Cheaper money transfers to Poland

A changing environment
Polish nationals in the UK who work hard at saving often want to send money home to family or to support savings and investments. Many use banks or services such as Western Union or MoneyGram to send money abroad, and are not fully aware of the growth in alternative services available for international money transfers. These alternative providers are able to offer cheaper, quicker and more convenient services because they specialise in this service. Studying all the services on offer to consumers, comparison websites (such as for example) can provide you with independent information about these services and highlight and compare their benefits.

Alternatives to the banks
Individuals may need to transfer money overseas to family and friends or for payments such as rent or deposits for holidays, property maintenance fees and service charges. Looking at the options on offer, it is possible to find a money transfer service that best suits your needs. Sending money via online money transfer specialists can be a great way to save money. Not only do you pay much lower fees than with banks, you can also get faster transfers and better customer service from these expert companies. All reputable companies will be authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) – which helps give you peace of mind that your money is secure.

GlobalWebPay, a great value online alternative
One such company is GlobalWebPay who operate a convenient 24/7 online international transfer service. They send Zloty to Polish bank accounts using their local bank accounts in Poland. They also have a dedicated and knowledgeable service team who can support you if you have any questions.

A convenient service for Polish people
Registration is simple and free and your account is live and ready to use in minutes. You can check out transfer costs on the Home Page Calculator – it offers total transparency of all costs, with no need to make phone calls, send emails or visit an office.
To set up payment you will need to enter the recipient's bank details. Simply enter the amount you wish to send in GBP, or the amount you wish the recipient to receive in Zloty. The exchange rate and the exact amount the beneficiary will receive are instantly displayed.

Key features of the service
(1) £4.75 fixed fee per transaction for any size - No hidden fees at either end – save £4 to £20 on a transaction when compared to Banks!
2.       (2) Competitive exchange rates – again better than banks
3.       (3) Fund using debit card (up to £75) or bank transfer for larger amounts.
4.      (4) The service is fast to Poland – if your funds arrive by 12:00 midday, transfers to Poland arrive on the same day

Grażyna Plebanek, Izabela Filipiak and Urszula Chowaniec at LSE

LSE Literary Festival discussion, supported by the Polish Cultural Institute

Date: Saturday 19 February 2011
Time: 10.30am-12pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Ursula Chowaniec, Izabela Filipiak, Grazyna Plebanek

Three female Polish authors discuss migration in women's writing in Poland.

Urszula Chowaniec is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies Andrzej Frycz-Modrzewski Cracow Academy in Poland. She is also a researcher within an international project at the University of Tampere, Finland: Body, Generation and Transformation: Polish and Russian Women’s Writing (, 2007-2010), as well as the editor of the online cultural journal Women’s Writing Online. She teaches literary theory, gender studies and theory of translation (also as the visiting lecturer and supervisor at the University of Westminster and the Metropolitan University, London). She gained her PhD in literary studies at the Jagiellonian University in 2004 and is the author of In Search of Woman: On the Early Novels of Irena Krzywicka (W poszukiwaniu kobiety. O wczesnych powieściach Ireny Krzywickiej, 2007), she has co-edited Mapping Experience in Polish and Russian Women’s Writing (Cambridge Scholar Publishing 2010) and Masquerade and Femininity. Essays on Polish and Russian Women Writers (Cambridge Scholar Publishing 2008). She has published articles and book chapters on women’s writing, literary theory and literary and cultural history (e.g. in Gender and Sexuality in Ethical Context: Ten essays on Polish prose, ed. Knut Andreas Grimstad and Ursula Philips, Slavica Bergensia, Volume 5, 2005).

Izabela Filipiak is an author of several books of fiction and nonfiction who debuted after the fall of the iron curtain in Poland. She wrote her first two books in New York and her doctorate in Berkeley. She is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Gdańsk and the president of the Writers for Peace Foundation based in Poland.

