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The Warsaw Voice » Society » November 30, 2010
Society
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From the Editor-in-Chief
November 30, 2010   
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This was not an easy year, for either Poland or the Polish people. The list of woes has been exceptionally long and included dramatic events such as a spate of floods that took lives and wreaked havoc in parts of the country, depriving many people of possessions accumulated over a lifetime. But the most painful blow was when the president’s airplane crashed near Smolensk in Russia, killing all 96 on board—among them the Polish head of state and his wife and senior military commanders. The implications of this unprecedented tragedy are so serious that Polish politics has been overshadowed by it ever since. One direct effect was an early presidential election that changed the balance of power in this country.

Meanwhile, the economy has continued to grow despite the global financial crisis and growing public debt. Month after month, industrial output and consumption grew, and the Warsaw Stock Exchange—which was privatized at the end of the year—remained bullish. European funds were absorbed satisfactorily, foreign investment flowed in. With the country’s GDP expected to grow 4 percent this year, entrepreneurs are increasingly inclined to invest and public optimism runs at a decent level.

Though it was generally a tough year, some sectors blossomed. Spending on the science sector, for example, increased substantially and a comprehensive reform got under way, ushering in new instruments to stimulate the sector’s development.

Not only Poland had a tough year. In the wake of the globalized crisis came the challenge of globalized remedial measures. We have yet to face it properly. Decision-making bodies, conferences and summits are still more about hopes, promises and beliefs, not yet reaching any actual breakthrough decisions.

NATO also awaits a new chapter in its history, and with it the sense of security, also in our country.

It is easier to sum up than to predict. But, if the tree of the future grows from the roots of the past, the forecast for Poland, even according to the skeptics, is not bad. If… and here comes a long list of measures that every expert compiles differently. There is a broad consensus on one thing, though—public finances have to be reformed. Failing to treat this disease leaves the entire state and society in danger. Actually, that applies to almost the whole world.
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