SPECIAL ANALYSES - POLAND: IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGE IN PARTY LEADERSHIP

Created: 9/8/1980

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Tha Polish Ccmtnist Party, byKania as

iret secretary, abandoned ihs criteriato select ita

previous leaders and clearly demonetratedis on. 4sflP

6 and again the party chose leaders who represented change, who enjoyed good reputations, and whose accession to power bought the party time to iwstore its unity and to work on Poland's problems. Kania is virtually unknown and will arouse suspicion that he is intent on preserving tho party's role and on strictly defining the concessions granted to strikers because of his past party responsibilities for security affairs. Kania will enjoy no graco period, and there will be little toleration for anything that might be considered as foot-dragging on tho Implementation of strike Line* of confrontation between society and the party thus will be more quickly and sharply drawn than after previous changes in leadership. l^

Decline of Olszowski's Fortunes

The party had the chance to follow its previous habit by replacing party chief Gierek with Stefan Olszowski. Olszowski was restored to the lolitburo two weeks ago and was rumored by many to ba first in line to succood Gierek. Like Gomulka and Gierek, he had the reputationan ready to make basic changes. ^kW%

The reas-ns for Olszowski's failure are not clear. He maye tactical mistakes since his return to the leadership, or his reputation as an advocate of change may have gotten in his way. Party official? may have been afraid oi the mounting enthusiasm for free trade

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only among workers but also among students, earners,an like Kania who could more clearly be counted on to try to contain such pressures.

Kanxa's Role

It seems likely that over the long term, andon some issues in the near future, kama'swill become associated with increased discipline. Some party activists reportedly already believe that Kama willtronger line toward strengthening -public order, in what could be the harbingerore stringent line, Radio Warsawough warningthat future strikes could jeopardizethers have won.

Despite Kania's hardline reputation, initially he will probably show considerable flexibility. The party leadership continues to be largely moderate and Kania undoubtedly also realizes that the party's weakened condition does not allow it 'o provide anywith workers or the Church.

Kania showed signs of pragmatism and moderation in his first speech to the Central Committee on Friday.lear effort to reassure the populace that present policies would be continued, he promised to implement agreements concluded with strikers, reassured private farmers of their right to own land, and advocated acontinuation of the party's religious policy. He specifically pledged to allow the "new" tradeo develop "In the way their organizers hovedding only the standard caveat that thoy be based on .'h socialism, Kania said the major task ahead is to restore popular confidence ln the party, but pointedly reminded his colleaguessharp struggle" is necessary-against antlsocialist opponents. Wm

Difficulties of Collective Leadership

The Politburo under Kania could face seriousleas in reaching agreement, if only because Kania lacks the stature and oxperience of his predecessor, and wili. .;

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be more reliant on tho collective judgment of his colleagues on sensitive economic and political problems, if Kama chooses to push some of his personalviews and does not take into account minority posi-tions, he could create serious divisions, eases*

Within the Politburo Kania may give the reigns over economic policy to Olszowski. The two haveworked closely together in the past, out it is not clear how their rivalry for tho cop position will affect their relationship. Kania will also have towith Katowice party leader Grudzien, now the only Politburo member who represents the interests of th* country's most important industrial and mining region.

Economic Burdens

On the key issue of economic policy, Kania's hands aro tied in many ways. He inherits an economy burdened by mounting external debt, severe imbalance betweenand supply, and endemic inefficiency. tringent austerity program is required, Kania probably cannot back down on recently negotiated concessions to workers on wages and other issues related to the standard of living. Certain measures have already been announced by the newcontrols, wage increases for the lowest paid workers,ive-dayothers await formulation. In hi3 first speech Kania also iromlsed an "enormous effort" to Improve market supplies.

Poland is lively to encounter evon more resistance to its borrowing effort* in the West. Creditors willait-and-see attitudeesult of recent strikes, the collapse of Poland's embryonic austerity program, and uncertainty about the new party leader and his policy. Their apprehension may bo furthersince Kania is virtually unknown in the West, in contrast to Gierek who enjoyed close personal ties with several key Western leaders, particularly French President Glscard and West German Chancellor Schmidt. fafAW

Soviotsement

Moscow has quickly and strongly endorsed Kania. The Soviets, openly concerned ovor the strikes and therequired to end them, are likely toit less anxious with Kania, who has solid Marxist-Leninist credentials, at the helm. They will keep as auchon Kania, however, as they would have on Gierek Interpret those concessions re3trictivcly.

Kania's replacement of Gierek could ease the way for Increased Soviet economic aid. The Soviets may have been reluctant to grant hew loanseader whosoies were proven bankrupt and who was farced to maketo the workers that from an ideologicalwere anathema in Moscow. Press reportsuge new Soviet credit to Warsaw proved to be erroneous.

Moscow can justify, both at home and with its Cast European allies, special economic assistance as aid to an incoming leadership setew course to solve the country's difficult economic problems. Such assistance may have been the topic of Prime Minister Pinkowski'seeting on Saturday with the Soviet Ambassador, ln which, according to the Polish press, they discussed Uiedevol-opnent oi Soviet-Polish economic cooperation.

Original document.

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