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Paying bribes in Poland - necessity or a luxury?


Wroclaw Boy  
9 Oct 2008 /  #1
Has anybody any bribe stories?

Ive paid a few and im not talking about tipping the waiter.
Mystery Member  
9 Oct 2008 /  #2
Has anybody any bribe stories?

I'm wearing a free teeshirt emblazoned with the word POLSKA, I have a bottle of Lomza in the fridge and a couple of packets of cigarettes. I won't make their lives or jobs any easier, so I just accepted them as gifts of friendship!

The trouble with bribery is that it has to go further. If I wanted to make their lives and jobs easier, I would have to pass on some of these cigarettes and bottles to my boss to keep him sweet, otherwise, I'd get it in the neck for letting my team of workers slack.

I don't smoke the cigarettes - they live in reserve for when someone needs a smoke at work, so they kind of go round in a circle anyway.

No-one will ever guess who I am!
OP Wroclaw Boy  
9 Oct 2008 /  #3
It is normal over here call it brown toungue syndrome in the shape of a bottle of brandy, box of chocolates and a big bunch of flowers.

For the more serious stuff....stuffed envelopes passed under the table in public places...........
benszymanski 8 | 465  
9 Oct 2008 /  #4
on the subject of bribes - I saw a poster in the reception of a police station here that was an anti-police-corruption type poster. Had a picture of a load of officers with a slogan along the lines of 'we don't take bribes!' Made me wonder to myself how big a problem police corruption must be if it warrants a poster campaign...

I wish I had taken a picture of that poster because now I can't find any pictures of it on the internet...
OP Wroclaw Boy  
9 Oct 2008 /  #5
I bribed a traffic Policeman on my very first visit to Poland back in 2002. He tried to hit me with a 500 PLN mandate for speeding and overtaking through a train crossing. Fair enough really. However 100 PLN in the pocket and he let us go with a be careful next time.
dnz 17 | 710  
9 Oct 2008 /  #6
I've bribed policemen with cigarettes although I have no idea why he stopped me in the first place.

I also used a bottle of Wyborowa in woja woda office (or however you spell it) in order to get my application done in 4 days as opposed to 3 weeks.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
9 Oct 2008 /  #7
I have been stopped 8 times by the police in Lithuania and I have paid 6 bribes. M

I have never had to bribe anyone in Poland but when I first came here 6 years ago, it was common. Women would not have to pay, if they were good looking all they had to do was smile, if not cry, same effect anyway.

And as a developer Wroclaw Boy have you never had to pay someone to get connected to the gas/elec etc?
I actually have not myself but people tell me it is common.
There has been, as I am sure you know, a massive clamp down on corruption in Poland (Lithuania need to do the same) and this is probably the biggest problem any Ex-communist country has, so well done Poland.
jnowiski 2 | 121  
9 Oct 2008 /  #8
i wish i could have bribed the cop to say i just had a traffic accident instead of bringing me in for DWI.
Kazikowski 17 | 101  
9 Oct 2008 /  #9
What happens if a bribe is unsuccessful? Do you get fined?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
9 Oct 2008 /  #10
What happens if a bribe is unsuccessful?

There is no such thing as an unsuccessful bribe, just insufficient quantities.
OP Wroclaw Boy  
10 Oct 2008 /  #11
And as a developer Wroclaw Boy have you never had to pay someone to get connected to the gas/elec etc?

No, not really.

Most of my bribes goto the conservator.
Harry  
10 Oct 2008 /  #12
Old fashioned bribes seem to have passed away in Warsaw. Here it's difficult to even bribe the ticket inspectors on trams now that they have bodyguards with them all the time. On a larger scale the old brown paper envelope stuffed with cash has very much been replaced by hiring the right consultant or lobbyist.
sobieski 107 | 2,128  
11 Oct 2008 /  #13
I have never paid a bribe anywhere in Poland and I do not intend to do that.
Way back in 2004 when I moved to Poland, it took me because of that principle about six months to register my personal car (which I brought with me from Belgium) including about 20 visits to various offices, but on the end I managed.

Once I offered a box of Belgian chocolates to the girls in EU section of the Foreigner's department (because they managed to replace my lost Karta Pobytu in very short term), but that was immediately refused.

The logistics company I work for also has an official policy of doing everything official.
dhrynio 5 | 97  
17 Oct 2008 /  #14
We are currently building a house here. my husband is Polish I am American. I remember the first time he told me that he had to bribe the gas buy to put out gas project through quickly otherwise it could have taken months...many months. He has also bribed other buidling officials. And we decided not to put the second window in our bathrooma nd there fore expect to bribe the final inspector for that too. the problem here is not so much that they expect bribes but rather that the laws and rules are so goofy that to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time you have to bribe someone to get something to happen.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
17 Oct 2008 /  #15
A family member too is building a home, and know what you mean. To install the electricity was a 4 month work order. Which after follow up turned to 6 months. But when he went to the office, took the guy out for a beer and bribed him, look at that electricity was installed in 3 weeks.

Stupid TP is one you can't bribe, otherwise you'd have to bribe half the company! So instead of a home line, there will have to be a satellite phone. They said waiting for a phone line could take 9+ months. In the age of technology, I couldn't believe this.

