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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » October 8, 2008
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From the NEWS editor
October 8, 2008   
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Organizing the Euro 2012 European soccer championships in Poland and Ukraine is a top priority for the governments in Warsaw and Kiev. If the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) changes its mind and decides the championships should be held elsewhere, the political consequences for the governing parties in the two countries would be disastrous. A decision like that would ruin the reputation of numerous politicians, while the damage it would do to Poland and Ukraine as attractive investment and business destinations is hard to estimate.

UEFA's recent announcement in Bordeaux, France, that Poland and Ukraine will keep the hosting rights to the 2012 championships, but that they could still lose the tournament if preparations fall behind schedule, allowed the two countries to breathe a sigh of relief. But it also added to fears that if the hosts fail to meet another deadline set by UEFA, the soccer authorities may finally run out of patience. To make matters worse, the Polish government has once again clashed with the Polish Soccer Association (PZPN), provoking a sharp protest from the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the world's top soccer governing body. This may have a devastating effect on relations with UEFA.

Will the global economic crisis hit Poland? So far, the news from overseas have caused an ongoing bear market at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, whose main indices have plummeted by over one-third in the past 12 months. Economists say, however, that the Polish economy is doing well and any anxieties should not be blown out of proportion.

Meanwhile, Polish shipyards are in trouble. Neelie Kroes, the EU competition commissioner, has turned down the last-chance restructuring plans Warsaw put forward for the sinking shipbuilding industry. The commissioner's decision may result in bankruptcy on a spectacular scale.
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