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Poland

 

Poland Poland:Geography
Location: Central Europe, east of Germany
Map references: Ethnic Groups in Eastern Europe, Europe
Area:
total area: 312,680 sq km
land area: 304,510 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than New Mexico
Land boundaries: total 3,114 km, Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 658
km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432
km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 428 km
Coastline: 491 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties
territorial sea: 12 nm
International disputes: none
Climate: temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with
frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and
thundershowers
Terrain: mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Natural resources: coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead,
salt
Land use:
arable land: 46%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 13%
forest and woodland: 28%
other: 12%
Irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (1989 est.)
Environment:
current issues: forest damage due to air pollution and resulting acid
rain; improper means for disposal of large amounts of hazardous and
industrial waste; severe water pollution from industrial and municipal
sources; severe air pollution results from emissions of sulfur dioxide
from coal-fired power plants, which also drifts into Germany and the
Netherlands
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty,
Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air
Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Law of the Sea
Note: historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and
the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain Poland:People
Population: 38,792,442 (July 1995 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (female 4,349,467; male 4,559,536)
15-64 years: 66% (female 12,849,300; male 12,698,179)
65 years and over: 11% (female 2,693,407; male 1,642,553) (July 1995
est.)
Population growth rate: 0.36% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 13.34 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 9.23 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 12.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.13 years
male: 69.15 years
female: 77.33 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.92 children born/woman (1995 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Pole(s)
adjective: Polish
Ethnic divisions: Polish 97.6%, German 1.3%, Ukrainian 0.6%,
Byelorussian 0.5% (1990 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 95% (about 75% practicing), Eastern
Orthodox, Protestant, and other 5%
Languages: Polish
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1978)
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 98%
Labor force: 17.321 million (1993 annual average)
by occupation: industry and construction 32.0%, agriculture 27.6%,
trade, transport, and communications 14.7%, government and other 25.7%
(1992) Poland:Government
Names:
conventional long form: Republic of Poland
conventional short form: Poland
local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
local short form: Polska
Digraph: PL
Type: democratic state
Capital: Warsaw
Administrative divisions: 49 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular -
wojewodztwo); Biala Podlaska, Bialystok, Bielsko Biala, Bydgoszcz,
Chelm, Ciechanow, Czestochowa, Elblag, Gdansk, Gorzow, Jelenia Gora,
Kalisz, Katowice, Kielce, Konin, Koszalin, Krakow, Krosno, Legnica,
Leszno, Lodz, Lomza, Lublin, Nowy Sacz, Olsztyn, Opole, Ostroleka,
Pila, Piotrkow, Plock, Poznan, Przemysl, Radom, Rzeszow, Siedlce,
Sieradz, Skierniewice, Slupsk, Suwalki, Szczecin, Tarnobrzeg, Tarnow,
Torun, Walbrzych, Warszawa, Wloclawek, Wroclaw, Zamosc, Zielona Gora
Independence: 11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Constitution: interim "small constitution" came into effect in
December 1992 replacing the Communist-imposed constitution of 22 July
1952; new democratic constitution being drafted
Legal system: mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and
holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as
part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of
legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lech WALESA (since 22 December 1990);
election first round held 25 November 1990, second round held 9
December 1990 (next to be held NA November 1995); results - second
round Lech WALESA 74.7%, Stanislaw TYMINSKI 25.3%
head of government: Prime Minister Jozef OLEKSY (since 6 March 1995);
Deputy Prime Ministers Roman JAGIELINSKI, Grzegorz KOLODKO, and
Aleksander LUCZAK (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; responsible to the president and the
Sejm
