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The U.S. ambassador to Poland sounded like a huckster for his homeland Monday, as he encouraged Poles to travel to the United States, take advantage of the low dollar and go shopping.

Even with gasoline at $4 a gallon, that is still a bargain for Poles who pay nearly twice that amount, the U.S. Embassy said in what read like a diplomatic advertisement for America.

“When you visit the States, bring an extra suitcase so you can return to Poland with a suitcase full of new items,” Ambassador Victor Ashe said on the Web site, http://poland.usembassy.gov.

The embassy noted that the Polish currency, the zloty, reached a historic high of 2.1 to the dollar and the United States has no value-added tax, which increases the cost of all goods in European nations with the hidden sales tax.

“The price of hotel rooms, airfares and entertainment is now much less expensive, and most merchandise is bargain priced, thus making shopping in the United States a great deal,” the embassy statement added.

“Why not plan a combination vacation/shopping trip to the United States this summer? You can easily fly to one of the major cities in the States … travel to a few attractions, lie on a sun-drenched beach, then conclude your trip with a shopping binge at a major discount outlet before returning home.”

The embassy added that most visa applications are approved in about two days, although it did not mention the $100 fee for the travel documents.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...

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