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    Poland Introduction - 2002
    http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/wfb2002/poland/poland_introduction.html
    SOURCE: 2002 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

      Background Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived around the middle of the 10th century. It's golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation, until an agreement in 1772 between Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite country following the war, but one that was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, boosting hopes for acceptance to the EU. Poland joined the NATO alliance in 1999.

      NOTE: The information regarding Poland on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Poland Introduction 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Poland Introduction 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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