First and foremost

At the time of writing this editorial, the European Parliamentary Elections are about to take place (probably the most underrated of all elections), so I thought this would be a good moment to tell you all about my first experience as an elector. It all started 35 years ago, in June 1989, when Poland’s first democratic elections were held.

The spring of ’89 was hot. The streets were festooned with pamphlets and images of Lech Wałęsa, who could be seen everywhere on posters shaking hands with all the opposition candidates. The first issue of independent newspaper ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ had just come out. And I had been gaining my first journalistic experience working for student radio, which had for some time been defying any form of censorship. Despite all that, opposition rallies were still being broken up by the militia, and student activists were still being urged to join the Communist Party, although no one expected any of them to do so. Revolution was in the air. When I went to the polling station on June 4th, I ran into a Solidarity campaigner I knew who was now acting as a member of the electoral commission. As he handed over the electoral form, he winked and asked me: “Do you know how to vote?” The official stood next to him protested meekly: “Mr N., how many times do I have to tell you not to try to influence the voters?” “But I was only asking if he knew the voting regulations,” my friend replied with a tone of innocence in his voice – and then winked at me again. But everyone knew the rules. I couldn’t wait for the new government to take office because the summer holidays were about to begin. I then took a trip to Rila in Bulgaria with a tourist club, but – as any older person might tell you – to travel there was to virtually cut off all contact with Poland. However, on a mountain camping site we encountered some other Poles who showed us a fairly recent copy of the regime’s main propaganda journal Trybuna Ludu, and we proceeded with some laughter to read out aloud the headline announcing the downfall of the old order: “Solidarity considers [CONSIDERS!] leaving two ministries in the hands of the Communist Party”. When we got back to Poland, General Kiszczak was no longer the prime minister – it was Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first democratic PM of the Third Polish Republic.

This June edition of ‘Eurobuild’ also features a number of firsts. For example, we are publishing the first extended interview with the founders of warehouse developer LemonTree, who are trying to change the way we think about the sector and raise it to new standards. We are also launching a cycle of articles on the Ukrainian real estate market. You might find this hard to believe, but it’s possible to begin new development projects while being bombed as well as sell and lease them. For starters, we are focusing on the country’s residential market, while in the next issue our attention will turn to the office market… all the hottest information straight from Kyiv! On these pages you can also read the first of a series of analyses on the residential market that has been specially prepared for us by the portal. On top of that, there’s also an interesting analysis of the investment market. Everyone knows that we’re in a downturn, but every slump comes to an end at some point. And then there’s our report on Eurobuild’s recent Sports Day. For the first time in our history, three events were held: the golf and tennis tournaments that everyone is now familiar with, but with the addition of a running race. Anyone who wasn’t able to attend can do so next year. Maybe they’ll be inspired to do this by our report and the photos of these events.

Pioneering wishes from everyone on the ‘Eurobuild’ team!