Posted by Rick Stine
on June 16, 2010
Sometimes you have to borrow money to stay strong.
That’s what Poland appears to be doing as part of its announcement today that it plans to ask the IMF for a $20 billion flexible line of credit. The move will increase Poland’s central bank reserves by one third and, in the words of that country’s finance minister, the line of credit is an insurance policy.
Poland is generally considered to be one of the healthier countries in the region. Yet it’s currency has been under attack by speculators.
For more on the story, click here for an account in Deutsche Welle of Germany.
Posted by Gabriella Stern
on April 10, 2010
Read about the 1940 massacre of some 22,000 Poles in Russia’s Katyn forest and one is reminded of the hideous history that buried Europe during the last century. Today’s crash of a Katyn-bound, Soviet-made plane carrying Poland’s president and other top government officials for a commemorative ceremony brings it all home: Simply put, the memory of Stalin’s murders, lies and acts of aggression lingers across great swathes of the globe. And in Poland, fierce resentment persists because the Russian government has declined to take full responsibility for Katyn, as colleague Marcin Sobczyk wrote from Warsaw this week. If Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev want to put things right, they will fully acknowledge Stalin’s culpability in the 1941 killings of imprisoned Polish officers and others while Poland mourns the loss of its leadership and prepares for constitutionally mandated elections. Here’s a Katyn website displaying what it describes as archival photos taken in 1943 by the Nazis as they exhumed the Polish dead. A U.S. Central Intelligence Agency website offers this account of the Katyn massacres. It’s an astounding tale that starts with the Russians invading eastern Poland as the German Nazis entered from the west. Stalin’s forces took thousands of Polish officers as prisoners of war, steering them into the Katyn region and murdering them. Next: Stalin and Hitler fell out, and Stalin forged opportunistic, if temporary, ties with Poland’s government-in-exile in London. In 1943, the Nazis, now in Katyn, found the mass graves and exhumed the dead – revealing Stalin’s culpability. But Stalin blamed the Nazis and the lie stuck for decades to come, even as evidence to the contrary emerged. With Glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev and then Boris Yeltsin accepted responsibility and the latter revealed documentary evidence of Soviet involvement. And yet modern-day Russia’s leadership still refuses to acknowledge the country’s responsibility. It’s an incredible piece of history worth recounting on an incredible, sad day for modern Poland.