Źródło: Gazeta Prawna Dostawca: Grupa Wydawnicza INFOR Data: 5. września 2005

Poland of 2012 ? A Chance for a Winning Battle Not Only on the Football Pitch.

The plans are truly impressive: kilometres of motorways, stadiums capable of holding tens of thousands of football fans, modernised trains and public transport, tens of hotels and comfortable airports. The pressure of time and the fear of an international scandal in case of failure should constitute a greater incentive for the government and the local authorities to put the declarations into practice, than just voters’ disappointment. Nevertheless, the scope of investments must overwhelm and arouse justified anxiety. With the present situation on the construction market, companies are forced to wait for chosen building materials for months, while the quotas on greenhouse gases’ emission prevent production increase. Qualified workforce is also lacking, especially from the construction sector. To this can be added bad legislation and an unclear competence division between state administration offices. And, finally, shortage of money. Still, hopes fly high. Krzysztof Lapinski of the Gdansk Institute for Market Economics (IBnGR) is an optimist: ?It’s hard to think of an industry that would not benefit from the economic boom. And the 2012 championship will surely spur this boom even more, if only because of the need to make use of the EU subsidies earlier, and to a bigger extent. Besides, the inflow of football fans and tourists will spur trade and tourism industry. Will Poland make it in time? I can’t recall any case of a country actually failing. Why should we be worse?’

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

For the recent couple of months, construction firms’ biggest concern was not the building materials’ price rise (a considerable one at that) but their lack. The Polish production plants are working full steam and expanding output capacities, but they are limited by the carbon dioxide emission quotas. The government has promised to negotiate Poland’s quotas’ extension but before it does, the producers have to conform to those presently in force. Some building materials are being imported from the Czech Republic and Germany. Miroslaw Lubarski, the Marketing Director of Polskie Sklady Budowlane building materials distributor, is less concerned: ?The longest construction cycle of a production plant in this sector does not exceed two years. Many of the deficit materials’ makers are already expanding production capacities. The majority will have overcome the crisis in 2008, when the demand for building materials connected with the European Championship will be in its initial phase.

A Question of Prestige

Investors will soon be signing first contracts with construction firms. They need to be sure the construction will be completed in time, to avoid an international embarrassment. But how? ?Fitting the contract with a clause securing the timely completion of the project is hardly feasible, especially when it comes to factors beyond the parties’ influence. Hence, the biggest investments will be carried out by big, reliable, financially stable companies who will struggle to keep to the deadlines for the sake of the projects’ prestige. Should they fail, bad reputation will tail behind them in Europe and even drag them into financial straits,’ says Seweryn Kowalczyk of Rachelski i Wspolnicy legal firm. The most challenging projects will be carried out by consortiums of construction firms from across Europe. Local authorities ? the organisers of the event ? are already receiving offers from German, French or Portugal firms. Polish companies are ready to co-operate. Eugeniusz Zawadzki, the Director for Investment Contracts at Bartimpex, has said: ?Owing to the great size of the planned investments, our company may form part of big international consortiums able to meet tender participation criteria and to compete with both Polish and foreign giants in the industry. We are currently holding talks with our compatriot and foreign partners.’

Let’s Talk about Money ? Euro 2012 Financing

The main source of financing for the organisers of the 2012 European soccer championship are the EU funds. The Regional Development Ministry (MRR) has declared it would carry out a review of the previously prepared indices of key investment projects. Monika Niewinowska of MRR has divulged that the ministry was working on the adjustment of project completion dates to the specific requirements of the Euro 2012 schedule. The key projects’ index is also being expanded. All investments have to be completed by 2012, not 2015 as it was previously assumed. It is worth mentioning that the investments co-financed by the EU must at the same time contribute to the country’s long-term development. In other words, the constructed infrastructure will serve the organisation of the championship only incidentally; it would have to be built irrespective of the event.

It’s Not All About Football

Piotr Wisniewski, the 2012 European Championship Office Coordinator in the Wroclaw town hall, has explained: ?Each investment has to be analysed for its post-championship usefulness. We have to learn from Portugal’s mistakes. Huge sports facilities stand there purposelessly.’ But in Poland almost all of the planned projects were needed anyway. Road infrastructure development has been one of the Regional Development Ministry’s priorities for a long time, and the modernisation of some of the stadiums had already started a few years ago. ?Our blueprint of the EU funds’ expenditure practically has not changed. The only serious modification pertained to the deadlines. Many of the planned investments will have to be completed by 2012, instead of 2015. In other words, the 2012 European Championship will only have a speeding-up effect on us,’ says Niewinowska.

Private Business to the Rescue

Experts are confident about the expansion of hotel and catering. Investments in these sectors are being dictated by the market itself, and will be carried out by private entrepreneurs. The Polish Hotel Chamber (PIH) Head Krzysztof Milski believes that every businessperson must be prepared for grey days, and make long-term plans: ?Investments for the needs of one sports event is a bad idea, doomed to financial failure. Well located hotels will be profitable also after the championship.’

amfb Puls Biznesu Budownictwo, pp. 48-58, June 2007 PNB Special Report 2007, July, 23