Poland's EURO 2008 Loss Dented Economy

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Poland's EURO 2008 Loss Dented Economy

National gloom over Poland's 2-0 thrashing by Germany in their Euro 2008 debut cost the Polish economy some 50 million zlotys (14.7 million euros, 23 million dollars), experts estimated on Tuesday, AFP reports.

"Poland's daily GDP is five billion zlotys. If you consider that the loss in productivity was 10 percent and that 10 percent of professionally active people are interested in football, you get that figure," Jeremi Mordasewicz, an expert from Poland's employers' federation, told the daily Rzeczpospolita.

Polish fans had their hopes for an historic win over eternal rivals Germany dashed in Sunday's match by the Mannschaft's Lukas Podolski, who ironically was born in Poland but emigrated with his family as a youngster.

Poland's attention has now shifted to their next opponents, co-hosts Austria, whom they meet in Vienna on Thursday.

Some 90 percent of Poland's 38 million people are Catholic, and some travelling fans have been seeking extra spiritual balm during the European championships.

But Father Zygmunt Waz, rector of the Polish-language church that has long served the migrant community in Vienna, has decided to try to remain as neutral as he can, notably because most Austrians are equally faithful Catholics.

Waz has planned a mass for the Polish team, but said he won't be praying for a win.

"We don't want to bring God into this. The Austrians pray too, and we don't want to put God in a difficult position," he told Poland's PAP news agency.

Photo by BGNES

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