What are the current problems Poland is facing?
I have to do some research on the problems Poland is facing in terms of environment, economy, health care, government, etc. Are there any social issues too? Are there any rampant crimes? Anything controversial?
Asked By: Patricia May - 9/25/2012
Environment - high danger of floods or droughts (connected generally with climate change). High level of pollution in cities (but much, much better than 20 years ago)
Environment/economy - dependence on coal as main source of fuel for power plants
Economy - dependence on gas imports from Russia. Diminishing work force (ageing of society). Relatively high unemployment (though much lower than in Spain). The other problems are connected with general situation in the world, e.g. deteriorating export to other EU countries has to be compensated by exporting more to developing countries, but Poland seems to be doing relatively well in this.
Social - Low birth rate. Not only a Polish problem, but if we don't do something about it, soon there might be more pensioners than working people. A solution might be immigrants but we know what immigration did to some other countries. Poor social care for families (nurseries, kindergartens). There are also pockets of poverty (like small towns where there was one factory and it went bankrupt, or villages which had state-owned farms back in the communist times).
Government - the same as everywhere. They don't listen to the people who voted for them and who, in fact, gave them their jobs. Too many arguments, too little hard work.
Crime - not really. Organized crime, car theft or corruption (which were the problems) seem to be much less of a problem than a few years back. Most people agree the biggest problems is probably vandalism, and the fact that the police work slowly and often not efficiently.
Bureaucracy - this seems to be the biggest problem in the view of many people, including me. Too many gov't offices, too much paperwork, too many clerks, too little hard work. Too complicated law, too many barriers, etc.
Health service - one great disaster. The system has been on the brink of collapse for at least ten years, in spite of pumping more and more money into it (it's consumed by the red tape mostly). Endless queues to specialists (they told me to wait 3 months for broken hand rehabilitation), doctors incessantly complaining about having too much work, bad contracts, and everything goes down on the patient who has the choice to use the sucking state health care or go private (where you get much better treatment, but you have to pay hefty fees).
Controversial - the main line is between traditional/Catholic and liberal/progressive. Count abortion, in-vitro insemination, religious education at schools (read: Catholic religion at school), attitude to gay people, things like that. You could also say there are two Catholic Churches in Poland: the nationalist, ultra-conservative, antisemitic, anti-European followers of Father/Fuehrer Rydzyk of Toruń, and the more liberal officials (who prefer to remain silent, however, though most believing people wouldn't actually subscribe to Rydzyk's point of view). Yeah, that's controversial.
Answered By: Rob - 9/25/2012