Poland. Beer exports flow into German, Czech markets

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“We brewed the beer that the Czech, the Hungarian, the German and the Slovak drink,” headlines Dziennik Gazeta Prawna writing that 2010 was a record year for Polish breweries.

207 mln liters of the alcoholic beverage were exported from Poland with the breweries aiming at increasing this result by twenty percent this year. According to the data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS), the value of such exports – mostly to Hungary and the Czech Republic – stood at 75,9 mln euro and the dynamic exports growth is confirmed by the breweries themselves. According to Ziemowit Fa?at, a beer market expert quoted in the daily, the growth can be attributed to competitive prices, economic crisis and uncertainty on the market. The hops beverage is also popular with growing communities of Poles abroad, hence the presence of Ireland in the top 10 of foreign destinations for beer brewed in Poland.

“A Pole with a wry face” is the headline from Gazeta Wyborcza which alarms that sixty million of high school graduates in Europe are using textbooks presenting Poland as a backward country putting on a martyr’s face and consecutive Polish governments have so far done nothing to change that. Such data was confirmed by professor Adam Sucho?ski, the author of a report prepared for the Ministry of Education who researched all European high school history textbooks before Poland’s assumed the rotating EU presidency. The results: the British “History in the Making” from 2002 speaks of “underdeveloped agriculture in Poland where machines are rarely used” while “A History of Civilization” from 2001 reads that “Poland is a sick member of Europe where anarchy, liberum veto or access to the throne could have been bought in the past. Are these stable features?”. To make matters worse, many textbooks are accompanied with pictures proving the deformed image and the negative stereotype of Poland as a country which is a victim of wars, persecutions and unsuccessful uprisings – says professor Sucho?ski in Gazeta Wyborcza pointing to many years of neglect on the side of the government and historians who did not participate in works on European textbooks as the reason behind it.

Rzeczpospolita reports that the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party is to launch its own internet television channel on today despite technical problems and failure to so at a pre-launch press conference on Wednesday. The channel will feature news updates from PO’s campaign trail, general party information and interviews with PO politicians. “In the absence of such a TV channel [in the past], we did all our voter relations live, but we figured the campaign was a good time to mobilize and roll this out,” the party’s MP Ma?gorzata Kidawa-B?o?ska told the daily.

Many of Polish dailies also report on the aftermath of what’s been referred to as “another hard day for Polish railway passengers” – the one-day strike by railway staff yesterday paralyzed much of the network in Poland. The already mentioned Dziennik Gazeta Prawna writes that whenever railway workers organize a protest there is less chaos at the stations then when the company introduces new timetables. Rzeczpospolita notices that yesterday’s protest by Przewozy Regionalne could result in a hefty price tag – according to various estimates that fact that over 2000 trains did not run for a day could cost up to 5 mln zloty.