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Poland: Political Update


KwaĹniewski talks with Putin in Russia. President Aleksander KwaĹniewski paid a visit to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The talks mainly concerned Polish-Russian economic relations and are expected to bring an increase in Polish trade with Russia. Mr. Putin agreed to visit Poland, which will probably happen after this fall's presidential election. The Polish-Russian summit may put an end to a rather cold period in relations between the two countries. New Minister of Foreign Affairs. WĹadysĹaw BARTOSZEWSKI (78 years old) replaced BronisĹaw GEREMEK as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Bartoszewski previously held this post between March and December 1995. Minister of Education resigns. The Minister of Education MirosĹaw HANDKE resigned after admitting that his ministry made an error in calculating the planned raise in teachers' salaries, that would ultimately cost the budget an estimated PLN 800 mln (US$ 185 mln). Local governments have already started to pay the increased salaries, for which they do not have enough funds. The prime minister Jerzy BUZEK has claimed that the government will compensate the local governments for the mistake. The Ministry of Treasury sold 35% of TP S.A - national Telecom operator that controls 95% of the Polish fixed line telephony market- for US$ 4.3 billion . 25% of shares were sold to France Telecom and 10% to Kulczyk Holding. The investors are obliged to invest PLN 27 billion (US$ 6.1 billion) in TP SA during the next seven years. FT and KH paid PLN 380 (US$ 8.82) per one TP SA share while on the day the contract was signed TP SA shares were quoted at PLN 33.9 on the WSE.

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