Saturday, August 29, 2009


Everything in the Lodz region this week appears to be illegal. We begin with the exclusive British International School, which, Gazeta Lodz reports, doesn’t possess the necessary certification, isn’t registered with the Ministry of Education or the Education Department of the City of Lodz.
In addition it doesn’t have a sports hall, a library, native speaker teachers and the carer in the crèche doesn’t even speak English and can’t communicate with the toddlers. As a demonstration of their cultural sensitivity, the school served Hindu children beef for their lunch and responded to complaints from parents with letters written in Polish.

Despite this, they charge a massive EUR 700 per month to the parents of important foreign managers and business people that Lodz is desperate to attract. Antonio Melone, a Managing Director at Indesit Polska took the drastic step of relocating to Warsaw and told Gazeta Lodz, “From the educational point of view my children lost two years there, and now they have to work extra hard to catch up.” Another parent told reporters, “I wouldn’t have even considered moving to Lodz if I’d known there was no school here for my children.”

Meanwhile, nearby the village of Piatek an illegal alcohol factory has been discovered in a barn by Customs Officers. The discovery began with a standard roadside patrol that stopped a van carrying a large quantity of ethyl alcohol whose driver didn’t want to admit either where he had collected the load, or where he was taking it to. However, he had been spotted driving away from a farm and when Customs Officers investigated they found a primitive production line manufacturing neat alcohol from solvents. Officers seized 3,500 litres of the liquid, enough to prepare 20,000 litres of vodka with a duty value of PLN 340,000. The driver of the van and the farm owner are refusing to speak and will both face a steep fine if convicted.

Back in Lodz, even the taxi drivers are operating illegally, waiting for customers on the city’s famous Piotrkowski pedestrian precinct during the middle of the day, even though they have been banned from there since January 1st this year. The change in regulations, limiting the hours in which they can trade on the precinct and allowing them a maximum of 10 minute waiting time, appears to have had no effect on the drivers who simply ignore the signs and queue up at the rank all day despite only being allowed to from 6pm to 6am. Approached by reporters from Gazeta Lodz, the taxi companies deny all responsibility, claiming it is the business of the drivers and the City Guard. The City Guard meanwhile say the drivers claim they didn’t realise they had waited too long and that they will leave in a moment, “We can’t wait there looking at our watches until they overstay,” said Lech Wojtas of the City Guard road department.