Monday, October 10, 2011

Again (first time)


Donald Tusk has become the first Polish prime minister in history to be democratically re-elected for a consecutive term, exit polls show. Mr Tusk's centrist Civic Platform took 39.6% of the vote, followed by the national conservative Law and Justice on 30.1%, the liberal Palikot Movement on 10.1%, the agrarian PSL (Civic Platform's junior coalition partner) on 8.2%, and the socialist SLD on 7.7%, the survey by TNS OBOP said. Turnout was a paltry 47.7%. The surprisingly bad result for Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice came after the former prime minister made anti-German remarks in a newly published book. The vote for continuity as a sign of political maturity in Poland: is the first time it happens.

Tusk has said ""In these coming four years we will have to work twice as hard, we will have to act twice as fast".

More in The Economist and in the NYT.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Poland rocks

The road to recovery has divergences in Central Europe, the Baltic states and southeastern Europe. Estonia, Poland and Slovakia are forging ahead, with estimated growth rates of nearly 4 percent this year. The Polish economy has been sustained by resilient domestic demand and credit markets, writes the NYT. Latvia and Lithuania are still struggling after the excessive credit boom before the global financial crisis, when getting mortgages was easy, followed by fiscal retrenchment, when banks tightened credit rules. The secret? 

solid consumption, 

deep integration with E.U. markets 

the good absorption of E.U. funds. 

Polish banks in particular hewed to prudent credit policies before the global financial crisis

Poland was one of a few formerly communist countries in which peasants could own their land and small, independent trades were allowed.


Monday, April 04, 2011

New light on Lech Walesa

Andrzej Wajda, a veteran Oscar-winning film director and, at 85, presents a biopic recounting the Solidarity struggle. As The Guardian writes, Poland has had a complicated relationship with Lech Walesa. The love-hate of past years, however, is danger of fading into indifference and neglect. Poles are often surprised when foreigners ask after him, as if he is a half-forgotten uncle. Two years ago, Wajda took on another giant historical subject, the Katyn massacre of the Polish officer corps in 1940 by the Soviet NKVD. Wajda says: "This is not going to be a critical film about Walesa. I see no point. It's not the moment."

I just found that the author of the article, Julian Borger,  has some good articles about Poland has some here

Read de article here.

And more about Lech Walesa here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kurt Westergaard: “A fanatic has lost the very valuable feeling: the doubt”


Kurt Westergaard (1935) is probably the most famous Danish cartoonist since he created the controversial cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban. This cartoon was one of the 12 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons which met with strong and sometimes violent reactions from Muslims worldwide. Since the drawing of the cartoon, Westergaard has received several death threats and murder attempts. I spoke to him for the first time in 2009, at his place in a small town in Denmark. In 2010, a 28-year-old Somali Muslim intruder armed with an axe and knife entered Westergaard's house and was later shot, wounded and arrested by police. Since then, he is under constant police protection. But he as always choosen freedom to safety

Are we in the peak of war between civilizations?
For the time being we experience a clash or friction between two different cultures.
Should we speak with those who can't respect other´s life or it is better to fight them?
For a democrat a dialogue is the most natural way to settle a disagreement. But we must stand firm on our democratic principles.
In Spain many people blamed the war of Irak and Afganistan for the bombings of the trains in Madrid, 7 years ago. Can a democratic government be responsible of such attacks?
A democratic government should first of all defend its country. But sometimes it may be necessary to attack. But I think the Afghan war is a mistake. Seen with many Afghan eyes we are acting as cultural imperialists who want to impose on them our values. Values which most Afghans do not like and do not understand. And no foreign powers have been able to conquer Afghanistan til now.Let us instead try, to talk or negotiate with these people, offer them humanitarian help on areas they can accept. The time where the Western powers can be the policeman of the world with the big stick is over. There are other ways to support a growing democratic consciousness in Muslim world as we see it these days in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
You had a bitter experience with Muslim radicals. What have you learn from that?
I have experienced Islam fanatism very close. A fanatic has lost the very valuable feeling: the doubt. No dialogue is possible, we have got to crush them.
Is there any danger of losing part of our liberty in order to be more safe?
Safety has a very high priority these days. But let us not be overwhelmed by the fear of terror. That would mean more and more surveillance and there by reduce our liberty
Many terrorist are grown in poor/Muslim countries. But some, including those who tried to kill you and those who killed 191 people in Madrid in 2004, are grown in rich/western cities. How can we avoid this 'new breed of killers'?
To avoid or eliminate this new breed of terrorists  we in Denmark use a lot of money to integrate and educate emigrants children in our school system, so that they leave the school  on the same level of knowledge as the ethnic Danish Children, as for Danish reading and writing, mathematics etc. And thereby prepared to all kinds of education. Education is a good mean to integration.
How much time it´s needed for a real change in the Islamic world: towards peace, dialogue, tolerance and respect? Are you optimistic about the revolts in the Muslim world or do you think the situation of freedom and state-supported-terrorism can become worst?
Anyway till now I think, that the democratic revolution in the Muslim countries is the start of a development which if it succeds will mean very much for both the Muslim world and the Western world.
What terrorism want: destroy our values or being left alone?
The Islamic terrorism wants in its insanity to destabilise our world and scare us .
You retired as a cartoonist. Why you did so: tired, scared or want to focus in some other things. 
I retired at he age of 75. So I think there will be time  to have focus on other creative works.
You said bye with a drawing of 'Don Quixote'.
For me Don Quixote is the romantic idealist with visions, sometimes impossible, to get fulfilled, but necessary. Sancho Panza is always the realist. There should be a balance between these two.
In the front page of your memories it will be the most controversial cartoon of Allah. Why did you choose it?
The Islam terror has a part of a religion or interpretations of parts of religion as its spiritual ammunition therefore.

Interview for EL MUNDO in 2010 here (spanish)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baltic Way 1989 / Baltijos Kelias 1989 / Baltijas ceļš 1989 / Balti kett...

Paceful people from the baltics: in 1989 they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany with the Baltic Way or Baltic Chain. It was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic statesEstonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union.

The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities.

I learnt that you can break up with history without killing others.

But 20 years ago happened this.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Good Israel and the evil world

Some humor about Israel and how they deal with arabs. Eretz Nehederet (It’s a Wonderful Country), is Israel’s most popular and most iconoclastic satire show. In a skit from a recent episode, it imagines a Tel Aviv kindergarten class with a curriculum managed by Im Tirtzu, the ultra-nationalist group that last year led a scurrilous campaign against Israeli NGOs like the New Israel Fundand Breaking the Silence

Via Guerra Eterna.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


"Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true". -Polish Proverb


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