POLAND: GOVERNMENT STANDS FIRM

Created: 10/6/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

POLAND: Government StandJ Firm

The government's decision yeateraay to q3 aheuJ uith previously announced price increases on tobacco and several other consumer goods despite the objections of Solidarity will inteneify militant pressures tfithinunion. emem*

This move by the government la an embarrassment for Solidarity leader Walesa, who had proposed aadopted unanimously by thethe government defer action until discussing the increases with the union. It undsreuts Walesa's recent arguments that union-government negotiationsange of issues should begin soon. onsequence, Walesa will be under pressursto make good on his loss of face byough stance toward the regime. Several delegates to the congress criticlied him yesterday for "being weak and backing down - fffffeT*

The announcement of the price Increases may haveureaucratic blunder. The government has indicated that It wants to move quickly in raising all consumer prices- it apparently believed that Solidarity's negotia-torti had agreed to these specific price hikes. *amm?

The regime ignored Solidarity's objections probably because it felt that it could not accede to what amounted to an ultimatum from the union without losing even more credibility with the Soviets and its domestic critics. Warsaw's leaders also may have calculated that the modest increases would not stir popular discontent. They have tried to soften the impact of the action by offering .

make good on strike threats and other forma of retaliation that the delegates had proposedith the government ministers on Sunday. SBsmBaTsemmBTm

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