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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » February 4, 2009
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From the NEWS editor
February 4, 2009   
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The global economic crisis has landed. What has been common knowledge for months has finally been confirmed by the government. Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced, with befitting gravitas, that this year will be exceptionally difficult and that economic growth might be as low as 1.7 percent. This comes in way under the government's recently forecast 3.7 percent and is even lower than the European Commission GDP forecast of 2 percent for this country. But at least the Polish economy will be growing, which is more than can be said for a lot of the "old" European Union.

Tusk has replaced Justice Minister Zbigniew Ćwiąkalski, who had been drawing political flak for his performance in office, with fellow Civic Platform (PO) deputy Andrzej Czuma. The last straw was the scandal that erupted after the third apparent suicide of a prisoner in connection with a case involving the shocking kidnapping and murder of the son of a Polish businessman. This is Tusk's first ministerial reshuffle after 14 months in office. Czuma, a prominent opposition figure during the communist period, has a hard road ahead.

Will the new U.S. administration share its predecessor's enthusiasm for deploying anti-missile systems in Central Europe? This is today's 64,000 dollar question for Poland and the Czech Republic. A "missile shield" radar station is to be built in the Czech Republic and a battery of interceptor missiles stationed in Poland under agreements signed last year. Moscow has bitterly opposed the idea from day one. Washington and Moscow might be on the verge of a political compromise that would see the project put on the back burner, according to reports coming out of both capitals.
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