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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 26, 2008
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Business in brief
November 26, 2008   
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NBP Exchange Rates (November 24, 2008)
1 EUR = zl. 3.7277
1 USD = zl. 2.9426
1 CHF = zl. 2.4691
1 GBP = zl. 4.3928
100 JPY = zl. 3.0409

Gov't Plans Two Nuclear Power Plants
The government is considering building two nuclear power plants in Poland, said Prime Minister Donald Tusk. He added that nuclear power is the cleanest and cheapest way to produce electricity.
No decision had been made on the location of the proposed plants, Tusk said, but they should be built in the poorest parts of the country so as to contribute to their development. Tusk added that the decision on the location of the plants should be reached by the end of this year.

Inflation Down
Inflation in October fell to 4.2 percent year-on-year, and was slightly lower than in September when it hit 4.5 percent, Poland's Central Statistical Office (GUS) said. The decrease was consistent with economists' expectations and was caused by a slower rise of food and fuel prices.

Direct Payments for Farmers
Some 850,000 Polish farmers will receive a total of zl.3.8 billion in direct payments from the European Union beginning Dec. 1. In November, direct payments reached farmers in the mountains and other areas difficult to farm. Farmers from regions affected by drought will receive a combined zl.2.7 million in compensation.

Layoffs at MAN, Whirlpool
German truckmaker MAN will lay off 150 of the 550 workers at its Niepołomice plant near Cracow. MAN says the layoffs are necessitated by a slump in the world's car market. The company's managers say the layoffs have been cleared with the unions and those leaving will receive severance pay higher than required by law. Additionally, they have been offered work at the company's two other Polish plants, in the south-central city of Starachowice, and in Sady near Poznań, in the west of the country.

Home appliance maker Whirlpool will also lay off 470 workers from its Wrocław plant, citing decreased demand on European markets. The plant has 2,600 workers and is in talks with trade unions on the terms of the layoffs.

Iceland to Join EU?
Iceland will set up a special commission tasked with analyzing the possibility of the country joining the European Union, Iceland's Prime Minister Geir Haarde announced last week. The ruling party will examine the issue in January, said Haarde, until recently an opponent of his country joining the EU.

Iceland was hard hit by the recent global financial turmoil and its troubles were also felt by the numerous Dutch and British customers of the internet arm of its Landsbanki bank who now have no access to their savings. "This problem is close to being resolved," said Haarde.

Port Północny Sold
Belgian company Sea-Invest has acquired a controlling stake in Port Północny Sp. z o.o. through its Polish subsidiary Sea-Invest Polska. Port Północny employs 250 people and transships dry bulk cargo in the Gdańsk seaport. Sea-Invest is active in 23 countries in Europe and Africa. It handles 120 million metric tons of cargo per year.

Car Market Plunges
October saw the year's second biggest monthly fall in car sales in Europe. Sales were down by 14.5 percent to 1.13 million units, according to the ACEA manufacturers association. Only August, with a 15.6-percent decrease, was worse.

Sales plummeted in Ireland and Spain, by 54.6 and 40 percent respectively, but rose by 12.3 percent in Poland and 18.5 percent in Slovakia.
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