Vol. 10, Issue No. 29/2003
Prime Minister of Poland Visits California
by Jadwiga Inglis
After meeting with President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney in Washington DC, on the 6th of February, the Prime Minister of Poland, Leszek Miller, met with representatives of the West Coast Polonia, local elite, and members of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) in the Regent Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel. He presented a lecture on the subject of transatlantic cooperation and the role that Poland might play. A West Coast group of Polish professionals of science, arts, and business talked with the Miller and members of the Polish delegation.
The audience's individual views were presented, proposals for more educational programs were discussed, and requests for further cooperation to benefit Polonia and Poland were proposed. Miller stressed that in his opinion Poland's membership in the European Union will considerably increase the standard of living of Poles, as well as improve Poland's prosperity and her role in the world.
Among Miller's guests was US Ambassador to Poland, Christopher Hill. Local Polonians were represented by: Richard Widerynski and Mieczyslaw Dutkowski from the Polish American Congress, Southern California Division; Chris Hiller, Vice President of POLAM Federal Credit Union; Alexander Nawrocki, NASA Astronaut-Ameritege Co.; Polish actresses Barbara Krafftówna and Jadwiga Baranska; actor Peter (Andrzejewski) Lucas; film director Jerzy Skolimowski, composers Jan Kaczmarek and Jerzy Antczak; Jolanta Zych, President of the Helena Modjeska Arts and Culture Club; Tadeusz Podkanski, Vice President of Modjeska's Club; Dr. Andrew Inglis; Wladek Juszkiewicz, Director of the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, and a large group of Polonians from San Diego.
Representatives of the Polish government were seated at each table and I had occasion to exchange questions with government Press Spokesman Secretary of State Michal Tober and Vice Director Andrzej Szynka. They asked about my work and what brought me to Los Angeles and they were very cordial in answering my questions.
Polish Ambassador to the USA, Przemyslaw Grudzinski from Washington D.C., Polish Consul General Kasprzyk in Los Angeles, Consul Czarny, and Consul Kozak, welcomed the Polish delegation and the distinguished guests of the Polish Prime Minister. Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk introduced many of us to Prime Minister Miller.
During one of the meetings, the conception of building a Polish-Jewish Historical Museum was presented. Miller met with Adrian Brody, star in the recent Roman Polanski film "The Pianist, and later with Szpilman's son, Andrzej, in Hollywood. Szpilman, the main hero of the story, and author of the book "The Pianist" died in 2001 in Poland.
During the Miller's lecture regarding the development of transatlantic relations in the 21 century, he acknowledged the need of close relationship between USA and the European Union (EU), and also between countries entering the EU. Answering questions Miller pointed out that US military presence in Europe is needed and necessary. He expressed a strong opinion that countries of Europe will be able to stand together, and cooperate in the war against international terrorism, as well as against dictators who possess weapons of mass destruction, for example, Iraq.
On the same day, in San Jose -- the capitol of Silicon Valley -- Miller met with CEO's of the largest, new high-tech corporations-Lockheed Martin, Intel and Motorola. He invited those companies to invest in Poland, saying that a very good relationship with America should move another step in becoming close economic partners. America is the second biggest investor in Poland after France.
Miller visited also the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he observed the newest Air Force technology.
Jadwiga Inglis is Special International Correspondent VIP-High Life from Hollywood, California.
Vol. 10, Issue No. 29/2003