Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Feb 2012 21:44 UTC
Legal It would seem that freedom of speech and the open web are in better hands in Eastern Europe than they are in Western Europe. After Poland, the Czech Republic is the second country to suspend the process of ratifying ACTA. "A wave of protests against the international agreement, including hackers' attacks, has swollen in the world as well as in the Czech Republic. 'By no means would the government admit a situation where civic freedoms and free access to information would be threatened,' [Czech PM] Necas said." Anyone from either Poland or the Czech Republic care to comment on how serious we have to take their politicians? If a Dutch or an American politician said something like this, I'd be weary and mistrusting.
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Eastern?
by zima on Mon 6th Feb 2012 22:32 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

And here I thought I mostly wander around Central Europe... ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe yes not all classifications agree, but most do; "Eastern" seems to be largely a relic of rigid Iron Curtain era polarization - the area in question, in geographic centre of Europe, is definitely distinct from what's further to the East, in the... Eastern region of the continent)

As for what it could mean - I would have to ask around about the Czech Republic myself, but in the case of Poland one might consider how the present parliamentary coalition & gov cater, in large part, also to ~younger (hence more tech-inclined) parts of the population.
And that's a coalition & gov in its 2nd term, just after completing full previous one - an unheard of thing up to now (well, at least in times after the dissolution of Soviet-backed regime). They generally enjoy quite consistent & strong support - I presume they might seriously reconsider ACTA, if the events would convince them it will be seriously harmful to that support (especially since there's one new major party around, which would readily pick up those voters)

Also, remember how both Czech Republic and Poland are two (of the relatively few) EU member states with opt-outs from parts of major EU treaties, so they are somewhat willing to push their way.

Reply Score: 3

Poland
by Danniello on Mon 6th Feb 2012 22:38 UTC
Danniello
Member since:
2007-12-23

In Poland it means nothing i.e. Polish government is waiting what will happen next. When situation will calm down - they will sign ACTA. If not - maybe there will be nothing to sign, because other countries/organizations will stop ACTA in European Parliament...

Reply Score: 3

situation in Poland
by Maciej on Mon 6th Feb 2012 23:15 UTC
Maciej
Member since:
2012-02-06

Polish PM announced that Poland will not ratify ACTA without broad debate - but for now its only a delay. A debate took place today, with PM Donald Tusk, Minister for Digitalization, members of various organisations and internet users, where Donald Tusk presented his point of view. He explained that he believes ACTA is not a threat for free internet and he wouldn't sign it otherwise, so he has no intention to cancel his signature, but he will not proceed with ratification until all doubts surrounding ACTA will be addressed.
How serious it is depends on ability of polish society to turn spontaneous protests into organized and sustained action. One of initiatives is to organize referendum - there is requirement of 500 000 signatures, and 300 000 are already collected, but event with that referendum is only possible, not guaranteed. There are still protests happening and situation is highly dynamic, so its hard to make any predictions.

Reply Score: 3

Are you kidding?
by Zbigniew on Mon 6th Feb 2012 23:29 UTC
Zbigniew
Member since:
2008-08-28

Anyone from either Poland or the Czech Republic care to comment on how serious we have to take their politicians?
I'm really sorry to explain, that there's no need to take any of the polish s.c. "politicians" seriously - especially those from "Citizen's Platform" gang... ooops! "Party", I wanted to write, of course.

I'm sorry, since I would to write something contrary, like: "polish politicians are honest, trustful, and serious people, real leaders of the nation" (or the like). Unfortunately: these thieves are destroying the country and ruining all of us, in Poland.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Are you kidding?
by kristoph on Tue 7th Feb 2012 03:27 UTC in reply to "Are you kidding?"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Yeah, Poland is in a terrible state, what with the best GDP growth in Europe, the huge rise in PPP, the 10%!!! drop in unemployment over the last decade and the booming foreign investment.

Also, did you know that the Polish GDP as measured by PPP is the 20th highest in the world? Poland has grown ahead of countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Spain and all other former east European countries.

So, yeah, honestly, you may not like your government or whatever but their either doing a good job - economically - or their just amazingly lucky. Either way you want to keep them around.

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Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Are you kidding?
by radix on Tue 7th Feb 2012 07:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Are you kidding?"
radix Member since:
2012-02-07

Well, it's easy to have higher GDP than let's say Sweden or Belgium when you have four times as large population. What matters is GDP (PPP) per capita and Poland is far behind these countries and also behind other former communist countries like Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia or Hungary.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Are you kidding?
by Dbxx on Tue 7th Feb 2012 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Are you kidding?"
Dbxx Member since:
2012-02-07

It's not the goverment that creates the GDP but simply put hard working people. The goverment is just taking they part (in Poland - over 50%) of what people earn and put it to waste by supporting stupidities like the Ministry of Digitalization - as ridicule idea as Monthy Python's ministry of silly walks.

