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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 13, 2010
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Business in brief
January 13, 2010   
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NBP Exchange Rates (January 11, 2010)
1 EUR = zl. 4.0595
1 USD = zl. 2.7983
1 CHF = zl. 2.7496
1 GBP = zl. 4.5128
100 JPY = zl. 3,0233

EU Approves Higher Budget
The European Parliament has approved a 122.9-billion-euro EU budget for 2010. The new budget amounts to 1.04 percent of the European Union's gross national income (GNI), up from 1 percent last year. The 2010 budget marks a 6-percent increase on the 2009 budget, which was worth 116 billion euros.

Poles Wary of Euro
Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed by the TNS OBOP polling center in late December said the government's plan to scrap the zloty and switch to the euro would harm Poland. Twenty-nine percent said the move would benefit the country. A further 27 percent of respondents said Poland joining the eurozone would have little or no effect on the national economy, while 7 percent were undecided.

Most of those enthusiastic about the single European currency have a university education and say they are satisfied with their financial status, TNS OBOP said.

Men at Work
The GDDKiA national road authority plans to start construction on some 1,250 km of roads this year, according to the agency's director Lech Witecki. The agency plans to spend around zl.30 billion on the renovation and construction of new roads, Witecki said. "We want to start work on 536 km of freeways and 711 km of expressways," Witecki said. The agency will also launch bidding procedures to select companies interested in building another 435 km of expressways, Witecki added.

Young Companies Hit
The global economic downturn has had a devastating effect on the youngest and most innovative companies in Eastern Europe, according to a World Bank report compiled on the basis of a survey of 1,686 companies in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Turkey.

Billions for Rural Areas
The Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture (ARiMR) paid out a total of zl.18.7 billion to farmers last year, including zl.7 billion as part of the European Union's 2007-2013 Rural Development Program.

Over the past three years, the agency has disbursed over zl.11 billion under the Rural Development Program out of a total amount of 17.2 billion euros that has been allocated to Poland.

Peacocks Comes to Poland
Polish company Empik Media & Fashion has cut a deal with British clothing retailer Peacocks to bring the brand to Poland.

Empik Media & Fashion said it plans to open up to 30 Peacocks stores in this country over the next five years. The company holds a seven-year license to operate the stores, extendible by another five years.

Peacocks has around 500 stores in Britain and 80 more in other countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Lithuania Without Nuclear Power
Lithuania has shut down its Ignalina nuclear power plant that met 70 percent of the country's electricity needs. On entering the European Union in 2004, Lithuania undertook to shut down the plant by the end of 2009.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has assured the public the country will not be left without electricity.

According to experts, Lithuania will now have to import electricity, and power bills will rise by almost a third.
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