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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom visits Poland


On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, visited Lech Kaczyński in the Presidential Palace. The main subjects of their discussions included the issue of Afghanistan, the decision of the European Commission that may lead to the closing down of Polish shipyards, the situation of Poles in the UK and the effects of the global economic crisis in the context of the recent G-20 summit in London.

The struggle with terrorism in Afghanistan

During their talks with regard to the situation in Afghanistan, both politicians emphasised that the role of activity undertaken by NATO is crucial in combating terrorism and preventing the Taliban from regaining power and influence. Lech Kaczyński underlined the importance of civilian activity, i.e. establishing and maintaining the administrative structures of a democratic state.

Both participants of the talks expressed their willingness to develop the cooperation of British and Polish forces in Afghanistan.

The situation of Poles in the UK

Lech Kaczyński expressed his disconcert at the recent acts of violence towards Polish citizens in the UK and asked Gordon Brown that facilitations for learning Polish in the country be introduced.

Support in the struggle for Polish shipyards

The Polish President also appealed to the British government to support Poland in its negotiations with the European Commission. The decisions of the Commission may result in the necessity to dismiss thousands of employees in the Polish shipbuilding industry, leading to a further increase in the level of unemployment in Poland.

The British Prime Minister promised that he will investigate this matter, of which he was not aware before. He also confirmed that increasing the number of jobs available is a priority for his government, both in terms of the internal politics of the country and in the discussion with regard to the operation of the European Union.

Combating unemployment at the G-20 summit

Lech Kaczyński, with reference to the recent G-20 summit, expressed his belief in the necessity of active participation of the governments in the struggle against unemployment. According to Gordon Brown, stabilising the labour market will be one of the objectives during further meetings of the Group.

Answering Lech Kaczyński’s question regarding the conditions for participating in the meeting of the major economies and the absence of Poland there (even though Polish economic indicators fulfil the criteria), Gordon Brown said that the current composition of the Group is a repetition of the formula of the meeting that took place in the USA in 1998 with regard to the financial crisis in Asia. However, the Prime Minister also admitted that, for proper functioning of the G-20 and in order to find solutions to the problems posed by the current economic crisis, modifications in terms of the Group’s composition will be necessary.

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