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Warsaw Hearts New York; Poles Hope for Visa Waiver to Shop Fifth Avenue

(Warsaw, Poland) It turns out the Polish people know a thing or two about high-end shopping, as President Obama learned first-hand in Warsaw Saturday.

American presidents are familiar with the refrain from their allies that the process for obtaining a U.S. visa can be too restrictive, but Prime Minister Donald Tusk was quite specific with his concerns.

"[I]t is in the interest of the United States to make sure that as many Polish people as possible could get to not just the shops on Fifth Avenue, but all over the United States, in the easiest possible way. Because this is bad business for both parties," Tusk said to Obama. "I'm really very glad that there are very clear signs and your personal engagement, Mr. President, in this will most probably also let American people to make more money on Polish tourists and Polish buyers."

The prime minister had been prompted by a Polish reporter's question referring to the high-end shopping destination of New York's Fifth Avenue as an example of the kinds of places the Polish people would like to patronize in America.

Luckily for Polish Prada lovers, President Obama is reporting progress on getting Poland access to the Visa Waiver Program. "[W]hat I've now done is put my support behind legislation in Congress that would change the criteria so that we're looking at the overstay rate of visas, and our expectation is, is that by this change in the law, we can be in a position to resolve this issue in a way that is satisfactory to Poland, but also meets the security concerns of the United States," Obama said then noted to great laughter that, " we very much want you to shop on Fifth Avenue and anywhere else in the United States."

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