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Poland’s richest region Mazovia, which includes the capital Warsaw, is being pushed to the verge of bankruptcy by its requirement to pay a “solidarity fee” subsidy to poorer regions, writes Gazeta Wyborcza.

Out of the region’s annual budget of 3bn zlotys (€700m), Mazovia must transfer 660m zlotys (€154m) to its impoverished neighbours.

The region’s officials have long complained that the fee, introduced in 2003, places too great a burden on Mazovia – already struggling amid the ongoing global financial crisis – and announced they will officially suspend payment on September 16.