The PM of Poland only cares about % in polls, hoping to gain some of recently lost points by pretending to care about ACTA and freedom of speach, but in the end he will do what Merkel tells him to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Are you kidding?
by Zbigniew on Tue 7th Feb 2012 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Are you kidding?"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

Yeah, Poland is in a terrible state, what with the best GDP growth in Europe, the huge rise in PPP, the 10%!!! drop in unemployment over the last decade and the booming foreign investment.

Also, did you know that the Polish GDP as measured by PPP is the 20th highest in the world? Poland has grown ahead of countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Spain and all other former east European countries.


And because of such fantastic growth more than 1 million of young polish people migrated into UK? And another million of the others - into other countries.

Man, the real total debt of polish state is more than 3 000 000 000 000 zl. (!) It's more than 220% GDP! We've been robbed by "politicians".

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Are you kidding?
by przemo_li on Tue 7th Feb 2012 10:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Are you kidding?"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Yes.

Lower unemployment, GDB, PPP, all can be ascribed to migrations. Cause just like Ireland, poles send some of earned moneys back home to poland.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Are you kidding?
by qbast on Tue 7th Feb 2012 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Are you kidding?"
qbast Member since:
2010-02-08

Any sources on that "real" debt figure?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Are you kidding?
by Zbigniew on Tue 7th Feb 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Are you kidding?"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

For example: tinyurl.com/76fxa9t

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Are you kidding?
by zima on Mon 13th Feb 2012 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Are you kidding?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Ultimately that's some random blog... and a way of counting which looks most "unflattering" of sorts (especially when mentioned in isolation)

Edited 2012-02-14 00:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ACTA
by Lorin on Tue 7th Feb 2012 00:57 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

It only requires one member nation to refuse the treaty to stop it for all of the EU, good job.

Reply Score: 2

No f**ing way
by utumno on Tue 7th Feb 2012 02:59 UTC
utumno
Member since:
2008-02-10

The goobermint in Poland ( and I strongly suspect Czech Rep as well ) has simply adopted a delay tactic. They are waiting for the protests to fade away.

After all, like Rick Falkvinge just showed us, the Swedish goobermint is 'fully on board' with its American overlords. If things like that happen in Sweden, I am scared to think what's going on behind the scenes in potato republics like Poland or the Czech Rep.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No f**ing way
by kristoph on Tue 7th Feb 2012 03:33 UTC in reply to "No f**ing way"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

No dude, it's not a delay tactic, it's a very unsubtle way of saying to their American friends 'SHOW ME THE MONEY!'.

And you know, the truth is, that the US is almost certainly happy to oblige by making trade commitments or selling weapons at a discount or by providing some other form of 'assistance'.

Sadly, although there is popular resistance to ACTA in Poland, a few billion will go a long way to improving poverty or reducing joblessness or just decreasing public debt and most people care about that more then ACTA (and the government knows that).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No f**ing way
by Straho on Tue 7th Feb 2012 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE: No f**ing way"
Straho Member since:
2011-09-30

No dude, it's not a delay tactic, it's a very unsubtle way of saying to their American friends 'SHOW ME THE MONEY!'

That isn't so bad, some people could make some money.
Politics in my country do not negotiate anything, they are like a slave who serve to master.
This Sunday Hilary Clinton visit my country and some journalist talk about fraternal feelings between our two nations. I looking for big blue box for a moment I think I'm 30 years back in the time and it's Brezhnev's visit.
I have fraternal feelings to all humans, but some people think about me like a slave.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No f**ing way
by zima on Tue 7th Feb 2012 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No f**ing way"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

"Fraternal feelings" ...maybe somebody also wants to sneak in one politically correct ambiguous allusion, relatively common in the times of (also) Brezhnev (then an instance of saying things in a way which would allow the official censors to look the other way, too)

See, the Soviets were our brothers. After all, you can choose your friends - not so with family ;)

Edited 2012-02-07 12:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: No f**ing way
by Soulbender on Tue 7th Feb 2012 12:59 UTC in reply to "No f**ing way"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I am scared to think what's going on behind the scenes in potato republics like Poland or the Czech Rep.


Wow, that's just up there with calling the US a former colony that shouldnt be uppity.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No f**ing way
by zima on Tue 7th Feb 2012 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE: No f**ing way"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

He's most likely from one of them (where it is... not an uncommon sentiment)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: suggestion
by zima on Wed 8th Feb 2012 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No f**ing way"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

PS. There was this ~art display, at the EU Parliament I believe, supposedly meant to highlight and at the same time demystify & take power away from the stereotypes... or smth.

So, this was Romania: http://www.kyon.pl/img/20988.html (yes, constructs in the shape of given country, suspended above the entrance hall or similar place)

Germany: http://www.kyon.pl/img/20990.html

Poland... http://www.kyon.pl/img/20989.html (yup, that's a potato field; also priests & homosexual flag, evoking Battle of Iwo Jima photo)


Suffice to say, it was... controversial, and I don't think it lasted long ;)

Reply Score: 2

jermar
Member since:
2006-06-12

I think using the term Eastern Europe in connection with the Central European countries should be considered a big no no and avoided as much as possible. I also didn't quite understand the allusion that the Western Europe should perhaps have some automatic patent for freedom of speech (as compared to what is wrongly considered Eastern Europe in the news article).

