INTRODUCTION Poland reached an agreement with the West on Monday (27 April), delaying repayments of some of its most urgent debts in an effort to ease the country's crippled economy.
CU Polish director of Finance Ministry Zvigniev Krzak signing agreement ZOOM OUT TO French Finance Minister Rene Monory signing agreement
CU INTERIOR Mine workers digging for coal (2 shots)
GV ZOOM OUT FROM Large factory chimneys
SV Bulldozer moving earth
SV People walking in street past shops (3 shots)
GV Foreign trade building. People walking in corridors
CU Sign--General Electric, PAN TO woman working at desk
SV People buying food
SV Farmer with horse in field
GV Crowds outside employment exchange
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Background: INTRODUCTION Poland reached an agreement with the West on Monday (27 April), delaying repayments of some of its most urgent debts in an effort to ease the country's crippled economy.
SYNOPSIS: Signing the agreement in Paris was the Polish Finance Minister, Mr. Marian Krzak, and representatives of the 15 main creditor countries, led by the French Economics Minister, M. Rene Monory. Mr. Krzak said the signing meant Poland could maintain economic co-operation with the West. Ninety percent of Poland's debts for 1981 will be rescheduled or refinanced, so it can borrow money for food and raw materials. Mr. Krzak said the agreement would be followed by other measures to lift Poland's economy, which is under increasing strain.
But the hardship continues. Calls for a shorter working week in the Polish mines have meant coal exports have almost stopped, with widespread power cuts predicted.
Across the country, people are resigned to more suffering until the government finds ways to improve conditions. Recent political unrest has distracted attention from economic reform, but officials in Paris said a full economic report would soon be published. Exports were down 28 percent for the first quarter of this year, compared with last year, and industrial output has fallen. Large companies like General Electric, which once exported millions of pounds worth of products, are experiencing severe setbacks.
Meanwhile, food shortages will worsen, with supplies from the West limited. The government hopes to encourage people to work on farms, instead of in overcrowded government offices. In the process of decentralisation, thousands of Poles will be looking for work.