Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 31, 2007

Ukraine stadium security issue affects Italy qualifier

Filed under: Stadiums,Ukraine — Ivan @ 1:49 am

KIEV, Aug 27 (Reuters) – A security row over Kiev’s Olympic stadium, venue for the Euro 2012 final, has resurfaced with a government ruling that less than half the seats can be sold for next month’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy.

The interior ministry has said only 41,500 seats at the 84,000-seater stadium could go on sale for the Sept. 12 match.

UEFA, who granted the 2012 tournament to Ukraine and Poland in April, and world body FIFA have complained that construction of a shopping and leisure centre adjacent to the stadium posed a security risk.

Construction at the site has been suspended while officials conduct talks with the owners of the centre to work out some form of compensation. A UEFA commission is due to visit Kiev early next month to discuss the matter.

Ukraine are fourth in Euro 2008 Group B with 12 points. Leaders France have 18 points, Italy 16 and Scotland 15.

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Government kicks off Euro 2012 law

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 1:48 am

Polish minority government approves new investment law for Euro 2012 projects.

Report by Bogdan Zaryn

Poland?s conservative minority government has approved a special draft law aimed at speeding up  administrative regulations  regarding investments for  Euro 2012.

The draft law is designed to speed up lengthy bureaucratic procedures regarding investments for EURO 2012. The project still needs to be approved by Parliament before it becomes law. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski says that this proposed legislation is Poland?s only chance to meet deadlines set by UEFA.

?Football stadiums and other investment projects for EURO 2012 would not be made  possible without this  so called ? fast track?  law. So the proposed draft law would allow for  quick decision making on  investment projects   and  the construction of  such ventures.?

Michal Borowski adviser to the Sports Minister says that Parliamentary approval is crucial to the get EURO 2012 projects off the ground.

?It?s an  extremely important step. After the approval from the government this proposal law can be accepted by Parliament. Then we can go forward with the organization of EURO 2012. We can start with state owned companies which should be responsible for all the coordination of works. We can also start with the stadium in Warsaw. We can also use the new regulations for building licenses, for those investments which can be stamped  by Ministry of Sports and Tourism as a 2012 investment.?

Sports Ministry officials say that when this legislation becomes law all of the investments planned for EURO 2012 will be given  a priority status. One of the most important projects is the building of a new national football stadium in Warsaw. It is still not decided whether the old stadium which is now  the venue of the largest outdoor trading center in Europe will be renovated or  if an entirely new football sports ground will be establish somewhere close. Whatever the case  government decision makers are confident that the proposed law will help matters much.

?We have four years to do the national stadium in Warsaw. The possible reduction of time is really important. I would guess that this  a question of 50% more time without this law.?

But Witold Michalek a business consultant for Uni-lab international argues that getting through red tape in record time is just one of many problems.

?Access to land in fact and the management of land by municipal  governments and the government itself  and all things that are a barrier for investment, should be cleared up as quickly as possible.?

Earlier this week bookies had placed bets on Poland?s inability to meet Euro 2012  targets. Their predictions showed  that Poland wouldn?t make it. But now the odds may be in Poland?s favor when Parliament approves  the draft law.

polskieradio.pl

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August 30, 2007

Poland’s government passes Euro 2012 act

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 8:27 am

The Polish government on Wednesday passed an act on the organization of the 2012 European Football Championship, Poland’s Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said after a cabinet meeting.

“This act is so crucial that we’ll either have to pass it and act accordingly to it or conclude that the task is above our capability, “Kaczynski was quoted by PAP news agency.

Kaczynski explained that the new law will help speed up the construction of sport objects and infrastructure.

Poland’s Sport minister Elzbieta Jakubiak said the government was working on a special investment plan to prepare for the 2012 event.

Poland and Ukraine won the right to host the Euro 2012. The two countries will co-host the tournament for the first time in history.

Source: Xinhua

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August 28, 2007

Will they blow whistle on Euro 2012?

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 1:54 am

The Polish parliament must pass legislation to speed up EURO 2012 development.

