31-05-07

Bankruptcy in Poland


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Andrzej Lepper


Media Reacts With Slanders

American economist, statesman, and Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche warned Poland in a May 2001 visit, in which he met deputies from the Sejm (national parliament), that bankruptcy reorganization of the world financial system, and for individual national financial systems, was the only realistic way out of economic breakdown crisis. Eight months later, Poland finds itself on the verge of state bankruptcy, given its deficit of 90 billion zloty (over $20 billion), the bankruptcy of its national electricity company, and so forth. The government and central bank are locked in policy battles. The country is searching for some way out that does not lead to social chaos.
"The collapse of Comecon [the socialist countries' trading bloc] should have become the signal for a great reconstruction effort in all of Eurasia," LaRouche said in May; "traffic, waterways, energy production, development corridors. When I, in a Berlin speech in 1988, first proposed this, I thought of the Polish railway industry, as one of the big potentials, which would enable Poland, to carry this economic development into all of Eurasia. Poland is a frontier area of this Eurasian development."

LaRouche's full speech was printed in the Polish weekly Mysl Polska. Apparently, after this, some people in the Anglo-American establishment, and their Polish offspring, lost their nerve over LaRouche's visit. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, and their circles regard Poland as their "protectorate," which, as a member of NATO and the European Union (EU), is obliged to assist the United States in unconditional solidarity. This includes having Poland play a geopolitical role as a buffer between Russia and Western Europe, as well as preventing Poland from breaking ranks with globalization, monetarism, and free trade.

This background explains the new and intense campaign of slanders against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in Poland. This campaign has again been triggered by radical peasant leader Andrzej Lepper, whose party, Samoobrona ("Self-Defense"), became the third-strongest party in the September elections, and Lepper himself briefly became Deputy Speaker in the Sejm.

Given the dramatic economic and social crisis in Poland, Lepper's popularity is rising quickly. More than 20% unemployment, farms submitting to mass bankruptcy, and bitter poverty in the countryside: Under these conditions, his populist rhetoric against globalization, the EU, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gives him political credibility among a growing portion of the disillusioned population. As all too often in such crises, the victims look for a "strong man" who appears to take on the powers that be, not the thinker who offers real solutions.

Lepper thus used his new position as Deputy Speaker to set off a scandal, at the end of November, when he denounced Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz as a "scoundrel," for having gone to EU headquarters in Brussels and discussed details for the conditions under which Poland would join the EU, allegedly without prior consultation. As a result, Lepper was relieved of his post. In an escalation, he has now accused ten members of the government, among them the foreign and defense ministers, of corruption. He promised to present evidentiary documents, but has not.

To the extent that discussion in Poland now centers around Lepper, the pressing issue of the crisis is left out. The fantastic allegation was being retailed that the Schiller Institute had "trained and financed" Lepper, which is being used to fuel a malicious campaign against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in the Polish media. The slanderous labelling of LaRouche runs the gamut from right-wing extremist, to left-wing extremist and sectarian. Some, however, go even further: The former communist-era chief of counterintelligence, now turned zealous liberal, Konstanty Miodowicz, slandered the Schiller Institute, during a Dec. 5 radio interview, as "anarchistic with a right-wing extremist cover." Miodowicz outrageously asserted that the Institute had been outlawed in the United States, and had then fled to Germany. Lyndon LaRouche is even mentioned in the same breath as the authors of the Oklahoma City bomb attack.

The Schiller Institute is preparing legal means against this slander.

Source: http://www.schillerinstitute.org/strategic/2002_europe/po...

08:44 Gepost door MI5 in Actualiteit | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: bankruptcy poland |  Facebook |

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EU euphoria Potential Of The Land-Bridge

The politically explosive question is, why is it in Poland, that such heavy guns are being pulled out against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche? This question can at present only be answered partially; however, the visit of a Schiller Institute delegation from Germany in the first week of December 2001, points toward some aspects of a solution.

A public seminar addressed by the Schiller activists at the Technical University of Warsaw, on Dec. 11, on a "Dialogue Of Cultures Instead Of War Of Civilizations" was attended by 70 people, including representatives of embassies and the government, journalists, professors, and students. In her presentation, Elisabeth Hellenbroich of the Schiller Institute discussed the background of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. She explained the strategy of a "War of Cultures"—which includes the danger of a geopolitically motivated Third World War—which Samuel Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski have been propagandizing for for years. The Polish members of the audience loudly and openly expressed their disagreement with their "compatriot" Brzezinski. No one in Poland seriously believes in the "bin Laden thesis"; people were, instead, concerned about how the attacks could be used in the United States to abridge human rights. The response to the "War of Cultures" should be a "Dialogue of Cultures," Hellenbroich demanded, praising Pope John Paul II for his ecumenical dialogue among the religions, and presenting the call of Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche for a dialogue of cultures, which takes up the ecumenical tradition of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.