On the inspector bribe, they are pricey. We had a difference from plan by 0.5 meter and they asked 5,000zl for it. Negotiations still under way :/
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
17 Oct 2008 /  #16
We had a difference from plan by 0.5 meter and they asked 5,000zl for it.

Might be cheaper to have the architect submit a revised plan.

The biggest problem is extending over the building line. Too close to a road and the house comes down.

Also, if you are talking about an exterior wall being half a metre out then the builder should cough up the 5,000zl. Or is the builder not responsible ?
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
17 Oct 2008 /  #17
That's exactly where we are at right now. Determining if the bribe will be less, or paying the architecht to do a revised plan.

It is the exterior wall that is 0.52 meter out. Up to 0.50 they said was "forgiveable". Perhaps that means a lesser amount to bribe.

There was no developer or builder. Every part of the house was organized by someone else. So the murarz is the one that messed up and read the plan wrong. But he's off building with row homes near Warsaw and unreachable. Ahh, poland!
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
17 Oct 2008 /  #18
mandat was the first word i learnt in polish

used to get pulled by the rozzers everyother day back in the 90s, never happens now which i guess is becuase ive learnt to drive like a kuntt, i mean local

It is the exterior wall that is 0.52 meter out. Up to 0.50 they said was "forgiveable".

of course you pointed out that his measurements were wrong

which of course they were
Sasha 2 | 1,083  
17 Oct 2008 /  #19
Have you guys heard of anybody given a bribe to road police in Poland I wonder?

Yesterday I gave a ride to road policeman... I was stopped by him for that purpose on my way back home from work. Is it a bribe? :)

Seriously I've given a bribe for several times. But it's Russia...
I love when at the end of the year they come up with figures about corruption in Russia. I am like "hey guys... you forgot to ask me if I was provoked to give a bribe"... :))
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
17 Oct 2008 /  #20
Have you guys heard of anybody given a bribe to road police in Poland I wonder?

thats what i posted about above
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
17 Oct 2008 /  #21
or paying the architecht to do a revised plan.

If the property is in the middle of a field (big garden) have the architect sort it out.
He/She is only a phone call away and everything will be legal.

You do have a problem, if you are too close to neighbours. If you don't give them space for light then they could make a complaint. As I've said the building line and being too close to a road can be a major issue.

I would find a copy of the building regs, give them a good read and take it from there.

BTW. if you are too close to a big tree or trees... make sure the next storm causes them enough damage for you to have to cut them down.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
17 Oct 2008 /  #22
Corruption was very common in Poland 6-8 years ago and earlier, now is still more common than in most of western Europe but things are changing and people here should realize that for giving bribes one may spend between 6 months and 8 years in prison, 2-12 years in more serious cases. You may be "succesfull" a few times but that won't last forever.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
17 Oct 2008 /  #23
youre right G, corruption should not be encouraged
osiol 55 | 3,922  
17 Oct 2008 /  #24
Seriously I've given a bribe for several times. But it's Russia...

One of my Polish colleagues drove a lorry across Russia a few times. He had to pay quite a lot of bribes. Allegedly.

This is the same bloke as the one who recently gave me beer. There's another bottle arriving on Monday (his wife is importing it especially for me from Poland), so I decided to disbribify (I just invented that word) and give them a bottle of wine in return for their troubles.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
17 Oct 2008 /  #25
You do have a problem, if you are too close to neighbours. If you don't give them space for light then they could make a complaint. As I've said the building line and being too close to a road can be a major issue.

The home is on a rather bigger field/lot. So no issues with neighbors or being to close to the street. The only prob will be to pay off the inspector at the end when the home is complete.

Corruption was very common in Poland 6-8 years ago and earlier, now is still more common than in most of western Europe but things are changing

Just cause Poland is in the EU, doesn't mean it will change to be like other western european countries. Lots of professions are paid poorly just because of the perception of how much they will rack in monthly in bribes.
Sasha 2 | 1,083  
17 Oct 2008 /  #26
He had to pay quite a lot of bribes. Allegedly.

I drive quite carefully but last time I broke speed limit and was asked by policeman instead of fine "Petra naydesh?*"

* can you find "petr"? Petr is slang for 500 roubles bank-note cause Peter 1 Russian emperor pictured there. URL

500 roubles~20$
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
17 Oct 2008 /  #27
Lots of professions are paid poorly just because of the perception of how much they will rack in monthly in bribes.

I don't believe this at all. I doubt that the electrician who put the cables in, your post 15 house, made a single zloty. Only his boss made (easy) money.

Forward planning is the answer.

With regard to the building game: I've got to say this, because it's true. Most people who build their own homes in Poland haven't a clue as to what's involved. That's how bosses and officials can run rings around people, raise prices and expect bribes.

I'm sure that you are on top of things, so this does not apply to you Krakowianka, but it certainly applies to some others.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
17 Oct 2008 /  #28
Take the example of a celnik. A friend celnik in Gdynia port makes around 2000zl. Which for working 7-10 yrs in the profession is a poor salary. He does however probably rack in 10000zl in bribes to let items go through without being taxed.

Electricians on the other hand make pretty decent money (regardless of what the boss makes).
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
18 Oct 2008 /  #29
He does however probably rack in 10000zl in bribes to let items go through without being taxed.

no wonder poland is fukt
Kowalski 7 | 621  
18 Oct 2008 /  #30
Take the example of a celnik.

great example but 15 years ago

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