Bogdan Zaryn reports

Polish parliamentarians have roughly 48 hours to pass legislation which is crucial for EURO 2012 projects. If the Polish Sejm fails to pass special laws then Poland may be in danger of loosing its title as host country for EURO 2012.

1778 days left till EURO 2012. The clock is ticking and nothing much seems to be happening for EURO 2012. In the spring Europe?s governing body UEFA awarded   Poland and Ukraine  the chance to host this event. Now that the euphoria has fizzled Polish law makers must pass crucial legislation before September 7th  in order to make Poland ready for 2012.

Michal Borowski chief architect for EURO 2012 in the Sports Ministry says backward legislation is hampering progress.

?To order design, this is the first thing that has to be done within two or three months from now. All big projects must be ordered the agreements with architects and engineers  have to be signed and then they can start work. For the moment we have a situation in Wroclaw and Gdansk and in Warsaw , that not even the design job has been ordered.  ?

 Poland has already  appointed a new  Sports Minister  and department to over see the entire 2012 project but, observers say that?s not enough. The  location of  new stadiums, launching  tenders  for projects and construction works and finally documentation on the entire process could take over a year and a half to realize. To mmake matters worst  Poland is getting ready for snap elections in the fall? Sports Ministry officials though are not worried.

?The total modernisation of  the entire country. This is the most important. The question is when the election will be and what happens after. But until the new government will be constructed, the old government is working and so I can?t see any problems.?

Robert Strybel from the Polish American journal says that Polish politicians will put their differences behind them and  most probably vote unanimously  for the introduction of new legislation speeding up investment.

?These are not controversial issues. I don?t think there is any party that is  opposed to 2012. But anything in Poland is possible ? there is a good likelihood that they will get together on this and pass those things. But if anything will come of it is another matter. It is a completely different ball game. There?s lots of things that Poland has on paper and that?s where it ends up. The lack of Polish follow-up has been, throughout history, a very serious problem. It has shown time and again that there is great enthusiasm at the beginning which is called ?straw fire enthusiasm? and then everything fizzles out.?

The Polish Sports Ministry has to ask UEFA  for an extension so it can realize its plans for the development of sports infrastructure. It is not known whether such a request will be granted. A dark cloud continues to plague the country?s feeble attempts to meet the deadline  set by the European football Association.

polskieradio.pl

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August 22, 2007

Ukrainian Members of the Parliament to play soccer match for Euro 2012

Filed under: Poland,Ukraine — Ivan @ 11:58 pm

Football teams of Members of the Parliament (MP) from Poland and Ukraine will play a match in Kiev on September 8, Polish PAP news agency reported.

The Polish team will include representatives of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) and opposite parties.

The match will be one of the elements promoting the Euro 2012 European Football Championship, Polish biggest opposite party – Civic Platform’s MP Ireneusz Ras said on Monday.

The return match will be played at the Wisla Cracow pitch in April or May 2008. Both matches will be charity money-raising events.

Poland and Ukraine have received the right to organize European Football Championship in 2012.

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Ukraine minister unhappy with work for Euro 2012

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 3:58 am

KIEV, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Ukraine Sports Minister Viktor Korzh has criticised what he has called inadequate preparations by the country’s host cities for the 2012 European football championship to be staged jointly with Poland.

A statement published on the Ukraine football federation’s Web site (www.ffu.org.ua) after a meeting of senior officials on Monday criticised all four host cities Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk Kiev, and Lviv plus two others in reserve, Odessa and Kharkiv.

The statement “expressed concern…at the state of implementation of orders issued by Ukraine’s president and prime minister as well as the government plan of action”. It gave no further details.

Although stadiums are being improved in Ukraine more than 15 years after independence from Soviet rule, rail and road links, airport facilities and hotels will all have to be overhauled to accommodate the inflow of fans.

uk.reuters.com

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Wroclaw for 2012 Expo?

Filed under: Money,Poland — Ivan @ 3:55 am

Will 2012 be the year when the southwestern city hosts both a football championships and the world?s most prestigious international trade fair?