Grazyna Plebanek – writer, author of best-selling novels Illegal Liaisons (WAB 2010) and Girls from Portofino (WAB 2005) as well as Box of Stilettos (2002, WAB 2006) and A Girl Called Przystupa. She has a regular column in the respected Polish weekly Polityka. Plebanek has worked as a journalist for Reuters News Agency and for Poland’ biggest daily Gazeta Wyborcza. She now publishes articles in the “Wysokie Obcasy” (High Heels) weekly supplement of Gazeta Wyborcza, in the Lampa literary monthly, in Newsweek, Elle, as well as Pogranicza and Bluszcz. She is the author of short stories published in the following anthologies: Dziewczynskie bajki na dobranoc (Girls’ good-night stories, AMEA 2008), Zaraz wracam (Back shortly, Centrum Kultury Zamek, 2008), Projekt mezczyzna (Project Man, wydawnictwo Delikatesy, 2009), Piatek, 2:45 (Friday, 2:45, Filar 2010). Born in Warsaw, Plebanek has lived for five years in Stockholm and she now resides in Brussels. She is among a group of international artists whose portraits will be exhibited in Brussels Gare de l’Ouest for the next 10 years.

All events in the Literary Festival programme are free and open to all, but a ticket is required. Tickets are available to request online via LSE Shop.

Poland’s economic forecast for 2011

Poland’s economic forecast for 2011: a test of endurance

Both the European Commission (EC) and the IMF rated Poland as the fastest-growing country in the European Union for 2010, and forecast high growth in 2011 and 2012. In its updated GDP growth forecasts for 2011 and 2012 – 3.9 and 4.2 percent, respectively – the EC emphasized Poland’s stable banking system, relatively lower share of international trade in thecountry’s GDP structure, positive changes in the labor market and the country’s overall economic policies as factors contributing to Poland’s ability to withstand the worst of the global economic downturn.

Yet Poland’s economic challenge scontinue to proliferate. Since late 2008, Poland was hit by two economic shocks: the recession in high-income countries, which hurt external demand for exports; and the global financial crisis, which reduced capital inflows and lowered domestic demand. As a result, Polish authorities implemented a number of crisis measures, including liquidity support and measures to restore confidence in banks, as well as securing a $20.5 billion precautionary arrangement under the new IMF Flexible Credit Line (FCL) in order to reassure investors, stabilize market fears and enable the country to access credit.

Three areas in particular will have a major effect on Poland’s 2011-2012 economic growth prospects –increasing consumer expenditures fueled by higher job security and workforce participation, continued investment (assuming on-time completion and profitable ROI) from EU structural funds, and the improvement of existing (Germany) and developing (China, India) trade relationships, which should have a positive effect on Polish exports.

Poland’s short-term economic outlook will remain vulnerable, especially as it remains disproportionately tied to the overall economic performance of Europe (including the unfolding euro zone debt crisis).

In addition, ensuring continued convergence with the EU will require major structural reforms (pensions, health care, education, public finances) all of which will require a major financial overhaul. Reducing Poland’s zł.52 billion ($17.2 billion), budget deficit – estimated at 7.9% of GDP (some estimates put it as high as 8.5% of GDP), may take longer than expected, delaying euro adoption well past 2015.

Finally, Poland will take over the EU Presidency from Hungary in mid-2011, along with the agonizing task of overseeing the EU budgetary process for 2014-2020. As larger Western EU member states adopt austerity, the case for increased funding forthe EU’s Central European members will become even more difficult and contentious.

Compared to the rest of the EU, Poland’s economy may have finished ahead of the pack in 2010, but as we get into 2011, the course will get steeper and more demanding. Time will tell if Poland has conditioned itself to go the distance.

