Poland, Visegrad Group, Environment Policies, Freedom of the Press, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Polish and EU Politics, Economy, Polish Literature, Varsaviana, Poetry. Facts & Fiction.
16th Dec 2018 - The approval of a new law on overtime work by the Hungarian parliament on December 12th sparkled huge protests in Budapest. Dozens of thousands of people took to the streets for four nights in a row to voice their resentment against the so called 'slave law'. The new law extends mandatory annual overtime hours for employees from a maximum of 250 to 400 hours and give employers the right to pay them back three years later.
3rd Dec 2018 - A live interview for Radio3 Rai on the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the COP24, taking place in Poland.
1st Dec 2018 - What future for Donald Tusk? The current President of the European Council and former Polish PM will leave Brussels next year at the end of his second mandate. Tusk has been considering a comeback on Polish politics, but hasn't decided whether to rejoin his old party, Civic Platform, or launch a new one. Meanwhile, opinion polls show how he would be a serious contender for Poland's president role in 2020.
24th Nov 2018 - The story of 18 thousand Polish refugees - mostly women and children - who ended up in East Africa during WW2 after escaping from deportation in the USSR and lived there until 1949. The first longform published on a new editorial project I co-founded and focused on Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
12th Nov 2018 - On November 11 this year, Poland celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence. However, among the 100,000 or 200,000 people who marched along the streets of Warsaw on this important anniversary there were thousands who did so by showing far-right banners and flags, including Italian neofascists. A nationalist display that the mayor of Warsaw had tried to ban this year, but that happened next to a patriotic demonstration promoted by the government along the same route.
4th Sep 2018 - From July 2018, the Czech Republic has stopped issuing long term working visas to Vietnamese citizens. A decision taken unexpectedly by the Babiš government to tackle illegal activities run by people hailing from Vietnam, but that goes against one of the strongest foreign communities in the Czech Republic.
1st Aug 2018 - August 2nd is a poignant anniversary for Poland and for Warsaw as it commemorates the 'W Hour', the moment when the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis began in '44. However, in Poland today the simbology of the Uprising has been seized by neofascist movements, used in right-wing discourse and even by patriotic clothing brands, hence weakening the memory of that sacrifice.
21st July 2018 - Hungary will join the US as the only two countries in the United Nations not signing the Global Compact for Migration in December this year. A decision taken by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs to reiterate the government's negative view on migration as opposed to that of the UN. Meanwhile, the European Commission has referred Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU for non-compliance of its asylum and return legislation with European law. Two steps that deepen the frictions on migration policies between Viktor Orbán and the rest of the world.
15th Jul 2018 - Dozens of thousands of Poles were killed by Ukrainian nationalists in Volhynia in '43. Today Poland refers to those massacres as a "genocide" and created a national remembrance day on 11th July. However, what the Polish government omits to say is that thousands of Ukrainians were killed by Poles as retaliation in '45. This point of view and the contradictory approach of Ukrainian president Poroshenko on what happened in Volhynia are still causing frictions between Poland and Ukraine.
28th Jun 2018 - Ahead of a European meeting to discuss immigration, Polish PM, Mateusz Morawiecki, suggested that "something similar to a new Marshall Plan" should be launched to help Africa's economy and stop illegal migrants coming to Europe. A proposal that can be seen as a consequence of the colonialist discourse. Even though Poland never owned colonies, the country claimed colonial possessions in Africa between WWI and WWII.