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The Warsaw Voice » Other » March 5, 2008
EURO 2012
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Time to Get to Work
March 5, 2008   
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The Euro 2012 European soccer championships in Poland and Ukraine are a terrific opportunity for the two countries to make their mark internationally. Billions of euros will be spent on the construction of freeways in Poland, on the enlargement of Polish airports and modernization of railways, which will vastly improve Poland's appeal to foreign investors and tourists.

The Polish government has signed up to the Infrastructure and Environment, the largest program in the history of the European Union, worth almost 28 billion euros. Coupled with Poland's own input, the program's budget totals 37.6 billion euros.

The Ministry of Regional Development in Warsaw has also signed 16 contracts for Polish provinces, enabling the transfer of subsidies from EU Regional Operational Programs to the provinces. A total of 16.5 billion euros will be available as part of these programs. Regional Development Minister Elżbieta Bieńkowska talks about EU funds for Poland in an interview on page 4.

Experts agree that hosting the Euro 2012 tournament creates immense opportunities for economic growth as a result of the huge funds assigned for the event. Adam Czapski, the mayor of Biała Podlaska, near the Belarusian border, hopes his town can get a slice of the cake. He is determined to obtain extra funds for investment. He has already begun to seek foreign investors. Read our interview with Czapski on page 10.

Modern aviation, IT and chemical industries shape the economic profile of Rzeszów and the southeastern Podkarpacie province. Rzeszów is where engines for F-16 fighter jets are fitted. The Aviation Valley industry cluster here groups several dozen companies and Rzeszów has become the undisputed hub of the Polish aviation industry. It thus comes as no surprise that the Special Economic Zone in nearby Mielec is attracting more and more major investors. Read more about projects in Rzeszów on page 8.

UEFA is closely watching Poland's preparations for Euro 2012. Progress is probably neither better nor worse than in other countries. There are lessons to be learned from how Cape Town is preparing for the Euro 2010 world soccer championships. It turns out that Poland is not alone in facing problems in preparing for a major soccer event, as our correspondent reports on page 6.

Marcin Herra, the newly appointed president of the Polish company charged with coordinating preparations for Euro 2012, has decided not to give any interviews for now. "Now is the time for work," he says. That attitude is exactly what the country needs. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Urszula Surmacz-Imienińska
Editor in Charge
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