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly (Zgromadzenie
Narodowe)
Senate (Senat): elections last held 19 September 1993 (next to be held
no later than NA October 1997); seats - (100 total) Communist origin
or linked (PSL 34, SLD 37), post-Solidarity parties (UW 6, NSZZ 12,
BBWR 2), non-Communist, non-Solidarity (independents 7, unaffiliated
1, vacant 1)
Diet (Sejm): elections last held 19 September 1993 (next to be held no
later than NA October 1997); seats - (460 total) Communist origin or
linked (SLD 171, PSL 132), post-Solidarity parties (UW 74, UP 41, BBWR
16), non-Communist, non-Solidarity (KPN 22)
note: 4 seats are constitutionally assigned to ethnic German parties
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
post-Solidarity parties: Freedom Union (UW; Democratic Union and
Liberal Democratic Congress merged to form Freedom Union), Leszek
BALCEROWICZ; Christian-National Union (ZCHN), Ryszard CZARNECKI;
Centrum (PC), Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI; Peasant Alliance (PL), Gabriel
JANOWSKI; Solidarity Trade Union (NSZZ), Marian KRZAKLEWSKI; Union of
Labor (UP), Ryszard BUGAJ; Christian-Democratic Party (PCHD), Pawel
LACZKOWSKI; Conservative Party, Alexander HALL; Nonparty Bloc for the
Support of the Reforms (BBWR)
non-Communist, non-Solidarity: Confederation for an Independent Poland
(KPN), Leszek MOCZULSKI; Polish Economic Program (PPG), Janusz
REWINSKI; Christian Democrats (CHD), Andrzej OWSINSKI; German Minority
(MN), Henryk KROL; Union of Real Politics (UPR), Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE;
Democratic Party (SD), Antoni MACKIEWICZ
Communist origin: Polish Peasant Party (PSL), Waldemar PAWLAK;
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI
Other political or pressure groups: powerful Roman Catholic Church;
Solidarity (trade union); All Poland Trade Union Alliance (OPZZ),
populist program
Member of: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE, CEI,
CERN, EBRD, ECE, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user),
INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NACC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS
(observer), OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNAMIR, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNOMIG, UNPROFOR, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner),
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jerzy KOZMINSKI
chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802
FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nicholas Andrew REY
embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31, Warsaw
mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, Box 5010, Unit 1340, APO AE
09213-1340
telephone: [48] (2) 628-30-41
FAX: [48] (2) 628-82-98
consulate(s) general: Krakow, Poznan
Flag: two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to
the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white Economy
Overview: Poland continues to make good progress in the difficult
transition to a market economy that began on 1 January 1990, when the
new democratic government instituted "shock therapy" by decontrolling
prices, slashing subsidies, and drastically reducing import barriers.
Real GDP fell sharply in 1990 and 1991, but in 1992 Poland became the
first country in the region to resume economic growth with a 2.6%
increase. Growth increased to 3.8% in 1993 and 5.5% in 1994 - the
highest rate in Europe except for Albania. All of the growth since
1991 has come from the booming private sector, which now accounts for
at least 55% of GDP, even though privatization of the state-owned
enterprises is proceeding slowly and most industry remains in state
hands. Industrial production increased 12% in 1994 - led by 50% jumps
in the output of motor vehicles, radios and televisions, and pulp and
paper - and is now well above the 1990 level. Inflation, which had
approached 1,200% annually in early 1990, was down to about 30% in
1994, as the government held the budget deficit to 1.5% of GDP. After
five years of steady increases, unemployment has leveled off at about
16% nationwide, although it approaches 30% in some regions. The trade
deficit was sharply reduced in 1994, due mainly to increased exports
to Western Europe, Poland's main customer. The leftist government
elected in September 1993 gets generally good marks from foreign
observers for its management of the budget but is often criticized for
not moving faster on privatization.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $191.1 billion (1994
est.)
National product real growth rate: 5.5% (1994 est.)
National product per capita: $4,920 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 30% (1994)
Unemployment rate: 16.1% (November 1994)
Budget:
revenues: $27.1 billion
expenditures: $30 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994
est.)
