The Polish Government raised the price of alcohol and bus fares on February 1.
1. GV's: Passengers alighting from buses in the streets of Warsaw. 0.29
2. SV Interior: Customers buying alcohol in a special shop (four shots) 1.03
3. SCU PAN: Price tag on bottles of vodka for ration card holders. 1.08
4. SCU PAN: Price tag on vodka (more expensive) for those without ration cards. 1.13
5. SV: Customers buying vodka in the alcohol store. 1.20
6. SV: Washington powder packets in a shop with people buying (four shots). 1.48
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Background: WARSAW, POLAND
The Polish Government raised the price of alcohol and bus fares on February 1. They also lifted the rationing of soap. They said it was part of their strategy for normalising the nation's economy. The Price of spirits was raised by 30 per cent. The authorities' strategy was to cut the rate of incomes growth, which was outstripping small increases in production of goods and services and threatening to aggravate the already poor flow of supplies to shops. Price rises come as nothing new to Poles. In February, 1982, the military government used its position of strength to raise food prices by up to 300 per cent. This brutal but necessary act, coupled with almost universal rationing, reduced the queues for food, if only because fewer people could afford the new prices. At that time real incomes fell by about 40 per cent. But now income have once again soared upwards faster than the increase in the supply of goods. In January the Polish Minister of Finance, Stanislaw Nieckraz, said drastic price rises would be necessary, though basic foods would not be affected in 1983.
Source: REUTERS - STEFAN DMOCHOWSKI