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Yearbook 2012

Poland. According to countryaah, Poland was severely affected by the cold wave over Central Europe at the beginning of the year. Over 50 people froze to death, and many of them were alcohol-affected as they slept in the cold. Prime Minister Donald Tusk urged the municipalities to depart from their rules and admit alcohol-affected persons into the night shelters.

2012 Poland

Poland has signed the EU target of reducing greenhouse gases by 20%, but has blocked the proposal to go further and reduce by 25%. In March, Poland vetoed the EU strategy on how the reduction should be implemented. The motivation of the Polish government was that the country's economy would be damaged.

Poland has the EU's fastest growing economy and the power that drives growth comes from fossil fuels. Coal accounts for about 93% of Poland's electricity. One fifth of the country's electricity is produced in Elektrownia Bełchatów, Europe's largest and most polluting cogeneration plant. The company that owns the power plant plans to invest more than $ 100 billion from 2012 to 2035 to reduce its share of coal to 38%.

In May, the Polish Parliament approved a proposal to raise the retirement age. This means that most Poles will only retire at age 67, while the current retirement age is 60 for women and 65 for men. The retirement age is to be gradually increased and reach 67 years for men in 2020 and the same for women only by 2040. Women will be able to take part pension at 62 years if they have worked for 35 years. Men can do the same at age 65 if they have worked for 40 years. It was a compromise for Prime Minister Tusk to receive support from the Polish Peasant Party in the coalition for the new Pension Act.

The union bitterly resisted and threatened strike during the European Football Championship. The increase in retirement age is part of the tangible tightening that Prime Minister Tusk's government is taking to reach the goal of reducing the budget deficit to just 1% by the end of the current mandate period, 2015.

When Poland and the Russian Federation met in the Warsaw Football Championships in June, riots and violence erupted among the supporters before and after the match. 157 Poles and 24 Russians were arrested by the police. The street battles arose when thousands of Russian supporters marched through Warsaw.

Poland decided during the year to grant amnesty to immigrants who have been in Poland for more than four years. More than 8,500 people living illegally in the country accepted the offer of a two-year residence permit and work permit. Poland is estimated to have around 40,000 immigrants living in the country without a permit.

Prior to the European Football Championships, the construction of the Warsaw-Berlin motorway was completed, which, as well as the construction of a ring road around the capital and a metro, received EU funding. According to the government, since 2008, 1% of GDP growth has been through EU cohesion funds and structural funds, and almost 300,000 jobs have been created in that way. The EU funds must be matched with their own investments, which has contributed to Poland's per capita GDP growing from just over 40% of the EU average at the time of entry into the EU in 2004 to almost 70% in 2012. According to the government, it would have taken Poland two decades to achieve the same own hand.

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