Source: Warsaw Business Journal,

The Long Road to Freedom: Poland 1940

1940 was a year of some of the greatest heroic achievements of the Poles and of some of the greatest tragedies that were to strike at the heart of the Polish nation. It was the year when Poland functioned as a state without a state, a year when Poland suffered her fourth partition by Nazi and Soviet forces, a year when her citizens endured forcible deportations and executions, while others were scattered to all winds and still others undertook perilous journeys to join the newly reconvened Polish Army first on French and later on British soil. It was the year of Anglo Polish heroism in the skies and on the seas....#

This commemorative exhibition invites the passerby to discover and follow the different paths taken by Poles in that extraordinary of years 1940 For these Poles were driven by their firm belief at the time that they would be able to celebrate Christmas of 1940 back in Poland with their loved ones. Revisit the very warm and strong ties between the Polish government in exile and the British government and witness the renewal of old historical bonds which have united the Poles and the Scottish nation across the centuries.

POSK Gallery : 6 - 21 January, 10am - 9pm
238 - 246 King Street
London W6 0RF

Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy London

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, Polish Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, WOŚP) is one of the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organizations in Poland. The GOCC Foundation has American Heart Association Certification for providing courses in CPR and ECC, and use of high technology for medical lifesaving.

It was founded in 1993 by Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, and Piotr Burczyński. The main objective, at that time, was "Health Protection and Saving of Children's Lives Saving through Providing Medical Equipment to Public Hospitals" (from the deed of foundation). During the first Finale (for the benefit of pediatric cardio-surgery) in the same year, the Foundation collected a total of USD 1,535,440.68. Every year, millions of Poles donate their money to the Foundation and, between 1993 and 2005, they collected more than USD 60 million for public hospitals in Poland.

Apart from The Great Finale, the Foundation also organizes one of the biggest rock concerts in Poland, The Woodstock Stop, and it started the Peace Patrol, a group of young volunteers trained in first aid by the GOCC, the Polish Red Cross and the local police from the town of Szadowo.

The Great Finale takes place on the first or second Sunday of every new year. Sponsored by many Polish and worldwide companies, it is a one-day long, nationwide, money-raising event. Volunteers from all around Poland go out on the street and collect money in special cans which are labeled with a red heart and text: "Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy" (Polish for The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity). They also have identification cards, thanks to which anyone can report suspicious-looking people collecting money to the police without any such proof of authorization. Everyone who gives the volunteers any amount of money, gets a red heart sticker in return.

During this one day, huge parties are thrown around the country and abroad. This year in London there would be 2 related events:
- Saturday 8th of Jan 2011 at Shepherds Bush
- Sunday 9th of Jan 2011 at Jazz Cafe POSK

More info on WOSP Foundation

Poland in 2010

This year did not lack newsworthy events in the political sphere. But to get a broader sense of the scale of 2010's many shake-ups, Rzeczpospolita asked a panel of experts to name the year's top stories, be they successes or failures.

The single biggest and most shocking story, according to these sources, was unsurprisingly the plane disaster in April, which saw President Lech Kaczyński die in Russia along with 95 others, including a host of senior officials. The aftermath of the disaster shook the country for months and the ensuing presidential race and rise to power of Bronisław Komorowski was the top political event of 2010.

Other experts pointed to less dramatic but highly significant events, describing the greatest political successes of the year the Polish People's Party's (PSL) local elections results and Grzegorz Napieralski's third place finish in the presidential election. Prior to the local government elections, PSL had publicly stated that an outcome of 10 percent would be satisfactory. In the end, the populist party took 16.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Napieralski, chairman of the Democratic Left Alliance, showed surprisingly strong support in his quest for president, coming in third ahead of PSL's Waldemar Pawlak and former Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski. Political scientists say Napieralski's success was a bellwether of the changing political climate in Poland. "Napieralski had to first fight with establishment in his own party and later the establishment in the media and won both battles," Rafał Chwedoruk, a political scientist at the University of Warsaw, told Rzeczpospolita.

Other analysts said that the biggest political surprise of the year was Prime Minister Donald Tusk's decision to not run in the presidential election.

Source: WBJ