Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

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Open border Poland - 20/21 December

Time-lag has Poland, Lithuania pondering Schengen start

WARSAW (AFP) — EU newcomers Poland and Lithuania were Friday grappling with a timely problem ahead of joining the borderless Schengen zone from December 21: their one-hour difference.

When the midnight chimes usher in the new passport-free rules on the Lithuanian side, it will still only be 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) over in Poland.

"We shall act according to Lithuanian time and will stop controls at midnight," Rokas Pukinskas, spokesman for the Baltic state's border service, told AFP.

That stance has left the Polish border authority wondering how to handle travellers who could be waved through by Lithuanian guards and then find themselves in a frontier time-warp.

"We're working on solving this problem," Polish border service spokesman Jacek Sonta told AFP.

"It can't be the case that the Lithuanians will let people through and we won't."

"I promise we'll figure something out," he vowed.

Poland and Lithuania were among the eight ex-communist countries which joined the European Union in 2004, and whose citizens no longer need visas for travel to older member states in western Europe.

The EU newcomers maintained border checks among themselves and with other EU member states pending membership of the Schengen zone.

The eight states, plus the island nation of Malta which was a fellow 2004 EU entrant, won a green light earlier this year to join the Schengen zone.

After abolishing land border controls with other zone members on December 21, they are due to drop airport checks on March 31, 2008, creating a seamless passport-free area.

The Schengen zone is currently made up of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden as well as non-EU members Iceland and Norway.

Re: Open border Poland - 20/21 December

A one-hour time warp, eh?

I remember waiting in a 16 hour time warp on the German side of the Polish border a few years back (pre-EU) ...

Minus bloody 10, as well. Typical German efficiency - enormous new safety barrier in the middle of the road, but no toilets or hot drinks in sight.