Michal Kubicki reports

Some say it would be too much of a good thing… Wroclaw in south-western Poland is one of several Polish cities to host EURO 2012 football championship matches. It is also in the race to host the EXPO Exhibition in the same year. What are the challenges facing Wroclaw and the region in the run-up to these events?

In no other Polish city can one sense a mood of local patriotism comparable to that in Wroclaw, the fourth largest city in Poland, with a population of 650 thousand inhabitants and the picturesque location at the foot of the Sudety Mountains and on the banks of River Odra. Bohdan Jung of the Warsaw School of Economics, an advisor to the Wroclaw City Council?s EXPO task force, explains the unique character of the town.

On the one hand, it?s a city that?s been entirely resettled. It?s got a new population after World War Two. On the other hand, there?s this historical heritage from Germany days. Earlier back in history, this place was overrun by Austrians, Czechs, by Poles and Germans, so it?s a melting pot of cultures. The people who arrived in Wroc?aw were largely resettled from Poland?s eastern lands that were taken over by the Soviet Union after World War Two so they brought this sort of Eastern spirit into was by infrastructure a German city. This is a curious mix.?

Wroclaw is one of the most dynamically developing cities in the whole of Central Europe. In recent years it has attracted such companies as Siemens, Phillips, Volvo and Hewlett Packard. Why did they all come to Wroclaw? Bohdan Jung again.

?Because it?s a very young culture of relatively educated young people so the labour force is there and it?s a well educated labour force that is not terribly expensive by EU standards. I also wouldn?t underplay the importance of the human factor. There?s some continuity in the local government. It?s a place which is relatively free of political conflict and what I?ve seen in case of the EXPO is that all political parties work together around a certain goal ? just getting the EXPO.?

With its location in the heart of Europe and enjoying a strong international position, Wroclaw seems to stand a good chance to win the race. British journalist Duncan Rhodes who edits a website Wroclaw-life.com. is confident that the city will not miss the chance.

?Certainly there?s going to be a ton of work but Wroc?aw is a forward thinking city. It?s proven itself that it can attract investors, can organize big events so there are signs for optimism. It?s going to be tremendous chance for Wroc?aw to showcase its charms to the rest of the world and grow in stature. I?m sure that they are not going to let this chance go by.?

The city authorities have recently launched a ?Come and settle in Wroclaw? campaign. It is targeted at those Poles who in recent years emigrated to EU countries such as Britain and Ireland in search of better opportunities. But there are also those who left Wroclaw for the capital of Warsaw some years ago and now think of going back. Agata Baran works in an investment bank.

?Five years ago there were not many opportunities for me. Now they?re rising. Companies are coming. They?re setting up their subsidiaries in Wroclaw more and more and even central headquarters. And so as soon as I?ve had enough experience and as soon as I?ve spotted some interesting opportunities in Wroc?aw I would definitely go back and when I have kids they will be raised in Wroclaw because it?s the best place to raise kids.?

polskieradio.pl

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August 17, 2007

Yanukovych Does Not Want to Reduce Taxation

Filed under: Money,Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:51 am

The Finance Ministry opposes the idea of giving tax breaks for cities hosting Euro-2012 Football Championship.

According to Head of Department of Tax and Custom Policy for the Finance Ministry, Serhiy Servetnyk, taxation should not be linked to definite events otherwise it will be discrimination.

He claims that those five cities hosting the championship will unlikely acquire a status of ?free economic areas?.

The official re-assures that the majority of tax preferences demanded by mayors of hosting cities are stipulated in a new Tax Code which is to be adopted soon.

?A draft Tax Code stipulates to tax enterprises polluting the atmosphere. There is also a transport tax which will surely bring profit to the cities. The Tax Code aims at accumulating funds and liquidating tax evasion.?

Mr. Servetnyk suggests Euro hosting cities to attract more investments for development of infrastructure and reconstruction of stadiums.

Five cities will host the 2012 Euro Football Championship: Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odesa, Donetsk and Lviv.

