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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » April 16, 2008
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From the news editor
April 16, 2008   
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From Feb. 4-11, 1945, the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain carved out a new European order in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, in present-day Ukraine. Poland's borders were moved westward and many of its eastern citizens were forced to move. Those who remained in their homes in what had been eastern Poland found themselves living in the Soviet Union. Polish minorities, especially those in the former Soviet Union, have been reminding Poland of their existence following the end of communism in 1989 and the breakup of the Soviet state in 1991.

Most of these people now live in Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia although some come from as far afield as Kazakhstan, where the Soviet authorities deported many Poles between 1939 and 1941. Polish embassies and consulates will soon be issuing the so-called Polish Card to people who can document Polish ancestry or activity in Polish organizations. This is a long-awaited privilege that will entitle those who qualify to a wide range of administrative and legal benefits including the right to work and study in Poland. Polish consulates have been flooded with applications ever since the initiative was announced.

A special commission investigating the January crash of a Polish military aircraft carrying a group of senior air force officers has released its 700-page report on the accident, in which 20 died. The report cites unprofessional conduct on the part of many of those responsible for handling the flight and operating the airfield where the plane attempted to land. The defense minister has already dismissed some of those responsible and the Polish air force will soon be overhauling its training regimen.

The euro and the U.S. dollar fell to levels not witnessed in years in early April. The continuing appreciation of the zloty is benefiting consumers, especially when it comes to purchasing foreign goods and services, but is causing concern among exporters whose produce is becoming less competitive on world markets. The Association of Polish Exporters has appealed to the Polish government to pursue an export-oriented policy. However, no drop in exports has so far been recorded. Polish companies exported 101 billion euros worth of goods last year and this level can be maintained over the next few years, according to forecasts.
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