Poland

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU leaders agree on 55% climate target by the end of 2030
EU leaders agree on 55% climate target by the end of 2030
Credit: unsplash/Markus Spiske

European leaders agreed to increase the bloc's emission-reduction target to 55 percent by 203 following night-long discussions at their two-day summit in Brussels. The coal-reliant countries Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic are finally supporting the goal after member states agreed that the new target should be delivered collectively.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Poland and Hungary issued ultimatum by EU over Covid-19 recovery fund
Poland and Hungary issued ultimatum by EU over Covid-19 recovery fund
Credit: unsplash.com / Guillaume Périgois

Three days before the decisive meeting of the heads of state and government, the other 25 EU states are now giving Hungary and Poland an ultimatum: either they drop their veto against the next seven-year EU budget, or the other 25 countries will remove the Covid-19 recovery package from the budget and re-issue it among themselves.

Regional News • Europe
Viktor Orbán states Hungary will stick by EU budget veto threat
Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Hungary will still reject any attempt to link the rule of law the European Union's budget and its coronavirus recovery fund, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.

The Hungarian and the Polish governments are under EU investigations for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations, so they risk losing tens of billions in funds. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told DW that his government will never accept any proposal that "would effectively leave us at the mercy of the European Commission."

Regional News • Europe
Czech and Slovak gouvernment criticise Polish and Hungarian stance on rule of law principle in new EU budget
Ivan Korčok Foreign Minister Slovakia
Ivan Korčok Foreign Minister Slovakia Credit: EU2016 SK / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Despite both being in the Visegrád Group, Czechia and Slovakia apparently do not share the Polish and Hungarian rejection of the compromise on the EU´s long-term budget and Recovery Plan negotiated by the German Presidency. The foreign ministers of both states have expressed their hopes that neither Hungaria nor Poland will effectively block the implemantation of those EU funds. According to Polish gouvernment sources, a video summit of the Visegrád Group will take place to discuss the disagreements.

Health
Polish women are seeking abortions in Berlin after being denied in their country
Polish women are seeking abortions in Berlin after being denied in their country
Credit: unsplash.com / 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

Since the Polish court put a near-total-ban on a law that allowed abortion in cases of severe fetal anomalies there has been a noticeable increase in calls to German charities.

One of them being the charity group "Ciocia Basia" located in Berlin who helps and supports Polish women who want to follow through with an abortion in Germany. A volunteer reported that there has been drastic inflation of calls from Polish women who had an abortion planned in Poland but are now not finding a doctor who is willing to treat them. Women who, if the verdict goes through, will be forced to deliver a sick baby and maybe even put their own life at risk.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union faces crisis as Hungary and Poland vetoed a new seven-year budget
European Union flags
European Union flags Credit: Thijs ter Haar (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The European Union faces a crisis after Hungary and Poland vetoed the bloc's historic €1.8tn budget and coronavirus recovery plan over attempts to link funding to respect for democratic norms.

The move unravels months of negotiations over the scale and terms of the EU's spending and sets the stage for a stormy videoconference meeting of the bloc's leaders on Thursday. The 27 EU heads of state and government had signed off on the broad spending package and the inclusion of a link to respect for the rule of law in July, after days of hard debate.

Regional News • Europe
Abortion ban in Poland delayed following nationwide protests
Abortion ban in Poland delayed following nationwide protests
Credit: LukaszKatlewa / via Wikimedia Commons

The Polish government has delayed the implementation of the new restricted access to abortion following a court ruling.

The head of the prime minister’s office, Michał Dworczyk, has stated that "there is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation, which is difficult and stirs high emotions" following continued protests.

Regional News • Europe
Poland: Coronavirus cases tripled in less than a month
Closed border crossing between the Czech Republic and Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic
Closed border crossing between the Czech Republic and Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic Credit: Darwinek (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland's Coronavirus cases have tripled in less than a month. The country has exceeded 300,000 cases as of Thursday, with a new highest daily count of 20,156.

14,631 hospital beds are currently occupied by Coronavirus patients and 1203 ventilators are in use.

Regional News • Europe
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Credit: Silar, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland reported 18,820 new Coronavirus cases. This is the country's highest daily case count. 236 people died in the past 24 hours. 13,931 hospital beds are occupied by Coronavirus patients and 1,150 ventilators are in use.

Law
Continued protests in Poland following abortion ban
Continued protests in Poland following abortion ban
Credit: Silar / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Following Poland's Constitutional Court decision of banning abortions in cases of fetal defects, protestors and human rights organizations keep gathering in several cities to protest the ruling. Abortion became lawful only when the mother's life is at risk or in cases of rape or incest. Protests have been ongoing since the ruling on October 22.

