INTRODUCTION: Poland's economic crisis has brought with it serious shortages of food and fuel.
GV Street scene in Warsaw (3 shots)
SCU INTERIOR Solidarity spokesman speaking
GV Cars at petrol pumps
GV People queueing at shops (2 shots)
GV Family seated on bench speaking (5 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT):
SEQ. 2: ONYSKIEWICZ: "The shortage is very acute and there is a danger that a couple of hundred thousand people will die if we do not provide sufficient quantities of different medicines, which is organised by Solidarity, and this fund -- well, the medicines -- are mostly supplied by Poles living abroad, basically in the United States."
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT):
SEQ. 5: REPORTER: "Is it difficult to get food especially for children in Poland?"
WOMAN: "It's actually very difficult--difficulties with milk, any milk, but in particular milk for babies, for instance. We don't use it any more because our children aren't that age any more, but people who have little babies are really in trouble. Since August, well it's on the same level basically. There are periods when you can get this, and then there are periods when you can get that, but on the whole the lines -- you say it....."
MAN: "No, but from the beginning of this year it's much worse than it was before."
WOMAN: "From January?"
MAN: "Yes, because there is nor cheese for example. And there was no problem with meat before."
WOMAN: "Milk started in January, no in March. Soap started right now. Before you could get soap. So on the whole you're right, it's getting worse."
MAN: "In Warsaw, it's not so bad as it is in the country. What I've seen in the country is really much worse."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Poland's economic crisis has brought with it serious shortages of food and fuel. Although the country already has an enormous foreign debt, the government has appealed for more financial aid to revive the economy. But in the meantime, many Poles are having to go without supplies of basic foodstuffs and household items.
SYNOPSIS: For weeks there has been rationing of essential food, and the shortages are apparent everywhere in the capital of Warsaw. The growing list of items which are virtually impossible to obtain includes matches and cigarettes, soap and car batteries. A spokesman for the independent trade union movement Solidarity, Januc Onyskiewizc, explained how his organisation is helping to overcome the shortage of medicines.
Big queues have built up at petrol stations, and on Wednesday (10 June) Warsaw taxi drivers pulled off the streets in protest against fuel shortages. The food rationing system, which began in April, was supposed to reduce queues and make distribution more fair. But many families say they are facing even more difficulties than before rationing was introduced -- particularly to feed their children.