Polish prime minister welcomes UK fans ahead of EURO 2012

Polish prime minister welcomes UK fans ahead of EURO 2012

Polish prime minister Donald Tusk has offered an open invitation to all UK football fans ahead of the opening of the Euro 2012 in Poland.

“I know Poland has spared no efforts to guarantee an unforgettable football festival in welcoming cities,” he said ahead of the first game on Friday.

New stadiums in Warsaw, Poznań, Gdańsk and Wrocław have been built ahead of the tournament.

The 16 leading European football teams will compete against each other at the event, which runs until July 1st.

The final will be held in Kiev.

“Whether you drive to Poland, fly to Poland or come by rail to Poland - we are waiting to welcome each one of you here,” added Tusk.

“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.”

Poland, as co-host with Ukraine, has invested billions of euros in modernising its infrastructure.

“Poland has made tremendous progress in her development,” explained Tusk.

“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.”

The prime minister was also quick to point to other attractions in Poland, away from the sporting arenas, including Great Masurian Lake District; the Białowieża primeval forest; Wrocław, with its bridges and canals; vibrant and modern Warsaw; the 1,000-year-old Cathedral Island and the Renaissance city hall in Poznan.

Tusk also moved to quash rumours of the dangers awaiting British fans head to co-host Ukraine.

“I am aware that many of you may be concerned about the situation in Ukraine, which co-hosts Euro 2012 with us,” continued Tusk.

“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.

Almost half a million UK citizens visit to Poland every year.