Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Pragmatism in Poland?

Well, it certainly seems as if something has dawned on somebody in Poland.

Poland is loosening its visa restrictions on workers from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in order to ease a labor shortage in the farming and construction sectors, the Labor Ministry said Wednesday.

New rules go into effect this Friday, slashing the cost of work visas for citizens from the three former Soviet republics from 900 zlotys (US$330; €240) to 100 zlotys (US$37; €27), and easing bureaucratic restrictions, the deputy minister of labor, Kazimierz Kuberski, told the news agency PAP.
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More on Poland ...

We are not quite done with Poland and Eastern Europe yet and I don't suspect we will be soon. As such, this is very much an ongoing (fast) process both in terms of what actually goes on the ground in CEE economies but also when it comes to our investigation of the matter. In the post below, I noted briefly how Poland is now taking concrete steps to address the issue of labour shortage. This piece from Ukrayinska Pravda further elaborates ...
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Running out of Capacity in Central and Eastern Europe

Well, it is pretty much official now I think that some countries in Eastern Europe might be heading for an economic crash. As such, both the FT and the Economist recently ran articles on this topic in which warnings were duly handed out. On the record, I am pretty convinced myself that some countries might crash very soon among those the most notable candidates being Latvia and Lithuania. Behind this doom and gloom call is a very simple hypothesis that demographics matter for economic growth and that this fact is now hitting home big time in the CEE countries proxied by dwindling capacity to match expectations of economic growth and prosperity.
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Why it's not a good idea to scare away the creative class

In a recent report, Wirtualna Polska emphasized how the large population of Polish emigrants is not only relatively young and well-educated, but not very likely to return to Poland despite retaining strong ties with Polish culture.

Polish emigration to the UK and the Republic of Ireland since the May 2004 entry into the European Union has reached 500,000 to 2 mln people, research firm ARC said in a report out Thursday.
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Polish Fertility

This post is a brief "state of the game" one to accompany my last one on capacity problems in the Polish labour market. Firstly this link from the External service of Polish Radio which makes the claim that in 2005 Poland had the lowest fertility in the EU, at 1.24:

The declining birth rate observed for years has prompted the government to come up with a long-term pro-family program, which is expected to encourage women to have more kids. Poland’s fertility rate - that is the number of children per one woman – is the lowest in Europe. In 2005 it was 1.24, whereas the EU average is 1.5, according to a report just published by the statistical office of the European Union – Eurostat.
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Poland, Is The Party Over?

Claus has been posting on some of the macroeconomic capacity issues which face the East European "Lynx" economies in the light of massive demographic exodus that has taken place in some countries in this group in recent years.

I had long meant to post about this article from the Financial Times, which drew attention to the way in which young university graduates have been leaving Poland, and in particular Eastern Poland, in very large numbers:
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