The audience reacted unusually positively, and one could feel, how the ecumenical action of the great Polish Pope is strengthening the country in a time of world crisis. Schiller organizer Frank Hahn detailed the economic background of the Sept. 11 attacks, by showing that as recently as that Summer, it had been clear to the City of London and Wall Street that their financial system had come to an end. During the past 12 months, however, the fascinating dynamic for building the Eurasian Land-Bridge had come to the fore. There is a totally new quality of economic cooperation among Russia, China, Japan, Korea, India, and the nations of Central Asia in building great infrastructure projects. This represents the economic backbone of the dialogue, Hahn stressed.

For Poland's Real Interests

These responses indicate the process of fundamental re-thinking in Poland which goes unreported: The euphoria about the United States and the EU disappears, and Poles soberly realize that little economic support can be expected from the West. In several discussions with representatives from political, church, and economic life in Warsaw, it was stressed, that only 20% of Poland's population came out "winners" in the so-called "economic reforms" after 1990; most ended up losers. The country has been split between rich and poor, north and south, city and countryside—which could soon lead to a social revolt.

Polish farmers have lost their domestic market, because they cannot compete with the Western dumping of cheap food imports, and the massively overvalued zloty. Markets in the East represent the only chance of survival for Polish agriculture. And any reindustrialization of Poland must be based on cooperation with the East, on bartering "technology for raw materials."

From these pragmatic considerations has come the search to re-define Polish-Russian relations. They do not particularly love each other, but Poles welcome the fact that President Vladimir Putin has taken the place of Boris Yeltsin. They want economic cooperation, while deploring the lack of democracy and the imperial tendencies in Russia. And it is exactly at this point of political-cultural unease and economic dilemma, that LaRouche's influence in Russia comes to bear. LaRouche's recent presentations to Russia's scientific and economic elite, and his earlier testimony in June 2001, before the Economic Committee of the State Duma (the lower house of Russia's parliament), have been watched in Poland with great interest and an open mind.

In early December, during a seminar by the Schiller Institute at the education center of the Peasants Party (PSL), the audience expressed a great openness for a dialogue of cultures. As one participant said: This dialogue is conditioned on a cultural identity of its partners—Germans and Poles could have perfect dialogue, if Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz joined Germany's Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller as godfathers of this dialogue. Another connecting element is, of course, the Eurasian Land-Bridge. There was a lively debate about Poland's contribution.

We must also mention a book, recently published in Poland, which devotes a chapter to the "LaRouche school of physical economy": The Unusual Achievements Of The Liberals—In The Destruction Of The Country, by Dr. Rudolf Jaworek.

New Leadership, Or Social Explosion

Poland is deeply split and shattered. The youth are disillusioned by mass unemployment and economic decline; farmers fear mass destruction of farms when Poland joins the EU; but only very few think about serious alternative strategies. The nation's political leadership is crushed between the EU and Russia, under pressure from the United States, and also from their own population, which will not tolerate the social depletion forever.

Poland does not have much time in which to forestall a social explosion, and this was the view of everyone the Schiller Institute had discussions with in Warsaw. This means all the more so, that its intellectual and political leaders will have to decide, whether they will now allow themselves to be frightened by a former communist counterintelligence chief and the Anglo-American-dominated media, or will follow LaRouche's ideas, in their own, well-defined self-interest.

Gepost door: Rolf | 31-05-07

Bankruptcy actions The railroading of Lyndon LaRouche and his associates to prison was set up by an illegal and unprecedented involuntary bankruptcy action—initiated by the same Justice Department prosecutors, and approved by the same federal judge, who later oversaw the frame-up criminal trial of LaRouche in Alexandria, Va.

Well before the bankruptcy action was taken, federal prosecutors realized that they could not carry out a successful prosecution of LaRouche unless they could cut off repayments of loans to persons who were political supporters of the LaRouche movement, and who had lent funds to publishing companies associated with the LaRouche political movement.

The involuntary bankruptcy—which made it illegal to repay these loans!—was the essential precondition for bringing criminal charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud against LaRouche and his associates.

Never before in U.S. history had the government itself been the petitioner in an involuntary bankruptcy case. An involuntary bankruptcy is normally brought by three or more creditors of an insolvent business. In this case, the only petitioning creditor was the U.S. government—in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, through U.S. Attorney Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia. And the companies were not insolvent. That wasn't all. Simply filing a petition to put the companies into involuntary bankruptcy, would not have immediately shut them down and stopped payments. In the normal course of events, the companies would have been able to contest the petition in court, over a period on months or longer. So Hudson and the Justice Department had to do something much more drastic—which was something that no normal creditor could do. They secretly went to the Bankruptcy Court on April 20, 1987, and obtained an order allowing the government to immediately go and shut down the companies. That evening, Hudson deployed FBI agents to surveil the offices of those companies. Early the next morning, U.S. Marshals seized the offices of the three companies and sealed them.

