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The Warsaw Voice » Law » February 20, 2008
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February 20, 2008   
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Military Neighbors to Pay for Noise

People living in the vicinity of the Krzesiny airfield near Poznań in western Poland will be entitled to compensation for noise under a new Wielkopolska province regulation. The new regulation doubles the restricted land use zone around the airfield where F-16 fighter aircraft are based. This opens the way for local property owners to claim damages from the military, which manages the airfield, for losses suffered including depressed property values. Owners of property situated in the immediate vicinity of the airfield can demand that the military purchase it. Claims must be lodged within two years and around 2,000 people are expected to do so.

Fight Against Human Trafficking

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings came into force in 10 European countries Feb. 1. Another three countries will adopt the convention May 1. The convention was drawn up at the third Council of Europe summit held in Warsaw in May 2005. Poland signed the convention during the summit but has yet to ratify it.

The convention contains a broad definition of trafficking in human beings. It recommends that signatories introduce regulations to prevent the practices it proscribes, coordinate their domestic and international efforts, and introduce measures to verify documents and identify victims of human trafficking. The convention provides for assistance to victims, including the right to stay in a given territory and to claim damages and legal compensation. Signatories are obliged to introduce sanctions and punitive procedures for activities connected with trafficking in human beings.

Agusta Appeal Dismissed
The District Court in Warsaw has dismissed an appeal from Italian-British company Agusta Westland against a tender decision on the supply of 23 helicopters and a flight simulator to the Polish Medical Air Rescue service. The company has now exhausted its legal avenues to challenge the tender committee's decision.

The tender was awarded to Eurocopter for its EC135 helicopter which, according to the company, accounts for over 80 percent of the global market for medical air rescue aircraft. More than 600 EC135s have been sold to 160 customers around the world. The French-German-Spanish group is a division of EADS which also owns Airbus. Eurocopter reported sales worth 3.8 billion euros in 2006 and employs 14,000 people. It has 17 subsidiaries and a chain of distributors, certified agents and service centers on five continents, including a presence in Poland.

Gov't Names Priorities

The government's priorities for the first half of the year are to reform the pension system and separate the powers of the Justice Minister and the Public Prosecutor, the Government Information Center has announced. The government is also keen to help businesses by simplifying commercial law and there are plans afoot to work out new proposals for the health care sector.

The government will be drawing up new rules for disability pensions and issuing guidelines to amend several laws to streamline investment procedures in the construction industry. Other plans include an amendment to the education act that would lower the minimum age for compulsory education to six.
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