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The Warsaw Voice » Other » February 16, 2005
Chair of the Year 2004
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Voice's Gala
February 16, 2005 By Magda Kuszewska   
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Our magazine's award-The Warsaw Voice Chair of the Year-has been granted for the 16th time, this year to Prime Minister Marek Belka. The Grand Gala was held Feb. 11 at its traditional venue, the Sofitel Victoria Hotel.

Over the years, the award has won recognition and prestige within political and economic circles. "The statuette is shaped like a film director's chair," Andrzej Jonas, president and editor-in-chief of The Warsaw Voice, said at the Gala. "For 16 years, we have given it to persons, institutions and objects that in our opinion have had the largest influence on Poland and Poles in the previous year." On presenting the statuette to Prof. Belka, Jonas said: "The criteria are simple, democratic and objective, that is...the Chair is awarded by me."

As usual, the choice of the laureate was not easy. According to Jonas, Poland is being shaken by events of a political and scandal-related nature. Belka, who holds the post of the prime minister of Poland, happens to be building the country in a very "seismic" period. "Providing people with a sense of security and a sense of continuation in the world of politics is hard to do," Jonas said. "Our laureate manages to do just that." Jonas described Belka as an energetic and dynamic man who remains calm and manages to stay afloat on the stormy waters of politics.

Belka said he felt enormous satisfaction. "It is not true that people are indifferent to symbols of appreciation," he said upon receiving the Chair. "I will treat it as a good omen for this year," the laureate said.

The Warsaw Voice Gala was attended by many political personalities, businesspeople, representatives of diplomatic missions and the media. Among the guests were former laureate Leszek Balcerowicz, President of the National Bank of Poland (NBP), Deputy Prime Minister Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka and many other prominent guests.

Photos from Gala
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