Hudson was able to carry this out as the result of an ex parte (one-sided) hearing, at which a federal bankruptcy judge signed a sealed order directing the appointment of trustees who were supposed to take over the companies. That was a sham: Hudson had no intention of allowing the trustees to operate the businesses. The companies—two publishers and a literature distribution company—were padlocked, never to reopen, and were barred by court order from conducting any business, including paying creditors such as lenders and political supporters. This procedure was then upheld by U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan, Jr.—who was later to preside over the criminal prosecution of LaRouche.

Two and one-half years later, the Bankruptcy Court dismissed the government's petitions, ruling that Hudson and his office had acted in "objective bad faith" and had conducted a "constructive fraud on the court." But by that time, LaRouche and his co-defendants were already in federal prison. How did it work? On day of the signing of the secret order directing the seizure and padlocking of the companies, the FBI sent out lists of LaRouche supporters and lenders to all FBI field offices, directing them to contact the lenders to recruit witnesses for the planned criminal case. The FBI teletype acknowledged that many of the lenders "are still supporters of the organization and may not consider themselves a victim." The Justice Department/FBI strategy was to turn them into victims, by telling lenders that they would never get their money back—because the companies were bankrupt. Thus, having created a pool of "victims," the prosecutors selected a handful to be presented at the LaRouche show-trial. To top it off, Judge Bryan—the same judge who had approved the illegal seizure and shutdown of the companies—issued an order prohibiting the defense from telling the jury that they had been prevented by the government from paying back the loans. With such an elaborate rigging of the trial, convictions were virtually a foregone conclusion.

http://www.schillerinstitute.org/exon/exon1.html

Gepost door: Rolf | 31-05-07

Social crisis Social crisis in Poland at the breaking point

By Brigitte Fehlau
13 October 1999

Use this version to print

Widespread protests have sprung up as a result of drastic cuts in social services, by means of which the Polish government seeks to meet the conditions for joining the European Union. Farmers, miners, steelworkers and hospital employees have taken to the streets.

At the beginning of October there was a demonstration of 30,000 people in Warsaw against the economic and social policies of the government of Jerzy Buzek, who heads a coalition of the AWS (Election Campaign—Solidarity) and the UW (Freedom Union). Both of these organisations consist almost entirely of ex- members and leaders of the trade union Solidarity.

In 1997 the AWS/UW coalition came to power with the aim of reorganising the economy. Today the social situation is more explosive than ever and the government is more despised than any of its predecessors since 1989. Recent questionnaires show that 45 percent of the Polish population would like Buzek to resign. His alliance, which received 33.8 percent of the votes in the last elections, would only obtain 17 percent today. The UW would only get 10 percent of the vote, down from 13.4 percent at the last elections.

Poland was considered the most likely of the candidates wanting to join the EU, but now there is growing scepticism. During a visit to Poland two weeks ago by former Italian Prime Minister Prodi, who is now president of the EU commission, Poland's chief negotiator with the EU, Jan Kulakovsky, declared that Poland no longer necessarily aimed at joining the EU before the year 2002. Poland would be satisfied if, during the EU summit in Helsinki in December, a fixed date would be set. Unnamed Western diplomats were quoted as saying the reason for this turnabout was the growth of domestic tensions within Poland, following the attempt to meet the criteria for joining the EU.

An examination of the situation in the farming, steel, mining and public sectors reveals that the economy confronts an abyss. For the largest part of the Polish population the situation is anything but rosy. What predominates are unemployment, low wages, a collapsing health service, a deteriorating school system and a growing social disaster in the rural areas.

In nearly every branch of the economy there are insuperable problems. Poland is incapable of producing competitively and each attempt to modernise the economy to meet the demands of the world market sparks powerful social conflicts.

Because of continuous protests by broad layers of the population, Buzek has been forced to make concessions. This is why the reorganisation of the mining industry, demanded by the World Bank, has proceeded so slowly, leading the World Bank to declare it would temporarily stop credits to Poland.

The World Bank is demanding massive layoffs, something the Polish government has held back from implementing up to now, fearing the reaction of the miners. From the original 67 pits, 53 are still in operation.

In June of this year the government announced a compensation plan. Miners prepared to leave their jobs voluntarily were offered 44,000 zloty (about US$12,200). By accepting this premium, which was declared to be a first step to becoming self-employed, miners lost all claims to unemployment benefits. Nevertheless 17,000 miners registered. This led the authorities to abruptly halt the programme on the grounds that there was not enough money to pay the compensation. Many miners received shares in the pit instead of the promised money.

