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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Morawiecki announced a plan to quickly accelerate the relaunching of the economic and social life in the country. While arguing that the government remains cautious, the steps presented by Morawiecki are a stark departure from the earlier, more gradual re-opening schedules presented by the ruling camp. From next Monday, May 4th, shopping malls and large construction shops will re-open, together with hotels, libraries, museums and small-scale outdoor sport facilities. Two days later, kindergartens and nurseries will begin to operate again

For understandable reasons, the announcement was received positively by the general public, however epidemiological experts warn that the basic reproduction rate of the virus in Poland remains above 1 and thus the government’s plan can have dire consequences. 

The lessening of restrictions is aimed at supporting the struggling Polish economy, weakened by a relatively small stimulus package. Its third iteration was adopted by Sejm on Thursday. Earlier in the week, we have reported that it contained a number of revolutionary measures weakening labour protection and facilitating layoffs. Following media reports, the government removed the controversial provisions. Continuing lockdown without a stronger fiscal intervention by the state would have devastating consequences socio-economic consequences, with the prices of basic goods, including bread, are about to surge. Instead, the government is banking that a less stringer social distancing regime will not translate into a rapid increase in new infections.  

Jeszcze w tym tygodniu podrożeje pieczywo, makarony i kasze. Średnio 10-20 proc.Jeszcze w tym tygodniu podrożeje pieczywo, makarony i kasze. Średnio 10-20 proc. Fot. 123RF

Our mission is to keep you up to date with all major stories related to the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the day-to-day experiences of Poles during the pandemic. This week, we have started a regular column in which lawyers from leading Polish law firms are answering your questions concerning the government’s stimulus legislation and changes in labour law. In addition, we are covering how the expat community in Poland is coping with both the virus and the country-wide lockdown. If you are interested in sharing your story, please send as an e-mail at: listy@wyborcza.pl.

Last but not least, our partners at BOMA are hosting a week of online events dedicated to the future of education – the Boma Education Week. The live sessions with expert guests will be hosted by several partner countries of Boma around the world, and all of them will be available free of charge on the Boma Global website. On Monday, May 4th, at 13.00, Boma Poland is organizing a session in English that will discuss whether education is going global or local, or rather, in both directions. It starts at 13.00 and it will be live streamed by News From Poland. We welcome you to join us. 

Thank you for being with us. There is no freedom without solidarity.

Miłosz Wiatrowski,

Newsletter’s Editor

PhD candidate in Contemporary European History, Yale University 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH POLAND? 

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If you need more information for editorial purposes, contact Roman Imielski roman.imielski@agora.pl

***
We need to show solidarity, or else no one will stand in protest when the authoritarian power comes after you, after me, after us. We need to stand with those who are beaten, not those who beat them.

Authoritarian states flourish not when bad people do bad things but when good people allow them.

Today we are asking fellow Poles and our friends abroad to join the movement of people of solidarity. Your position gives you the right to speak out loud when others are being hurt. We do not have an army to defend ourselves, but we have words that can help those who are being harassed. Your voice is valuable because it can open the eyes of those who still prefer to turn their heads and remain silent. Now is the time to call things by their names. Let us speak the truth about the situation of free Poles in their own country. Let us remember that there is no freedom without solidarity.

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