POLAND: Increased Threat of Confrontation
Solidarity went ahead vith ite picu, for short "warning" strikes today after the government postponed yesterday's expected meting between union and government negotiators. M
Thebegan early this morning and were to last two to fourheld in allsectors except those providing vital services and rail transportation. Solidarity's decision to keep the transportation system functioningecognition of Soviet senaitivities and an effort to show that it is using the strike weapon "responsibly." The union also has taken elaborate precautions to ensure that the strikes are calm and disciplined.
The government is attempting to put Solidarity on the political defensive by calling the strikes "suicidal' in light of Poland's economic problems. This argument has had little impact on the attitudes of the populace who see the strikerotest against police brutality. Fur che sane reason, Kanla'ji call (or partymembers not to join the strike probably went unheeded. h
The government's postponement of talks with thewere slated to resumeits other recent behavior reinforce signs of deep divisions within the party leadership. Western reporters in Warsaw have heard rumorsonfrontation in the Politburo last weekend over the possible declaration of martial law. One or both factions in the leadership may have decided to taketo the Central Committee session this Sunday.
The session now appears to be shaping upajor confrontation between hardliners who support the imposition of martial law and moderates who are demanding punishment of those responsible for the Bydgoszczandurge of conservatives opposed to reforms. Tho moderates, according to one report, hope to unseat, among others, Stefan Olszowski and two other full Politburo mambere. MM
approved for Bal
As in previous periods of increased tension, the government has moved to limit Western press coverage of events in Poland. Government actions this time appear more extensive and include barring entry to anyWestern journalists and refusing Westerncorrespondents access to Polish facilities for transmitting their reports.
Prime Minister Jaruzelski yesterday discussedsituation with Polish Primate Wyszynski andasked for the Church's intervention towith Solidarity. The two men agreedcan be resolved by peaceful means anda "full and objective" appraisal of theBydgoszcz. The latter statement mayignregime is willing to admit wrongdoing by themeeting withfirstreinforce the favorable image he has within_and many other segments of the
The Soviets yesterday continued to lay thegroundworkegime crackdown on Solidarity by issuing their rao_st_gweeping public condemnation of the union to date.
The TASS report, which described the situation in Poland as "extremelyumber of charges against Solidarity, each of which on its own would be grounds for repressive mear.ures in Moscow's eyes. It stated that Solidarity is preparingeneral strike and is flooding the country with leaflets containing "direct threats against Communists." According to Polish Deputy Premier Bakowskl, solidarity also isultimatums to the government, attacking the militia and security services,war on peoples'nd weakening Poland's international standing.
TASS fully booked the Polish party's tough stance on the Bydgoszcz incident. It did not nhut the door
on continued talks between the regime and Solidarity but made it clear thatthey can only be conducted on the regime's terms.fl
Quoting the Polish news agency, TASS stated thatare being taken to restore order" in light of Solidarity's "provocative" actions. This representsoviet approval ofourse and, at the sameorm of pressure on the Polish Government to carry it out fully.
s in New York today and in London on Monday.
A Polish financial official said yesterday that Poland will default on its debts to Western creditors on Tuesday unless it immediately receive; uubntantial financial
The Poles are asking forillion through some combination of loans and deferrals of payments due in the March-June period. Polish data Indicate thatdebt service obligations will come to2 billion inthat period
The Polish official Poland was on the verge, of default becanle^efftern banks haddeposits from Polish banks and had failed to provide promised export credits, exports had fallen below expectations, ond bridge financing had been only partially implemented. Warsaw's impending bank-ruptcy also points to the limits of Soviet assistance.
The heightened political tension in recent weeks has Increased food hoarding and created the worst food supply situation ln years. Thefor food from an already strained market
network has increased consumer impatience and resulted in some violent confrontations with store workers. While rationing has been formally imponcd only in Gdansk, local informal rationing of most, staples and household goods is widespread and will probably continue for the foreseeable future.Original document.