Exports: $16.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: intermediate goods 26.5%, machinery and transport
equipment 18.1%, miscellaneous manufactures 16.7%, foodstuffs 9.4%,
fuels 8.4% (1993)
partners: Germany 33.4%, Russia 10.2%, Italy 5.3%, UK 4.3% (1993)
Imports: $18.1 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment 29.6%, intermediate
goods 18.5%, chemicals 13.3%, fuels 12.5%, miscellaneous manufactures
10.1%
partners: Germany 35.8%, Italy 9.2%, Russia 8.5%, UK 6.6% (1993)
External debt: $47 billion (1993); note - Poland's Western government
creditors promised in 1991 to forgive 30% of Warsaw's $35 billion
official debt immediately and to forgive another 20% in 1994; foreign
banks agreed in early 1994 to forgive 45% of their $12 billion debt
claim
Industrial production: growth rate 12% (1994 est.)
Electricity:
capacity: 31,120,000 kW
production: 124 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 2,908 kWh (1993)
Industries: machine building, iron and steel, extractive industries,
chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Agriculture: accounts for 7% of GDP; 75% of output from private farms,
25% from state farms; productivity remains low by European standards;
leading European producer of rye, rapeseed, and potatoes; wide variety
of other crops and livestock; major exporter of pork products;
normally self-sufficient in food
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of opium for domestic consumption and
amphetamines for the international market; transshipment point for
Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe; producer of
precursor chemicals
Economic aid:
donor: bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries
(1954-89), $2.2 billion
recipient: Western governments and institutions have pledged $8
billion in grants and loans since 1989, but most of the money has not
been disbursed
Currency: 1 zloty (Zl) = 100 groszy
Exchange rates: zlotych (Zl) per US$1 - 2.45 (January 1995; a currency
reform on 1 January 1995 replaced 10,000 old zlotys with 1 new zloty),
22,723 (1994), 18,115 (1993), 13,626 (1992), 10,576 (1991), 9,500
(1990)
Fiscal year: calendar year Poland:Transportation
Railroads:
total: 25,528 km
broad gauge: 659 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 23,014 km 1.435-m gauge (11,496 km electrified; 8,978
km double track)
narrow gauge: 1,855 km various gauges including 1.000-m, 0.785-m,
0.750-m, and 0.600-m (1994)
Highways:
total: 367,000 km (excluding farm, factory and forest roads)
paved: 235,247 km (257 km of which are limited access expressways)
unpaved: 131,753 km (1992)
Inland waterways: 3,997 km navigable rivers and canals (1991)
Pipelines: crude oil 1,986 km; petroleum products 360 km; natural gas
4,600 km (1992)
Ports: Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg, Szczecin, Swinoujscie,
Ustka, Warsaw, Wrocaw
Merchant marine:
total: 152 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,186,405 GRT/3,270,914
DWT
ships by type: bulk 89, cargo 38, chemical tanker 4, container 7, oil
tanker 1, passenger 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 8, short-sea passenger 4
note: in addition, Poland owns 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling
76,501 DWT that operate under Bahamian, Liberian, Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Panamanian, and Cypriot registry
Airports:
total: 134
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 27
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 7
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 10
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 32
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 18 Poland:Communications
Telephone system: 4.9 million telephones; 12.7 phones/100 residents
(1994); severely underdeveloped and outmoded system; exchanges are 86%
automatic (1991)
local: NA
intercity: cable, open wire, and microwave
international: INTELSAT, EUTELSAT, INMARSAT, and Intersputnik earth
stations
Radio:
broadcast stations: AM 27, FM 27, shortwave 0
radios: NA
Television:
broadcast stations: 40 (Russian repeaters 5)
televisions: 9.6 million Poland:Defense Forces
Branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force
Manpower availability: males age 15-49 10,181,069; males fit for
military service 7,940,634; males reach military age (19) annually
323,133 (1995 est.)
Defense expenditures: 50.7 billion zlotych, NA% of GNP (1994 est.);
note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the
current exchange rate could produce misleading results
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