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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » February 18, 2009
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From the NEWS editor
February 18, 2009   
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There was, sadly, no happy ending this time. Polish geologist Piotr Stańczak, kidnapped in Pakistan by the Taliban at the end of September, has been brutally murdered. Four months of concerted efforts by Polish diplomats and intelligence services and Pakistani negotiators failed to bring any results. In trying to save the life of the geologist, the government in Islamabad did not take the risk of agreeing to the kidnappers' political demands. And the kidnappers demanded a lot, from a withdrawal of the Pakistani army from areas occupied by the Taliban to the release of a group of imprisoned Taliban fighters responsible for numerous acts of terror. Offers of ransom, if these were even made, were not enough to stop the kidnappers from carrying out a high profile "execution." This sad, shocking episode has not yet drawn to a close, as negotiations continue to recover the victim's body.

The Polish currency has plummeted amid the global financial crisis and after a suspected speculative attack on a massive scale. Over the past two years, the zloty steadily climbed against the biggest global currencies. At the Polish currency's peak last summer, the dollar cost zl.2 and the euro zl.3.2. Then came a sharp fall and the dollar now costs zl.3.7 and the euro zl.4.7. The fundamental cause of this state of affairs is another slump in the moods of foreign investors and the resulting colossal outflow of portfolio capital from Poland. How long this will continue is hard to forecast, but it is easy to predict how devastating it will be for citizens who have taken out loans in foreign currencies.
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