Sunday Trading in Poland Under Renewed Threat

Poland’s Sunday trading debate continues. In the original draft of new regulations, the Solidarity trade union wanted all shops, with only a few exceptions, to be closed every Sunday. On October 27, however, the Sejm Committee of Social Policy and Family made several amendments to the draft, allowing for trade on the second and fourth Sunday of the month, and the two Sundays before Christmas. The draft law now needs to be discussed further.

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Czechs Hold Emerging Europe’s Most Powerful Passport

The Czech passport is the most powerful of those issued by the 23 countries of emerging Europe. According to the most recent Passport Index, it is ranked eighth globally and allows its holders to travel visa-free to 152 countries around the world. The Hungarian passport is the second most powerful in the region, the only difference to the Czech equivalent being its failure to offer visa-free travel to Lesotho.

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One in Five Poles Unaware of Source of Funds for 500 Plus Programme

As many as 21 per cent of Poles do not know the main source of funding for the current government’s flagship 500 Plus family benefit programme, and only 38 per cent are aware the funds come from their taxes. The figures were published following research carried out by ciekaweliczby.pl. Even more noteworthy is the fact that as many as 40 per cent of respondents are certain the programme is funded from taxes paid by “other people,” businesses, or the government’s own funds.

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Estonia Leads Baltics in Cutting Sugar in Food and Drink

The Baltic States are waging a war against unhealthy eating and drinking habits, and the Estonian government has been active on a number of fronts. First it raised excise duty on alcohol, and then quickly pushed forward legislation aiming to reduce sugar in food and beverages, duly passed by the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, in June 2017. The law introduced taxes on all sweetened drinks containing more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 milliitres.

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Romania’s Budget Deficit ‘Should Start Alarm Bells Ringing’

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - June 29 2017: Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose during a swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni palace in Bucharest capital of Romania June 29 2017.

Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on October 25 that the country’s budget deficit for 2017 was “under 3 per cent” and would “remain under 3 per cent.” His comments came a day after Eurostat published its own figures for the second quarter of 2017, which show that Romania is running by far the biggest budget deficit in the EU, at 4.1 per cent. The UK — whose economy is wracked with uncertainty regarding Brexit — is a distant second, with a deficit of 3.4 per cent. Continue reading Romania’s Budget Deficit ‘Should Start Alarm Bells Ringing’

Lithuania Wants to Bring Home its Skilled Workers

VILNIUS - FEBRUARY 25: Many people choose books at the indoor book

With an unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent in August, Lithuania is facing a shortage of qualified workers. There are over 9,000 vacancies across the country and more than 70 per cent of employees claim finding workers is a challenge. Trying to solve the problem, Invest Lithuania, the country’s investment promotion agency, joined by over 30 foreign companies, has founded Work in Lithuania, a programme inviting emigrants back to the country. Continue reading Lithuania Wants to Bring Home its Skilled Workers