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The Warsaw Voice » Law » August 13, 2008
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Law in brief
August 13, 2008 By L.¯.    
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Road Projects to Become Easier
The lower house of parliament has approved an amendment to regulations on "special rules for preparing and completing public road projects." The amendment is intended to simplify and speed up road construction projects in Poland.

The new regulations offer financial incentives to real estate owners who decide to quickly move out from areas expropriated for roads. If they vacate the area within 30 days, their compensation will be increased by 5 percent. If the owner resides in the area, they will receive an extra zl.10,000 to cover the cost of their move.

Those who decide against taking advantage of such options will have a maximum of 120 days to hand over expropriated property.

Foreigner-Friendly Laws
Foreigners crossing the Polish border as part of what is termed border zone traffic may no longer be required to have visas if parliament passes a government-drafted amendment to the Aliens Act.

The obligation to obtain a visa would not apply to foreigners who live in the border zone of a country bordering on Poland and who obtain the necessary permit from a consul. The detailed rules for entering the Polish border zone without visas would be set down in agreements to be signed with individual countries.

The amendment, which is designed to adapt Poland's legal regulations in this area to EU law, includes many provisions that would make life easier for foreigners staying in Poland. Entering Poland, they will no longer have to show proof of medical insurance. However, this will only apply to short-term visa and non-visa stays. The upkeep money declared upon crossing the border would not have to cover medical expense costs, either.

No Weekend Jailbirds
Criminal offenders in Poland will not be able to serve time in prison only on weekends after parliamentarians rejected a draft law proposing such an option.

The draft sought to limit the social consequences of prison sentences, such as prisoners losing their jobs. This option was to have been made available only to offenders who committed minor crimes such as theft, car accidents, brawls, and minor cases of fraud.

Brussels Targets Illegal Labor
European Union officials in Brussels have proposed high fines for employers hiring illegal workers as part of a drive to combat illegal immigration to EU countries. The fines would include the cost of deportation and the need to pay outstanding taxes. EU officials also want companies caught hiring illegal immigrants to be deprived of the possibility to obtain EU funds. In an effort to prevent illegal immigration, the EU wants to increase the number of labor inspections in companies.

The European Commission estimates that there are 4.5 to 8 million illegal immigrants living in the 27 EU countries. If they work, it is usually in the off-the-books, tax-evading segment of the economy.

Seven EU countries, among them Germany, Sweden and Poland, are against the plan to clamp down on illegal workers. These countries say the new regulations would hit agricultural production, for example, because many farms rely on seasonal foreign labor. Sweden argues that each EU country should introduce its own regulations to combat illegal employment.
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