Poland is country of Europe located in central Europe
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Official Name: Republic of Poland Capital: Warsaw Total area: 312 679 km2 GDP per capita: $21,000 Native Language: Polish Government: Parliamentary republic Population: 38,186,860 Major Religion: Roman Catholicism Monetary Unit: Złoty (PLN)
The north of Poland, stretching to the Baltic Sea, consists almost entirely of lowlands, while the Carpathian Mountains (including the High Tatras) form the southern border. Masuria is the largest and most visited lake district in Poland.
The Polish state is over 1,000 years old. Poland was one of the most powerful countries in Europe in the 16th century. With the victory in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, King Jan III. Sobieski of Poland break the Ottoman siege of Vienna and end the threat of possible occupation of Western Europe.
Poland is rich in natural mineral resources, including iron, zinc, copper and rock salt. Built in the 13th century, the Wieliczka Salt Mine houses an entire underground city with a sanatorium, theater, church and café! Everything from stairs to chandeliers is made of salt.
Poland's current constitution dates from 1997. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The 460 members of the House of Commons (Sejm) and the 100 members of the Senate are directly elected for four-year terms using a proportional representation system.
Traditional Polish dishes include beetroot soup, cabbage rolls (cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice) and pierogi (e.g. dumplings stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms).
Famous Poles include astronomer Copernicus, composer Chopin, scientist Maria Curie-Sklodowska, filmmakers Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieslowski, and the late Pope John Paul II.
Health & Wellbeing Benefits are pensions, disability payments, child benefits, survivor benefits, maternity benefits, funeral grants, sick pay and child support payments.
Economy & Jobs Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining and manufacturing.
Main attraction Warsaw, the Great Masurian Lakes, the city of Kraków and the Tatra Alps chain.
Business Poland's high-income economy is considered one of the healthiest of the post-communist countries and is currently one of the fastest growing in the EU. With a strong domestic market, low private debt, a flexible currency and independence from a single export sector, Poland is the only European economy to have avoided the late 2000s recession. Since the fall of the communist government, Poland has consistently pursued a policy of economic liberalization and is today considered a successful example of the transition from a centralized planned economy to a primarily market-oriented economy. In 2009 Poland had the highest GDP growth in the EU. Since February 2012, the Polish economy has not entered a recession in the wake of the global financial crisis.