needed. This issue of the Voice includes the first special section devoted to Euro 2012.
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