Apart from that, it looks like either the Czech government either didn't know what it was signing or it found some clearly populist incentives to reconsider the ratification. By the way, there was an anti ACTA demonstration in Prague last week.

Reply Score: 3

radix Member since:
2012-02-07

I actually believe they did not really know what they were signing. Which is no big deal considering that signature means in this case so little.

Reply Score: 1

flynn Member since:
2009-03-19

I think using the term Eastern Europe in connection with the Central European countries should be considered a big no no and avoided as much as possible.

I'm afraid I have to disagree.

I'm from Poland and I have never in my life identified myself as a 'Central European', I have always thought of myself as eastern. Now in the interest of fairness I should mention I've met other Poles who steadfastly refuse to consider themselves Eastern Europeans and only identify as Central. To me however, this is inane and stemming to what I can only ascribe to the animosity towards Russia amongst the general populace and the longing to be accepted as part of the west.

Some people avoid a east/west split in order to not rile up any post war sensibilities, but what they fail to see are that the eastern countries have common cultural and historical identity that gets totally disregarded when you start to lump Poland together with Germany just because they are both near the center. Culturally and historically, Poland has way more in common with Lithuania (a traditionally eastern country), than with Germany. Maybe the Czechs have a different perspective due to their historical ties with the Holy Roman Empire, but as far as Poland is concerned the only thing that ever really tied us to the west was Catholicism.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't particularly want to be seen as part of "the West". Also, I often strike down stupid bile directed at the Russians (sure, they had and have some problems, and our relations were and are... complicated; but nothing really justifying the level of blind, irrational slandering they often get in Poland)

And I still think central is the more sensible label - you are at the geographic centre of the continent, in an area culturally distinct from vast region to the east up to Ural, sharing your history primarily with neighbors.


Paraphrasing: what you fail to see is that central countries have common cultural and historical identity that gets totally disregarded when you start to lump, say, Poland together with Russia just because they are both to the east of Germany.

We do in fact have lots of historical ties with DE, why you in turn disregard that? (heck, I am partly German - and that's not something unusual, however some would like to deny cross-border connections over centuries - long before the recent concepts of national borders, rise of nationalisms in XIX century; there were even many "German" areas in what was otherwise considered core Poland, my childhood city was like that before XX century)


Funny you mention Lithuania - not only it isn't even Slavic, also Baltic states in general (though maybe Lithuania the least of them) have an immense cultural and historical connection with... Germany.

You see Pepiczki* as more subjugated to the Holy Roman Empire, while forgetting Poland was at times also mild vassal to it - heck, the approval of Holy Roman Emperors was crucial in the establishment of Kingdom of Poland (or, even more so, reestablishment of it with the use of borrowed German warriors, after Pagan Reaction in XI century - too bad not a lot about that in schools though, which generally cherish the myth of "national baptism" in X century).
Your view on the Church also seems simplistic - it was the political organisation for large part of our history (one could say it's again that in PL...), your "only thing" was the thing in the past - it must be seen akin to the European Union nowadays (can you say it would be sensible if somebody, in few centuries, would say "the only thing that ever really tied PL to the west was EU and NATO"?)


Yes, Poland or Czech Republic absolutely aren't part of Western Europe - but also not Eastern (and BTW, DE also isn't monolithic, the areas of former East Germany would be "closer" for example). You think you belong to the East probably also because most of your life you were told that, because that was in turn the "proper" thing to claim (well, maybe it also becomes one now, vs. "the morally rotten West" for example)


*for non-PL speakers: that's one colloquial description for Czechs, basically simply just "cute" one ;) (perhaps partly related to how the Czech language tends to sound "cute" to Polish native speakers, how every single Czech or Czech-dubbed movie is hysterically hilarious - though it also means they don't want to bring me to cinema with them ;) ...well, at least not on "sad serious dramas" and such)

Edited 2012-02-14 00:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by przemo_li
by przemo_li on Tue 7th Feb 2012 11:03 UTC
przemo_li
Member since:
2010-06-01

Well I think, that PM opinion is genuine actions to calm situation in Poland. Period.
Nothing more to look for really.

Official gov info about ACTA showed in paper about fishing regulations...
Gov. decision to sign ACTA in Japan was settled behind closed doors.
Our Privacy Inspecting institutions had whooping 36h for making any opinions before Japan proceedings. Institution regulating net, telecommunication, etc, had even less. (even though PM did put some blame on it letter for not providing its opinion (sic!)).

Oh and invitation to this so-called "debate" where send between 17-22 in the evening. Some even report that they where not invited after all.

So it is genuine attempt to call protests down. Period.
(This mean that if refusing ACTA is only way, then it will be done. In mean time our gov. will push all docs about ACTA it made into open)

Edited 2012-02-07 11:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2