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a country in central Europe, east of Germany and west of Belarus. Population: 38,634,000 (2001). Capital: Warsaw. Poland was an important European power between the 14th and 17th centuries. After World War II, Poland became a Communist country, and its government was strongly influenced by the former Soviet Union. It is now a democracy. Poland's main industries traditionally include coal, shipbuilding, and farming. People from Poland are called Poles. Poland became a member of the EU in 2004.

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