From Autarchy to Market: Polish Economics and Politics, 1945-1995

From Autarchy to Market: Polish Economics and Politics, 1945-1995

From Autarchy to Market: Polish Economics and Politics, 1945-1995

From Autarchy to Market: Polish Economics and Politics, 1945-1995

Synopsis

From the ashes of World War II to the triumph of Solidarity and the emergence of a new economic and political system, this book examines Poland's "March to Market" and the obstacles the approach to the new millennium may pose.

Excerpt

“Za wolnosc, prawo I chleb”
The face of the Monument to workers in Poznan, Poland

During the second week of August 1989, the “chief jailer” of martial law in “People’s Poland,” General Wojciech Jaruzelski, announced that his “ex-prisoner,” Tadeusz Mazowiecki, would become prime minister. Mazowiecki was a 62-year-old journalist, editor of Solidarity’s weekly newspaper, Tygodnik Solidarnosc, a devout Roman Catholic, and a close advisor and partner to Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa.

Surprisingly, Communist party partners in the Peasant and Democratic parties had refused to support the candidacy of Interior Minister General Czeslaw Kiszczak, Jaruzelski’s “chief policeman.” Kiszczak had been designated as the choice of the ruling elite of the Communist party and nomenklatura for the position of prime minister. No doubt, Jaruzelski, elected to the newly reconstituted position of president, but only after key abstentions by Solidarity members, felt confident that his choice would be summarily ratified by the ever-pliant Sejm. The Sejm would be called upon once again to assure Communist party control of Poland, ignoring the results of the 3 June 1989 elections that had taken place under the terms of the Round Table agreement of 5 April 1989.

The Round Table, which began on 6 February 1989, was comprised of 57 delegates from the government (led by General Kiszczak), the opposition Solidarity movement (led by Lech Walesa), and the Roman Catholic . . .

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