WLOCLAWEK - Poland's Prime
Minister Donald Tusk on Thursday warned builders of flagship
infrastructure projects for Euro 2012 they could lose their
contracts because of delays and faults.
Poland is co-hosting the tournament with Ukraine and Tusk
has made updating the country's antiquated infrastructure a key
priority for his government ahead of the championship.
However, Poland's new national stadium, being built by a
Polish-Austrian consortium, and a key highway in the central
part of the country being constructed by a Chinese company are
behind schedule due to technical faults or problems with
"In both cases, I will propose decisive steps. Everything
needs to be in line with the agreements, the law. We have paid
deposits, we have penalties stipulated. The Polish state will
definitely not lose out on this financially," Tusk said.
"We don't want the builders to delay work trying to extort
higher prices from the Polish state," he told reporters during a
visit to an industrial site in central Poland.
Poland's National Sports Centre (NCS), which oversees the
construction of the stadium, has given the companies building
the venue two weeks to fix faulty stairs, leaking stands and
other shortcomings on the site.
"Our call for tackling all the glaring deficiencies is the
last attempt to discipline the contractor. After these two weeks
we have the right to cancel the agreement," said NCS spokeswoman
Tusk, a keen football fan, faces national elections this
autumn and hopes the ambitious infrastructure building programme
will boost support for his ruling centre-right Civic Platform
Since taking power in late 2007, the PO-led government has
built 1,242 km of roads, including 200 km of major highways.
But Chinese consortium COVEC, which in 2009 offered the
lowest price for building a 50 km stretch of highway between
Warsaw and the city of Lodz - part of a key road due to run to
Germany - recently stopped paying its Polish collaborators.
They halted work in protest.
"The Chinese side promised to catch up with all arrears by
May 30, but so far we have seen neither the payments nor
received any fresh information," said Mikolaj Karpinski, a
spokesman for Poland's infrastructure ministry.
"The highway was supposed to be opened in May 2012, just
days before Euro 2012. We appreciate that problems with
liquidity on the Chinese side have cost us several precious
days, but we still hope we will make it on time," he added.
Poland lags well behind most of its European peers in the
size and quality of its road network.
The country of 38 million has around 1,500 km of major roads
versus more than 12,500 km in Germany, which has a
population of 82 million.
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