INTRODUCTION: In Poland the Prime Minister, General Wocjiech Jaruzelski, has dropped five cabinet ministers and proposed streamlining his government in a new attempt to overcome Poland's looming economic crisis.
SV Prime Minister Wocjiech Jaruzelski walking into Sejm and onto rostrum
SV General Jaruzelski speaking in Polish
SV Polish Communist Party leader Stanislaw Kania listening
SV Gen. Jaruzelski speaking from rostrum
GV Sejm members seated
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Poland the Prime Minister, General Wocjiech Jaruzelski, has dropped five cabinet ministers and proposed streamlining his government in a new attempt to overcome Poland's looming economic crisis. He made his announcement in a speech to the Polish Parliament (the Sejm) on Friday (12 June). Earlier both General Jaruzelski and the Communist Party leader, Stanislaw Kania had been criticised by Moscow in a letter to the Communist Party Central Committee.
SYNOPSIS: In his speech to parliament, General Jaruzelski gave a gloomy assessment of the state of the economy. The situation would worsen before it got better, he said. To deal with the problems, he promised big changes.
Among the five ministers to go were the Deputy Prime Minister, Henryk Kisiel, and the Justice Minister and Chairman of the State Planning Commission, Jerzy Bafia. All but one of the ministerial changes were directly linked to Poland's economic crisis.
In a major restructuring of the bureaucracy, General Jaruzelski called for key government departments to be merged. He also said economic reform would aim at self-government for economic enterprises. The central administration would retain control only of overall economic strategy.
The Prime Minister also appealed for greater productivity. In Poland, he said, "We work less, produce less, but earn more." Mines and factories would have to operate six days a week, but he promised to uphold existing agreements.
The Prime Minister's words were closely followed by party leader Stanislaw Kania. Earlier in the week, the Kremlin complained about the failure of Poland's leaders to heed earlier warnings about events in the country. On Thursday, the Central Committee of Poland's Communist Party deferred to Moscow's view, but also reiterated its support for present leadership. The Soviet Union has now made public its letter of criticism to Warsaw.