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November 15, 1987

Food prices may double and rent and heating costs may rise by 200% next year if Poles vote for major economic reforms in a Nov. 29 referendum, government spokesman Jerzy Urban said. The referendum will give Poles a chance to approve government programs for the next two to three years aimed at restoring the country's battered economy. The impact of the reforms was outlined in Poland's newspapers over the weekend, and the disclosures prompted panic buying of such foods as sugar, flour and canned meat. "We had to announce this before the referendum because otherwise people would say they had been cheated," Urban said.

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