Poles have become used to elites abusing their positions, even when „democratically” elected and (In theory) responsible to the electorate. Every group we’ve voted in started by raising their own wages and telling the rest of the country to “tighten our belts” and suffer through harsh times (there’s always a tragedy or drama or crisis). They fear no judgement nor court nor call for rationalisation – every elite member knows that any newcomer will not attack the older teams: he/she will start-off by grabbing as much as possible, nor will he/she rock the boat, wanting to consume the benefits of power for a long time. So, the elites, in their thieving and arrogance, feel secure and continue to privatise assets, money, power and positions.
The same is happening with the Smolensk tragedy. While the nation reeled from the emotional shock, money began switching hands – immediately a variety of people began to get wealthy. Families of those who died had their mortgages cancelled by… compassionate (sic!) banks, people were given access to bank accounts and savings of the deceased without any procedures, not even court verdicts, credit cards were paid off.
The current battle is centred on the creation of “insurance” payouts to families of the deceased – not only wives/husbands and children but also… the parents. Numbers dropped here and there are 250 000PLN or about 80 average national wages. Oh, and if Europe thought that this was a decent sum (even when considering PPP), the reality is worse – this quarter million will be paid out the EACH family member. That means a family of 8 (wife and 7 kids), with two parents, will cash-in 2.5 million PLN.
The whole trend was started by the daughter of the presidential couple, who reportedly received a payout (within a few weeks of the tragedy) of 3 million PLN.
Now, I got no problems with insurance payouts to victims of tragedies or their families (in case of death), and I know that in many transport accidents, especially in aviation, the payouts can be LARGE. But, I would like to know:
1. Where does the “insurance” money come from? What institution paid it out?
2. Is there a governmental insurance system intent on protecting officials on business trips, etc?
3. What were the policies, monthly payments/instalments, and who paid them? Where is this regulated?
The tragedy highlighted the pathetic nature of Polish politics and government, showing us as dilettante’s in just about everything. When we add the previous air crash (military CASA, with drunken crew, etc), we must be now known for recklessness, lack of discipline and an inability to develop and enforce systems/controls. On top of that, the elite members are now robbing the state, utilising the emotional scarring after the crash.
What angers me and many Poles if the inequality of tragedy and its consequences. Tu154 crash victims get hundreds of thousands PLN and the families of CASA victims are also demanding the same. Yet, the crashes were caused by pilot error due to inadequate training and most passengers did NOT have to be there, e.g. they were not “at work” or “actively serving”. Instead, they were along for the ride.
Now, we witness many transport accidents each year, and Poland has more than the average nation, including the 2010 tragedy where 18 people died in a ford transit. Their families got 3000PLN, and NOTT 80 times more like the families of already wealthy politicians. Miners, people who risk their lives every day, upon death leave their families similarly small/pathetic payouts.
We won’t eliminate inequality and abuse of power, but we should at least demand clear responses in the areas of insurance – not “insurance” form international corporations intent on abusing our money, but REAL insurance, job/post-specific, with clearly defined fees and payouts, beneficiaries, conditions, etc. At least then, much of this disgusting hunt-for-death-cash would vanish, allowing us to ponder the serious consequences of such tragedies.