Poland’s political and economic success have given it a sense of confidence and a new profile on the international stage. It’s a member of NATO. In fact, it now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. Beyond Europe, Poland has also been one of Washington’s most loyal allies: Poland was among the largest contributors of troops to the War in Iraq, and it still has troops in Afghanistan.But perhaps the biggest reason for poverty-stricken nations like Egypt to pay close attention to Poland is that it is a very rare breed in today’s world, especially in Europe. Poland has a strong economy – the sixth biggest in the European Union now and the only European Union country to avoid a recession altogether. None of its banks needed to be rescued.Its economy grew 4% last year, and is on track to grow 3% in 2012. Why, you’ll ask. How did it survive the turmoil in the Euro Zone? One answer is that it has strong domestic demand and has been pouring money into infrastructure projects.
But the real – and fortuitous – reason is that Poland has yet to be allowed in to the Euro Zone – it continues to use zlotys instead of the euro. So unlike Greece or Italy, it was able to devalue its currency to stay competitive.The irony is Warsaw continues to see its destiny as being tied to the common currency. More than half its exports go to the EU – a majority of it to Germany, its main trading partner. Poles reason that being part of the same currency would encourage foreign direct investment in Poland. And it’s not just about economics. After yearning for decades to be part of Europe, its leaders now feel a resurgent Poland could be a full-fledged member of the European community.But perhaps Poland should look at England, Sweden, and Switzerland – all European countries, all with strong economies – but with their own currencies. That might be the model to emulate. In any event, no Arab country is likely to give up its currency anytime soon – no matter what Poland will do.
Over many years, he had risen from contributor to administrator and then to suicide bomber. His case is not exceptional. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has also used jihadi Web forums to communicate directly with Muslims in the West, using encrypted messages to offer detailed instructions on how to conduct jihad. One al Qaeda member, Anwar al-Awlaki, directed Major Nidal Hasan to carry out a terrorist attack at Fort Hood in 2009.”We want people in cities across the nation picking up their own brushes, and creating change in their cities. We want to help people have the tools and support necessary to make this happen everywhere.”