Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Polish prison labour to build roads, stadiums for Euro 2012?

As many as 20,000 prisoners may help to build the infrastructure for the Euro 2012 football championships, says vice-head of Polish Prison Services Col. Paweł Nasiłowski.

According to Nasiłowski, the possibility of employing inmates at construction sites of roads, stadiums, hotels and other infrastructure needed for the Euro 2012 finals is “being discussed”.

The vice-head of Prison Services added that the prisoner’s employment would be possible also thanks to the money from the Equal programme of the European Social Fund and that the construction programme could be used as a way of rehabilitating prison inmates.

“One should bear in mind that those convicts would be able to leave their penitentiary units in convoys and under supervision,” Nasiłowski stressed.

Col. Nasiłowski referred also to Pope John Paul II’s words, who during his visit to Poland in 1991 met with prisoners and told them: “You are convicted – that’s true. But you are not condemned”.

“We try to remember about Pope’s words and we ask media to present prisoner’s work in this way,” Nasiłowski said.

Poland hasn’t hosted a major football tournament before and several stadiums are to be built from scratch. There is also a severe lack of hotels and roads.

Meanwhile, Poland’s booming building industry is suffering from a shortage of construction workers because so many Poles have left for Western Europe in search of better pay.