A considerable part of the Polish economy consists of farming. Some 18.5 million hectares of land are used for farming, i.e., 59.1 percent of the country's land mass. More than one third of the population live in rural areas and depend on the agricultural sector. This does not mean, however, that there is work for these people. The opposite is the case. Unemployment is growing most rapidly in rural areas.

The social situation facing agricultural workers and the farmers themselves is basically the same. Millions of Polish farmers are living on or below the poverty line. The average income in rural areas is 60 percent lower than in the cities. Even the 10 percent of farmers cited in the statistics as “good earners” have an average profit of only $1,500 a year.

At first many farmers supported the perspective of joining the EU, hoping thereby to obtain financial support. Many went into debt to modernise their farms. Now they face bankruptcy because they are unable to pay their debts.

Half of the farms are no more than one hectare of land. They produce potatoes or cabbage, with a cow and a few pigs. No decent water supply exists. In the villages only the priest and mayor have a telephone. With neither enough schools nor workplaces, there is no perspective for children and young people. The result is growing hopelessness, despair and alcoholism.

Now, 46 percent of farmers oppose Polish membership in the EU. They fear it would mean the end of their farms. This is a realistic point of view.

The EU is not prepared to continue financial aid for farmers in the older member states; it will certainly not be willing to introduce such support for eastern European states seeking to join. At the same time the EU is flooding eastern Europe with cheap agricultural products. This has led to the loss of the Ukraine and Russia as important export markets for the Polish agricultural industry. As a result Polish farmers can hardly sell anything. Prices are falling and they are no longer able to cover their expenses.

At the start of the year discontent erupted when farmers blocked roads and border checkpoints and fought with police to demand an improvement in their social situation. These protests were organised by Rural Solidarity, the farmers union, and Samoobrona (Self Defence). They demanded a ban on meat and milk imports as well as higher prices for their products. To get the farmers off the streets the government was forced to buy enormous amounts of pork and promise a reform of the agricultural sector.

In trying to establish himself as the spokesman for the protests, a certain Andrzej Lepper adopted an extreme nationalist posture. Before 1989 Lepper was a member of the United Polish Workers Party (the ruling Stalinist party in Poland) and responsible for two agricultural production communities. In 1991, with other indebted farmers like himself, he founded the farmers' alliance “Samoobrona”.

Since then he has sought to extend his influence not only over the farmers, but also the miners, steelworkers and dockers. He agitates against foreign influence over Poland and the country's “sellout” at the hands of the present government. He has declared: “The concept of Poland returning to Europe means nothing else but the degradation of Poland to the status of the EU's backyard.... What Bismarck and Hitler were unable to achieve by force—Poland—is being handed over to the Germans with velvet gloves.”

His programme, entitled “The Third Way”, is strongly orientated towards China, where, despite privatisation, industries are still nominally in national hands, i.e., foreigners can only possess 49 percent of the shares. Over the past year Lepper won some support from the farmers. Samoobrona reportedly has 500,000 members and Lepper wants to take part in the next presidential election.

The Buzek government has been in deep crisis for many weeks. The bankruptcy of the government poses the danger that figures such as Lepper can emerge and increase their support.

The ruling alliance is falling apart. This has initially taken the form of scandals involving the Polish secret police. The entire leadership of the Ministry of the Interior has been replaced.

Minister of the Interior Janusz Tomaszevsky (AWS) had to resign in September after it was revealed that he had connections to the secret police (SB) before taking office. Janusz Palubicky (AWS), who had been imprisoned several times under the former Stalinist regime, took over the post temporarily.

Palubicky immediately sacked the deputy minister of the Interior, Wojciech Brochvicz, as well as General Slavomir Petelicky, the commander of the special military unit “Grom” (Thunder). Leading politicians from the Freedom Union called Palubicky “an anticommunist fanatic who has lost touch with reality” and become a danger to stability. The press is revealing new details of those who used to have contacts to the secret police on a daily basis.

In the face of unfavourable opinion polls and continuing public demonstrations, the Freedom Union has issued an ultimatum, demanding a change of government and the resignation of the chairman of the office in charge of social affairs, Stanislav Alot, who is supported by the AWS. The Freedom Union maintains that if this doesn't take place within a week, Buzek will have to be replaced.

The plunge in the government's fortunes has inevitable repercussions for the Solidarity movement. Leaders of the former trade union, which organised the protests and strikes against the Stalinist regime in Poland, have participated in nearly every government since 1989. The Minister of the Exchequer Leszek Balcerovicz (UW), for example, held this office under four different governments, including the first government led by Solidarity under Tadeusz Mazoviecki, whose “shock therapy” policies reduced large parts of the population to poverty, in order to pay outstanding debts to the Western banks.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/oct1999/pol-o13.shtml

Gepost door: Marc Sebrechts | 31-05-07

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