Polish Government & Politics

This page has some "Official" information about the Polish Government                                                                          followed by unofficial comments on the politics.

The official name of Poland is the 'Republic of Poland'
The Official Language is Polish, a derivative of the Slavic languages.
The Currency of Poland is the Zloty, (Pronounced zwotty), there are 100 grozy (Pronounced Groshy) to the Zloty.
The capital of Poland is Warsawa, (Pronounced Vashava), English - Warsaw
Poland is a democratic republic where the prime minister is the head of the Polish government, the two houses, the Sijm and the Senate. The parliament has multiple political parties who's members are democratically elected. The power is wielded by a council of ministers chosen by the majority party in power. General elections take place using a system of proportional representation rather than the first past the post system. Elections take place every four years.
Shortly after the break from communism in 1989, the Polish Government consisted of over 35 political parties and as of 2008, the Polish Government has 4 main parties and around 15 minor parties. Several scandals have been exposed in this young democracy relating to corruption and Members of Parliament filling their own pockets. The head of state is the President who has a mainly representative role although does have the power of veto over the Sijm legislation.

Poland's recorded history goes back to 655 B.C. although the country was formed and existed from the year 966.

Unofficial comments:

The Polish Government is as many others at present still transforming to democracy, this process is virtually continuous and will probably take another generation to stabilize. The economy is reasonably successful, although the number of Poles working abroad is causing a shortage of skilled and manual workers in the homeland. The figures quoted are between 1 Million and 1.5 Million as of 2008, most are working in England, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The Polish worker is usually greeted abroad due to several reasons.

1) The salary levels in Poland are around 50% of those in the rest of mainland Europe and 60% less than the UK. For example, a good wage for a building worker in Poland would be 4,000 Zloty, (Around 1000 Euro). The minimum Wage in mainland Europe is about 2,000 Euro, although the salary for a building worker in the Netherlands for example would be at least 3,400 Euro. Therefore, there is a benefit for the employer and employee.

2) The Polish Culture is tied very heavily to the family and the fact that most Poles are working in another country with a family back at home to provide for tends to result in more stable workers traveling abroad. Back in the 60's and 70's when many English single migrant workers scoured Europe, there were problems with stability and consistency of the workforce.

3) The Polish work ethic is normally very good, although there are exceptions in any country. Polish citizens who have the tenacity and drive to work abroad usually have the better work ethic.

How do the Poles view the fall of Communism ?

Most of the younger people are naturally democratic in outlook although even this is colored by some of the unfairness in Poland, corruption has been deep seated in every walk of life for so many years its expulsion will take much longer. Poland government has made an effort, pushed by the European Union, to eradicate corruption and this push has been quite successful. Several City Mayors and other dignitaries have been imprisoned or removed from office over the last 8 years or so.

In the Polish culture a few zloty or small present in the right hands can improve the time taken for medical services, police assistance, government departments etc. the older generation, whose formative years were communist times, often accept this as the norm.

Many of the middle aged and older, poorer people would welcome communism back into the country. During the time before Solidarity and Walesa everyone had an income, food and a home, capitalism has seen more people drop out of an easy job and have to compete for work. Many people would tell you that the community spirit was much better under communism and not as materialistic as today.

While we are definitely not ones of those who would like to return to the former system, I have to agree that it seems to me that people in the late 80's did have more of a helpful attitude. This had probably grown out of adversity.