One of Poland’s leading entrepreneurs, the Berlin and Swiss based Pole, Marek Kmetko, will launch his new pro-business foundation in Brussels on July 9th with a dramatic appeal from lawyers and other experts to Polish government officials to help rather than hinder the life of businessmen in Poland.
Poland’s performance in the EU is outstanding, and many experts, including recently the ‘Economist’ are trying to explore the source of its economic successes.
But the output could be even more impressive should the Polish authorities better support business and entrepreneurs instead of destroying companies because of reckless and irresponsible use of preventive detention of businessmen in a fashion that owes more to communist era or immediate post-communist era political-judicial-media wheeling-dealing than the norms of business law and regulation in modern EU member states.
Zdzislav (Marek) Kmetko, a businessman from Wroclaw has had bitter memories in respect of dealing with the local prosecutor’s office and tax authorities in the past and is still involved in a legal fight after his business was arbitrarily shut down over accusations which local power-holders in Wroclaw refuse to explain to both his Polish and his German lawyers.
The Wroclaw authorities have tried to get the German police to take action against Mr Kmetko but the German authorities after a thorough investigation found no criminal activities in his operations. Mr Kmetko has offered to cooperate fully with any Polish authorities and make any payments required of him by Polish law. However he has not yet received any response to his offers after more than half year.
Mr Kmetko has decided now to set up a foundation based in Brussels to try and build business links between young Polish entrepreneurs living in other EU member states and businesses in Poland and to improve conditions for business in home country.
‘I am a Polish patriot. I have offered to pay any moneys the Polish authorities believe they can claim for me but the use of preventive detention to destroy my business is unacceptable. I want to encourage more business activity in Poland and to get Poland fully into line with the norms of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and Transparency International,’ he said in a message sent to the launch event in Brussels.
Mr.Andreas Zumschlinge, a lawyer from Berlin and the Warsaw lawyer Mr.Marcin Kondracki will explain at the Kmetko Foundation launch event at the Brussels Press Club (1600h Wednesday 9 July) how the Wroclaw prosecutor Piotr Kalecinskí and other Polish officials are in violation of European norms and why Poland needs to modernise its approach to business administration laws.
14 year old Sandra Natkaniec will appeal for help from newly-elected Polish MEPs to be reunited with her mother, Dagmara. Mrs. Natkaniec was among those detained and imprisoned in November 2013 when the Wroclaw authorities launched a raid on Mr Kmetko’s employment agency operations. The mother is an employee of Mr Kmetko based in Berlin. She was simply visiting family in Wroclaw when she was arrested because of her connection to Mr Kmetko. She was held in prison for several months and is now out of jail but cannot return to Berlin to be with her daughter while respecting the guarantees the Wroclaw prosecutor demands.
Dagmara Natkaniec, according to lawyers, was employed outside Poland and has nothing to do with the charges against the local firms, however she is kept back with the only purpose of putting pressure on her boss Mr. Kmetko. 14 year old Sandra was questioned by the prosecutors in the absence of a lawyer. This shows the ugly side of the vendetta against just one businessman but there are many reports and even a feature film in Poland on the extreme behavior of Poland prosecutor-judicial apparatus against businesses. Sandra will ask for support from Polish and other MEPs to be reunited with her mother as stipulated in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Other speakers at the event include the former UK minister for Europe, Denis MacShane, who wrote the first book in English on the Polish union Solidarity. ‘Poland exports millions of its workers to work elsewhere in Europe. This causes real political and social tensions. Poland should stop using outdated law to attack Polish businesses and discourage genuine free market entrepreneurship which can create jobs for Poles inside Poland.’
Another speaker is Mr John Borrell, author of ‘The White Lake’ a book based on his own experience of fighting with corrupt officials in north east Poland. Borrell, from New Zealand and a former senior foreign correspondent for ‘Time’ set up a business with his Polish wife near Gdansk 20 years ago. He opened a modern resort hotel, started a wine importing business and even created his own brand of vodka. In his hilarious yet disturbing book John Borrell recounts his struggle with local officials, prosecutors, judges, politicians and editors who conspired to try and stop him running a business and creating jobs. Mr Borrell will report on his experiences and why Polish MEPs and MPs have to stop the disastrous damage done to the Polish economy by the anti-business abuse of law by Polish officialdom.
Issued by the Foundation for Better Governance on behalf of the Kmetko Foundation.
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