Business
Poland anti-trust regulator fines Russia's Gazprom $7.61 billion over new gas pipeline to Germany
Poland anti-trust regulator fines Russia's Gazprom $7.61 billion over new gas pipeline to Germany
Credit: James Offer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Gazprom pledges to appeal the case against the Nord Stream 2 project, which is also backed by five Western companies and headed by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Potential right-wing terrorist detained in Poland
Representative image of police forces
Representative image of police forces Credit: unsplash.com / ev

According to the Polish counterintelligence agency ABW, a German man was arrested last week in Poland. The suspect apparently has a right-wing background and a history of online hate speech. He was charged with possession of weapons and explosives. A further investigation is underway.

Regional News • Europe
Thousands of Belarusians protest peacefully as Lukashenko claims foreign attack on country
Thousands of Belarusians protest peacefully as Lukashenko claims foreign attack on country
Credit: Nasha Niva

During the day thousands of Belarusians have protested peacefully. Workers all across the country have gone on general strike including hospital, metro and factory workers.

Videos have surfaced that show police convoys apparently leaving the area around the independence square in Minsk. Lukashenko has appeared on television claiming that outside forces from Poland, Netherlands, Ukraine, and Russia have infiltrated the country in order to spark protests and destabilize it. He ordered all people to stay in their homes and not go outside.

Regional News • Europe
Freed protesters in Belarus describe being beaten and tortured by police, Amnesty International reports
Freed protesters in Belarus describe being beaten and tortured by police, Amnesty International reports
Credit: Witold Dobrowolski via Twitter

Amnesty International's director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Marie Struthers has stated that "former detainees told us that detention centres have become torture chambers, where protesters are forced to lie in the dirt while police kick and beat them with truncheons".

Multiple people including a Polish journalist have come forward to support the claims of torture. Witold Dobrowolski has stated on Twitter that he has been "kidnapped, tortured and sent to gulag" but is "now free and safe with members of polish diplomacy".

Regional News • Europe
Three suspects arrested after pride flags had been placed on statues in Warsaw
Three suspects arrested after pride flags had been placed on statues in Warsaw
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The Police police have arrested three people that they suspect of having placed pride flags on multiple statues around Warsaw.

All suspects have been charged with the offending of religious feelings and desecration of monuments. If the prosecutors decide to bring the case to a court, the suspects could face a fine of up to two years in prison if they get convicted for offending of religious feelings.

The flags had been placed on statues of the astronomer Copernicus, the Warsaw mermaid and Jesus Christ.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Violence against women: Poland to leave European treaty
Zbigniew Ziobro
Zbigniew Ziobro Credit: Ryszard Hołubowicz (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The justice minister of Poland, Zbigniew Ziobro, has announced that his country will leave the Istanbul Convention - a treaty that aims to prevent violence against women.

He claims that it "contains elements of an ideological nature" as it requires all signed countries to teach children about gender.

Women across the country have protested on thousands.

Law
Former Nazi SS member found guilty by court over mass murder between 1944 and 1945
Stutthof Concentration Camp
Stutthof Concentration Camp Credit: Pipodesign Philipp P Egli (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

In what is expected to be one of the last sentences as survivors and perpetrators of the holocaust are now of an old age, a German former Nazi SS guard has been found guilty. The court ruled that the now 93-year-old man is guilty of complicity in the murder of over 5,000 prisoners of the Stutthof Camp located in the part of Poland that was occupied by Nazi Germany during that time.

The two year prison sentence has been suspended and the man has been tried in a juvenile court as he was 17 during that time. He had been guarding the concentration camp between August 1944 and April 1945.

Regional News • Europe
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Credit: Nieuwegein city website

The Dutch city Nieuwegein has announced that the Municipal Council has voted to immediately stop the partnership with the Polish city of Pulawy over a report that Pulawy is now part of the "LGBT ideology-free" zone in Poland.

The council of Nieuwegein has previously sent a letter to Pulawy in which it expressed their concerns and now canceled the partnership. Alderman Marieke Schouten had previously stated that "In Nieuwegein everyone can be who he or she is, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, gender, religion or ethnic origin. LGBT-free zones such as in Pulawy are really unacceptable in our view".

Regional News • Europe
Poland's Andrzej Duda re-elected president
President Andrzej Duda
President Andrzej Duda Credit: EpiskopatNews (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has won five more years in power on a socially conservative, religious platform in a closely fought election.

Duda won 51.21% of the vote with Opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski receiving 48.79%, Poland's National Electoral Commission said Monday.

Regional News • Europe
Poland president to propose a constitutional amendment forbiding adoption by same-sex couples
President of Poland Andrzej Duda at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
President of Poland Andrzej Duda at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Credit: Wojciech Grabowski (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda said he plans to propose a constitutional amendment to explicitly forbid the adoption of children by same-sex couples. Duda stated he would draft the bill on Monday, and submit it to parliament.

Duda is running for re-election and During a campaign event in the southern town of Szczawno-Zdrój he said: "In Poland’s constitution, it should be explicitly stated that anyone in a same-sex relationship is forbidden from adopting a child,".