Poland’s troubled flag carrier, LOT Polish Airlines, has announced that it expects to resume flights with its two in service Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft as early as this summer.
As a result of the grounding of the new aircraft, and delayed delivery of already ordered planes from Boeing until problems with the lithium-ion batteries are resolved, LOT has been forced to extend the lease on its Boeing 767 aircraft that were due to be replaced by the new planes this March.
On January 7th, the battery on a 787 operated by Japan Airlines caught fire after landing at Boston’s Logan airport. There were no passengers on the plane at the time. Then on January 16th, a Japanese All Nippon Airways 787 was forced to land after on-board sensors reported smoke originating in the plane’s electrical compartment.
As a result of these incidents, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all Boeing 787 Dreamliners until Boeing engineers can identify and correct any problems with the plane’s lithium-ion batteries and electrical systems.
LOT Polish Airlines had just landed their inaugural commercial transatlantic Dreamliner flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport the same day. The plane did not make the return flight to Warsaw as a result, and the second in service LOT Dreamliner was grounded in Szczecin aircraft after the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered all 787 aircraft grounded as a result of the move by the FAA.
LOT was the first European airline to operate the new Boeing jet.
At a family picnic with children people are going to cheer: Hurrah! We’ve burned the witch on the pyre! From tomorrow on, children in the yard are going to start playing by burning a doll, cat or a friend from preschool.
Polish government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment Elżbieta Radziszewska, criticizing the planned reenactment of the execution by burning of Barbara Zdunk in the town of Reszel. Accused of witchcraft and arson, Zdunk is often cited as the last person to be burned at the stake in Europe.
Minister Radziszewska also cited the reenactment as being discriminatory towards women in a letter to the mayor of Reszel.
As the government we are very determined to quickly - and as I know not without pain - implement the recommendations from Miller’s commission.
Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, commenting on the disbanding of the 36th Special Aviation Regiment and dismissal of 13 officers following the publication of the Polish report on the 2010 Polish Air Force crash that claimed the lives of then President Lech Kaczyński and 95 others. This regiment was responsible for the transport of political figures, as well as people within the ministry of defense and military command structures.
The commission that prepared the report was headed by Minister of the Interior and Administration Jerzy Miller.
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski announced today that the upcoming parliamentary elections would be held on October 9th, 2011. With his announcement, comes the official start of the campaign season.
These elections will see a few changes introduced by the passage of a new election law, including the ability for overseas voters to submit their ballots by mail. Previously, Polish voters living overseas were only able to vote at Polish consulates and embassies.
Disabled voters will also now be able to vote by proxy, through a person they legally-appoint to cast their ballot for them.
President Komorowski expressed disappointment that political efforts to make the election two-days long were unsuccessful. As is the norm for the Polish President, Komorowski made it clear that he will not play an active role in the election campaign.
The most important thing in the Smolensk catastrophe was that, the landing was attempted in weather conditions with no visibility, in which an attempt at landing should absolutely not have taken place. All other issues are secondary issues. They could have made the situation more difficult. But this is the primary reason and I would suggest not searching for some extraordinary explanations, because unfortunately in my opinion the issue is painfully straightforward.
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski commenting on the Smolensk catastrophe in his New Year’s address to the Polish people.
This event unarguably had the most impact in Polish public life and society in 2010, and among many in the opposition the matter of why the plane went down is still unsettled to their satisfaction.
The visit to Poland clearly had a positive impact on our relations.
Online whistleblower organization WikiLeaks went through with its pledge to release embassy cables from the United States and its diplomatic missions all over the world. The entire archive of cables totals over 250,000 documents, and span a time period from December 1966 until February 2010. The documents include cables from over 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.
Poland is one of the countries that may be affected in some way by the leak of these documents, but at present no details have been released by media organizations who received the cables in advance about any details concerning Poland or its diplomatic relationship with the United States. Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that he believed no state secrets would be released as a result of the release of the cables.
Poland is tagged in a total of 1,175 documents, and a total of 970 documents originate from the United States Embassy in Warsaw. Based on classifications used within the diplomatic cables, 31 of the cables originating from Warsaw are secret, 565 are confidential and 374 are unclassified.
As of the time of this writing, the WikiLeaks Cable Viewer web-site tallies that only 220 out of a total 251,287 documents have been released thus far. None of the released documents at this time concern Poland or originate from U.S. diplomatic missions on the territory of Poland.
This is a good step and an important signal.
A group of fifteen parliamentarians led by Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska have formed a new parliamentary group named Poland Is the Most Important (Polska Jest Najważniejsza). The name of the group was also the campaign slogan for Jarosław Kaczyński’s presidential bid this summer; a campaign led by Kluzik-Rostkowoska.
While the leader of the opposition Law and Justice party lost in the second round of the election to current president Bronisław Komorowski, the campaign was generally considered a success in that the polarizing Kaczynski received enough support to warrant a second round in which he took close to 47% of the vote.
Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska was credited with tempering the public image of Kaczyński, and steering public discourse during the campaign away from the emotional events surrounding the tragic air crash that took the life of President Lech Kaczyński, 88 passengers and the 7 crew members. She worked hard to present Jarosław Kaczyński as a more modern figure, focused on the lives and concerns of everyday Poles rather than partisan political battles.
After the campaign, the Jarosław Kaczyński and his Law and Justice party took a hard turn away from the tone and message presented during the presidential campaign. Many commentators in the media make the claim that former Justice Minister and Public Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, along with a group of hard line opposition figures, had regained control within Law and Justice and their leader’s support.
Throughout the fall figures considered ‘liberal’ and critical of the direction of the party were expelled from the party or its representation, starting with member of European Parliament Marek Migalski and culminating with the expulsion of Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska and Elżbieta Jakubiak on the 5th of November.
At the moment, the new parliamentary group is not an officially registered political party and remains a registered association. When the association was created, it was believed that it was just the first step in the creation of a new political party and with today’s move this seems to be the case.