For Poland, hosting this year’s European football championships was always much more about cash than sporting glory – and the country’s incompetent national side, which exited the tournament with no wins – showed that was a sensible approach.
Just how sensible has been spelled out by PL.2012, the official tournament organiser, and Jakub Borowski, an economist who prepared a report on the financial outcome of the event, showing that Poland earned more than expected from tourists and gained a long-term economic boost from building infrastructure for the tournament. Read more
By Stefan Wagstyl and Roman Olearchyk
The successful staging of the Euro 2012 football tournament helped unify Ukrainians in a surge of well-deserved national pride.
But hopes that the event will help promote political harmony in a fractured country – and boost investor confidence – have been knocked on the head, literally so. Read more
Foreign visitors, numbering up to a million during Euro 2012, appear to have been left with an overwhelmingly positive impression of tournament co-host Ukraine. But international financial institutions look likely to need more convincing before they re-ignite their once intimate relationship with the developing nation.
Ukraine’s largest financial investor, the EBRD, has committed €7.5bn to the country since 1992, invested across 294 projects, including badly needed pre-tournament upgrades of transport in host cities Kiev and Lviv. Yet both the EBRD and IMF are calling for major political and legal reform if they are once more to step up commitments. Read more
Kiev is in an extra cheery mood this weekend, expecting a record inflow of fans for the Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 European football championship final hosted in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday.
The authorities hope that the final will cap what’s been a successful tournament for Ukraine. Even though the national team was knocked out early in the competition, the economy has done well. Euro 2012 seems to have attracted about 1m fans to Ukraine, twice as much as pessimists predicted and roughly in line with (optimistic) official predictions. Read more
Footage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) celebrating Germany’s 4-2 quarter final victory over Greece in the Polish port city of Gdansk may have a wider political symbolism.
But the actions of Europe’s leading politicians, who have so far boycotted Euro 2012 matches across the border in Ukraine, in protest at the jailing and alleged physical mistreatment of Yulia Tymoshenko, may be starting to bear fruit. Read more
As Poland hosts the European football championships, many visiting fans are discovering the changing character of the former communist country for the first time. It’s clear that Poland is a country in full expansion mode, catching up with its western neighbours.
But when the cameras turn away, and the Polish return to their daily lives, how much of the progress and enthusiasm will be left? The FT takes a look on Thursday in a special report. Read more
‘Ukraine is not dead yet!’ These opening lines of the beleaguered country’s national anthem were sung defiantly by yellow-and-blue-clad hordes of fans, thronging the recently rebuilt Olympic Stadium in the centre of Kiev before the national team’s 2-1 victory against Sweden on Monday night. Read more
Germany and Spain are neck and neck with the bookies for Euro 2012 – Paddy Power, the online betting site, has them both at 3-1 to win the tournament.
But – just like eurozone bond investors – China’s online shoppers have shown a clear preference – snapping up more German replica shirts than Spanish ones. Read more
With fans from across Europe driving on Poland’s newly completed highways or flying in to refurbished airports to take their seats at freshly built stadiums, this should be a time of joy for the country’s construction companies.
Instead, there is widespread gloom across the sector as companies deal with the after-effects of loss-making contracts for road and stadium construction that has driven some firms into bankruptcy and could have knock-on effects for the wider economy. Read more
As the Euro 2012 European football championship kicks off this weekend, it’s anyone’s guess which team will walk away with the cup.
But the two nations which are co-hosting the tournament hope to win out economically. Despite a recent beating of bad press in the run up to the games over racism and other domestic issues – not least being the alleged political persecution of Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko – Ukraine and Poland are already counting how much their economies will gain from massive infrastructure overhauls and tourists dollars. Read more
Electronic highway billboards usually confine their information to grim news about traffic jams and road temperatures, but on Thursday those on the road leading out of Warsaw had an altogether happier message: “The A2 is open all the way to Berlin!!!”.
Working under enormous public and government pressure, contractors building the final sections of Poland’s east-west A2 highway managed to open the road to traffic just before midnight on Wednesday. Read more
Poland’s ambitious highway construction programme was supposed to provide lucrative bounty for local road construction companies; instead it has turned into a disaster, as yet another contractor declared bankruptcy on Monday due to problems resulting from its road work.
PBG, Poland’s third largest construction company, and two of its subsidiaries announced that they were taking the step because of liquidity problems stemming from their road construction contracts, delays in getting paid for work on Warsaw’s new National Stadium, and problems negotiating with banks on new financing. Read more
The Greek storm is buffeting the world’s economy, but Poland has not yet fallen victim to the gloom. New industrial production numbers for April show a 2.9 per cent increase over the same period a year earlier.
Particularly strong were exports of things like chemicals, electronic products and machinery, all the sorts of products that are fed into the maw of German industry and which help make Germany the world’s second exporter after China. Read more
Poland’s centre-right government and right-wing opposition usually find very little to agree on, which is what makes this week’s race to deregulate the economy noteworthy.
The first shot was fired by Jaroslaw Gowin, the justice minister, who has embarked on a crusade to slash the number of regulated professions in Poland. The 380 protected trades is the highest number of such jobs in the EU. Read more