Polish Briefing 31 August, 2017 11:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Information on negotiations with Gazprom should be revealed again

What goes on in Poland on the 31st of August.

Masovian office detected an international VAT carousel

“At least 30 Polish and foreign entities were involved in a tax carousel detected by the Masovian Customs and Tax Office,” announced the Ministry of Finance. The group traded cars imported from abroad.

Over a thousand cars imported to Poland have been identified. The perpetrators did not pay the VAT. “According to initial calculations only between January 2016 and July 2017 the estimated unpaid VAT was over PLN 25 m, and the value of invoices issued by the offenders was PLN 108 m,” the ministry reported.

The officers of the Customs and Tax Office secured 15 vehicles and searched three used-car plots in the Masovian voivodeship. The value of the secured property was about PLN 1.1 m. The vehicles included such brands as BMW, Audi, Volvo, Volkswagen, Lancia, Opel, Fiat and Renault. The fraud has been taking place since at least 2014.

The ministry stressed that this June a special task force has been established at the Masovian Customs and Tax Office, which designed the plan to reveal the illegal activities and secure the cars used to commit the fraud. The task force cooperated with Generalny Inspektor Informacji Finansowej (General Inspector for Financial Information).

Sawicki: information on negotiations with Gazprom should be revealed again

“In view of the questions surrounding Poland’s negotiation strategy with Gazprom in 2010, which have appeared after the latest article published in the Sieci weekly, the documents related to the negotiations should be revealed again,” said Marek Sawicki (PSL) on Wednesday.

Marek Sawicki was asked on Wednesday on TVP 1 about the unfavorable gas agreement with Gazprom signed in 2010. The journalists of the Sieci weekly got access to classified negotiation instructions adopted by the PO-PSL government. The document said that while the first negotiation instruction from March 2009 “protected the Polish interests,” the other instruction adopted by Donald Tusk’s government in July 2009 let to a situation where Poland gave up on “all the major postulates that guarantee energy security.”

According to the newspaper during the negotiations a “series of incomprehensible decisions was made to make Moscow happy,” those included, among others, foregoing about PLN 1 bn which Gazprom owed Poland, agreeing to significantly limit the profits of the EuRoPol Gaz company and consenting to organizational changes in the firm that were unfavorable to Poland.

Threat to Polish transportation companies 

The Minister of Infrastructure and Construction Andrzej Adamczyk believes the posted workers directive advocated by France’s president and Germany will eliminate from the EU market transport companies from Poland and a few other EU countries. “France’s and Germany’s protectionist actions which advocate for the directive will in reality eliminate Polish transport companies from international transport,” Adamczyk said on Tuesday in an interview for TVP Info.

In his opinion the actions taken by Germany and France will also eliminate many transport companies from other countries, e.g. Spain.

He also said that the transport sector was very important for the Polish economy as it brings PLN 12 b to the budget and ensures jobs for 100 thousand people.

Martin Lundstedt, head of the Volvo Group in a special interview for talked about the transport sector, staff shortages among Polish drivers, the state of Polish trucks, new technologies in transport and the biggest challenges for the sector.

The minister ensured various activities at different levels were being pursued. He also stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was engaged in the matter, while Prime Minister Beata Szydło discussed the issue during her talks with heads of EU Member States. Additionally, the Infrastructure Ministry was also in close contact with its counterparts across the EU.