November 11, 1989 |
"Sometimes I am ashamed that my nation is represented by such a simple guy," a Polish political commentator said the other day of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. "But at other times I think he's a genius." Throw in a touch of professional jealousy, a pinch of hero worship and a drop of political theater and you begin to see an image, through Polish eyes, of the electrician who next week will be the third non-government foreigner in history to address a joint session of Congress.
October 25, 1989 |
Poland's Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, said in Gdansk that he is canceling a trip to Chile because the two exiled union leaders he had planned to see there have been pardoned. In a surprise move Monday, President Augusto Pinochet pardoned Manuel Bustos and Arturo Martinez only four days before Walesa's scheduled visit.
October 14, 1989
This country' Communist-led labor unions staged their first demonstration Friday against the Solidarity-led government. Union leader Alfred Miodowicz and about 150 supporters demonstrated in drizzling rain outside Parliament to protest an "avalanche of price rises" under the month-old government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki. Miodowicz, whose unions claim 7 million members, said supporters were tired of "paper protests" and wanted action.
October 13, 1989 |
Poland's Solidarity-led government Thursday announced a radical economic program in which it will start closing unprofitable factories and selling off state property this year. The program includes an emergency anti-inflation campaign and structural changes to switch from a centralized Communist system to a free-market economy. Implementation of all major structural changes will be completed by early 1991, according to details of the program issued by the official news agency PAP.
October 5, 1989 |
On the day in December, 1981, that Poland's Communist authorities imposed martial law, hoping to crush the Solidarity independent trade union movement, the Moscow movie theater in downtown Warsaw was showing the film "Apocalypse Now." Last month, as one of the Solidarity advisers imprisoned during that earlier crackdown became the East Bloc's first non-Communist prime minister in more than four decades, the same theater featured another American film--"Moonstruck."
September 30, 1989 |
A feared paramilitary force that once helped suppress the Solidarity movement will be disbanded, Poland's Interior Ministry announced Friday. The move came less than a month after the new prime minister, former Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki, formed the East Bloc's first government that is not controlled by Communists.
September 13, 1989 |
Declaring that Poles are about to "begin a new page in their history," Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki on Tuesday outlined his vision of sweeping political and economic changes for Poland, while the Parliament overwhelmingly approved his appointments for the first opposition-led government in the Soviet Bloc.
September 8, 1989 |
Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki submitted nominees for his new government to the Speaker of Poland's Parliament on Thursday, with eight ministerial portfolios going to Solidarity, four to the Communists and five to be shared by Solidarity's new coalition allies. Mazowiecki, weary after days of negotiating to balance Eastern Europe's first opposition-led government, said the names of his Cabinet selections will be announced Tuesday, when the Parliament is expected to vote on them.
September 6, 1989 |
Poland's Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, began a five-day visit to West Germany on Tuesday with a plea for Western aid, saying that Solidarity's plan for economic reform in Poland will crumble without it. "Our victory in Poland is like a house of cards," Walesa said during a luncheon with the board of directors of the powerful German Federation of Labor Unions. "It would crumble if it were not financially ensured."
September 3, 1989
Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki bowed to demands from Poland's Communist Party for more than two posts in the Cabinet, apparently clearing the way for Communist cooperation with his government. Party chief Mieczyslaw Rakowski, after talks with Mazowiecki, said that the party had been offered more than two portfolios but that no final agreement had been reached, according to the official PAP news agency. He gave no details but said that he is satisfied with Mazowiecki's proposals.