Source: Ukrayinska Pravda

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August 14, 2007

Euro 2012 sets Ukraine tough test

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 4:26 am

By Helen Fawkes
BBC correspondent in Kiev

 

The industrial heart of eastern Ukraine was glowing in a beautiful sunset as local heroes Shakhtar Donetsk took on their arch-rivals Dinamo Kiev.

Yet the Soviet-era stadium looked small and a bit too old-fashioned for Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the country’s top teams.

There are concerns that Ukraine may not be ready in time for the Uefa European Football Championships in 2012, which it will co-host with Poland.

It will be the most prestigious project that Ukraine has ever co-hosted, and it is expected to attract thousands of fans.

But there are fears that the politicians here do not have their eye on the ball.

Donetsk is one of four host cities in Ukraine. All of the venues were built by the communists, and they are well past their best, needing to be replaced or renovated.

Ukraine has faced one political crisis after another and now the country is preparing for a general election.

“The most difficult thing will be to change the attitude, to make the authorities look in the direction of football and start paying attention to the country’s infrastructure,” says Dmitriy Chigrinsky, a player for Shakhtar Donetsk and Ukraine.

“It’s no secret that our country needs serious modernisation,” Dmitriy adds.

Infrastructure woes

Ukraine is one of the poorest places in Europe. Now it has to spend billions of dollars preparing for the championships.

 

With vast distances between the Euro 2012 venues, transport is a top priority. Ukraine’s trains are cheap but not exactly fast, as the network has not changed much since Soviet times.

A journey from Gdansk, one of the Polish venues, to Donetsk can take more than 40 hours.

And the alternatives are not much better. Ukraine only has one motorway and many roads are in desperate need of repair. The country’s airports are all due to be modernised, and there is also a real shortage of hotels.

As if all that was not bad enough, there is a row over the venue for the final.

It is supposed to be held in the centre of Kiev, but a half-built shopping centre looms right next to the stadium gates – and the developers are refusing to knock it down. If it stays, the final will have to be played elsewhere.

Optimism

Despite all these problems there is a confident mood at the headquarters of Ukraine’s Football Federation in the capital.

 

“If I wasn’t an optimist I would never have dared to start such a project.

“Some people called it naive, they were sure it would be impossible for us to win the right to co-host the event. But we did win,” says Hryhoriy Surkis, the president of Ukraine’s Football Federation.

“We are now working hard to turn the fairy tale into reality,” he says.

There are some positive signs. Two brand-new stadiums are starting to take shape in eastern Ukraine. One of the venues is being funded by Ukraine’s richest man, the football-mad billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, for his team Shakhtar Donetsk.

Designed by a British architect, it will have a glass roof and promises to be one of the best stadiums in Europe.

The Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko, has said that a co-ordination council will be set up with Poland.

It is due to meet in September to discuss a range of issues including joint infrastructure projects, and it will apply for support from the European Union.

Even so this former Soviet republic still faces a massive task to prepare for Euro 2012. It will be a race against time to complete all the work needed.

“Ukrainians are very proud to be co-hosting the championships. I am certain we can do it and we can do it well.

“This is about more than just football. If the tournament goes well then it could well boost our chances of becoming part of the EU,” says a Ukrainian football fan, Maxim Simoroz.

With so much at stake the country cannot afford to fail.

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August 11, 2007

Poland has enough time to get ready for Euro 2012, sport minister declares

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 12:53 am

Sports minister Elzbieta Jakubiak has said that construction of a national stadium in Warsaw for Euro 2012, which Poland will co-host with Ukraine, should begin in the spring of 2009 and will take about a year and a half.

This means the stadium will not be ready before the deadline set by UEFA for mid-2010. Minister Jakubiak is convinced that it is enough if stadiums are ready a year before the event. She said press reports that UEFA may deprive Poland of the right to organize Euro 2012 are rubbish.

Preparations are most advanced in Poznan, western Poland, where work on the local stadium is already on the way. A tender for the construction of a stadium in Warsaw was cancelled  as the authorities had not decided whether it will be built on the site of a run-down communist-era facility, now serving as an open air market, or next to it.

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