Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk has made a welcome address to football fans who are planning to visit the destination next week for the Euro2012.
He commented: “As prime minister, I know Poland has spared no efforts to guarantee an unforgettable football festival in welcoming cities.
“In a week from now, the National Stadium in Warsaw will resound to the first whistle of the first match of Euro2012.
“Europe’s best football teams will compete against each other. My heart, like the hearts of most of my compatriots, will cheer for the Polish squad. Nevertheless, I expect deep sporting emotions at every match and I hope to share them with you – fans of football from all over Europe.
He continued: “Whether you drive to Poland, fly to Poland or come by rail to Poland – we are waiting to welcome each one of you here. We have spared no efforts to guarantee you an unforgettable football festival, to be enjoyed in a fantastic atmosphere and the most comfortable of conditions.
“For the last five years, like the rest of the world, we have been coping with the economic crisis. Despite this challenge, we have invested billions of euros in modernising our infrastructure. New stadiums are waiting for you in Warsaw, Poznań, Gdańsk and Wrocław. Maybe it is not for us to boast, but many people have said that the new facilities are some of the most modern in the world.”
Donald went on to add: “Poland has made tremendous progress in her development. Two decades ago, we were a poor post-communist country on Europe’s eastern frontier. Today we are the country that has averted recession during the recent turmoil and become the biggest construction site in the European Union. I invite you to see for yourselves the scale of change that our country has undergone.
“And there are many more reasons to visit Poland. Apart from our legendary Polish hospitality, you can discover many attractions that are still off the beaten tourist track: the Great Masurian Lake District; the Białowieża primeval forest, unique in the EU; Wrocław, with its bridges and canals; vibrant and modern Warsaw; the 1,000-year-old Cathedral Island and the Renaissance city hall in Poznan; and Gdańsk – a pearl of Hanseatic architecture. These are just a few examples of many places worth seeing.
“Most football teams competing in the championship have chosen Poland for their base camps. This is no accident. We have prepared an internet site to help you find your way around our country. By visiting www.polishguide2012.pl, with just a few clicks you can create your own travel itinerary for your stay in Poland. This internet guide will also be available to download as an application on your mobile phone.
“I am aware that many of you may be concerned about the situation in Ukraine, which co-hosts Euro 2012 with us. So let me recall something: Yulia Tymoshenko went to great lengths to enable Ukraine and Poland to co-host the tournament. I am confident that, despite all the current problems, she would not want her great efforts to go to waste. Euro 2012 is organised for football fans, not for politicians whose presence in stadiums is unnecessary. However, politicians should use their best efforts to ensure that ordinary Ukrainians are not punished for the difficult situation their former prime minister now faces. After all, Euro 2012 is also their celebration.
“British media have recently raised the issue of racism among Polish football fans. As yet, no European country has been able to fully eradicate the problem of racism. We in Poland are also combating this phenomenon, which is neither greater nor smaller than in other European Union countries.
“Almost half a million UK citizens come to Poland every year. Many of them relax in Poland in an extremely easy-going manner. They are always greeted with much hospitality. For at least three years, not a single racially motivated incident has been reported by British tourists. With all certainty, everyone who visits Poland during Euro 2012 will feel safe in our country.
“With this in mind, do not think twice about coming over to support your team and enjoying Euro 2012 to the full. We are waiting for your arrival.”