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Recap of Dalai Lama’s visit to Poland

December 13, 2008

Polish Radio External Service - Poland
Top officials were on their best behaviour during the visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader, concludes Dziennik – with a sigh of relief.
Press reviewed by Krystyna Kolosowska
Dziennik is glad that the Polish President, the Prime Minister and several other officials met with the Dalai Lama, during his just concluded visit to Poland. Fortunately, no one brought shame on us, the daily writes. True, though, the Warsaw city councilors backed down and decided not to name a roundabout after Free Tibet. But the situation was saved when the mayor met with the Dalai Lama. Perhaps she, too, will be lambasted by the Chinese authorities, who already sent angry messages to President Kaczynski, Prime Minister Tusk and parliamentary speaker Borusewicz. It is worth meeting with the Dalai Lama, even if Chinese threats become more real to show the authoritarian leaders in Beijing that the values of freedom, democracy and human rights preached in western democracies are not empty slogans, says Dziennik.
The Defense Ministry is considering the purchase of small aircraft for the government after the recent series of breakdowns suffered by the obsolete government fleet. Gazeta Wyborcza and other dailies write that the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Lech Kaczynski had to fly to Brussels for the EU summit on board the same plane – it was an emergency situation. When the president announced he wanted to attend the summit, the premier offered the only TU-154, which was in working order to him. The other aircraft broke down due to frost during the president’s recent visit to Mongolia. Tusk planned to take a regular flight to Brussels, but it was called off because of trouble with the Brussels Airlines plane. Poland needs a bigger fleet for VIPs, parliamentarians commented.
Poland has to build a nuclear power plant – environment minister Maciej Nowicki tells Fakt. He is not an enthusiast of atomic energy, which is a complex and expensive technology. But, faced by strong pressure to cut back greenhouse gas emissions Poland has no choice, Nowicki declares. Fakt recalls that, in the early 1990s environmentalists blocked the construction of a nuclear power plant in northern Poland. But the climate situation was not as bad as today. Nowicki rejects opinions voiced by green activists who say Poland is a black sheep in Europe when it comes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Poland is among countries which have done the most to prevent climate change, Minister Nowicki declares.
There will be more NATO troops in Poland, reports Zycie Warszawy. A decision to deploy a NATO battalion is expected to be made shortly. The daily writes that Polish politicians and the military complain that it is hard to win consent for placing the alliance’s installations in this country. Before its expansion eastwards in 1999, NATO informally promised Russia that it will not deploy significant army units in the new members states. The Polish ambassador at NATO points out, however, that the deployment of a communication battalion does not mean a breach of this deal.
Super Express tabloid writes about a 30-year-old man who wanted to sell a stolen video camera on the web. And he adorned his ad with a photo showing himself and his home-grown marijuana in pots. He was absolutely astonished when policemen, rather than a prospective buyer, knocked on his door. This thief must have been really high, Super Express comments.
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