Poland

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 38.2
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 62%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: -0.1%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 323,25


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Polish92
Tzigane 6.5
Other 1.5



Main Cities Population
Warsaw 1 700 536
Lodz 764 168
Cracow 756 757
Wroclaw 635 280
Poznan 566 546
Gdansk 457 630



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Warsaw (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
Official language: Polish
Polish belongs to the family of the Western Slavic languages (just as Czech and Slovak).
The most spoken foreign languages are German and English, but it is recommended to master some Polish words in order to travel throughout Poland.

Free translation tools

Tranexp
Free English-Polish-English translator of texts and web pages

Ectaco
English-Polish-English Dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Catholics 95%
Christian orthodox 1.8%
Others 3.2%.


Political context

Poland is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Poland (official name: Republic of Poland) positioned at the centre of Europe has gone through turbulent and violent times especially during World War-II, but a new era has begun with Poland becoming a member of European Union in May 2004.
President is the chief of state and is elected by a popular vote for a five-year term. Prime Minister is the head of the government and is appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the lower house of the parliament (generally leader of the majority party or coalition), to serve a four year term. Prime Minister has the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs .The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is proposed by Prime Minister, approved by the lower house and appointed by the President.
The legislature in Poland is bicameral. The parliament called National Assembly consists of: Senate (the upper house) having 100 seats with its members elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms, and Sejm (the lower house) having 460 seats with its members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. The President has the power to veto legislation passed by the parliament but his veto can be overruled by a three-fifths majority vote of the Sejm. The people of Poland have considerable political rights.
Poland has an independent judiciary, but courts are known for delays in administering cases. The main source of the law in the country is the constitution of 1997. The legal system is a mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being surely & speedily introduced as part of broader democratization process. Poland accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but with reservations. Poland being a member of the European Union, the national law in the country needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. Polish is the judicial language used in the country, but having an interpreter is possible.
Poland is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial from the country's judicial system. Corruption level in Poland is considerably high as compared to other EU nations, especially in politics and business.


Major political parties

Poland has a multi-part system and generally ruled by coalition governments. The major political parties in the country are:
- SLD (Alliance of the Democratic Left) - a successor to Communist party, now recast as a social democratic party,
- PO (Civic Platform) – a liberal conservative party,
- PD (Democratic Party) - a social liberal party,
- UP (Labour Union) – a social democratic party with its roots in the anti-communist opposition,
- PiS (Law and Justice) - a right-wing grouping based on a law-and-order platform,
- LPR (League of Polish Families) - an extreme right-wing nationalist (anti-EU) and Roman Catholic party,
- PSL ( Polish Peasant Party) - a left-of-centre grouping representing farming communities,
- SRP (Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland) - a left wing political party and trade union in Poland.


Major political leaders

President: Lech KACZYNSKI (since December 2005) – PiS
Prime Minister: Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI (since July 2006) - PiS, heading a coalition government with SRP and LPR


Next political election dates

Presidential: October 2010
Senate: September 2009
Sejm: September 2009




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Poland 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 14,290 15,200 15,670 18
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-The Lazienki Park ( Warsaw),
-The Wilanow Palace ( Warsaw's ),
-The market Square( Krakow),
-The Castle and the Wawel cathedral ( Krakow's ),
-The Czartoryski museum ( Krakow ),
-The Jasna Gora convent ( Czestochowa's ),
-The Royal Way (Gdansk),
-The Malbork Castle ( Gdansk) .

For more information about tourism in Poland , check out the following web site(s) :
Informations portal on tourism in Poland



Food


Traditional dishes
The most famous Polish dishes are:
Barszcz: Beetroot soup with small raviolis filled with mushrooms, or with meat.
Placki Ziemniaczane: potatoes fritters
Bigos: cabbage with pieces of meat, requires several days to be made.
Szarlotka: Apple cake with cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Makowiec: poppy cake
As for alcohol drinks, Polish appreciate vodka and beer a lot:Zywiec, Okocim and EB are the most famous in Poland.


Last modified on December 2006

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