Virtuous cycle

Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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Euro 2012: now what

Poland together with Ukraine has won the right to host European football championships in 2012 (note to myself: apparently third largest sport event in the world. Must input in the supermemo to finally remember these sort of things). The victory is a rather unexpected, to say the least, as expressed in opening by beatroot:

But wait a minute…have UEFA been smoking too many Jamaican cigarettes, or something?

Who cares that there are no stadiums in Poland, it?s EUR 37b of investments, as press puts it. How successful the government will be in managing this and how impressive the final result will be is sort of a question, but now they have a sharp deadline, and they will have at least to be trying. And the press will have a stick to beat officials over any delays and screw-ups.

What optimistic part of me would want to see is for the event to be a tipping point for Ukraina?s orientation, making it look west rather than drift into Russia?s orbit. Maybe it?s naive but I would see the following reasons for it:

  • Providing words of support does not hurt, but now, finally, Ukraina is doing some very visible and economically significant project with Poland
  • The usage of EU funds in the process might hint Ukrainian politicians as to where to look for developing their country
  • Infrastructural investment will hopefully bridge the two countries more closely, in particular through new highways heading east, border passes, air connections, etc.
  • Together with easing the foreign labor regulations, it may increase the importance of economic links between Poland and the Ukraine

I didn?t have any chance to see exact investment plans, but I hope this will provide additional push for “right” direction across our Eastern border.


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  1. beatroot
    April 29th, 2007 | 11:13 pm

    Sad thing is that many Poles say to me,?We are not going to make it?? Another loot say:? It will be OK. because they gave us a deadline ? if they left it up to us we would never finish it.?
    But the overall effect will be good for both countries. But expect lots of stories in the press over the next few year: ?Poland won?t be ready?.

    And I hope they do better than the British did with the new Wembley Stadium. It was over two years late and cost almost four times the estimate.