POLAND: Wheeling and Dealing

It is a nasty blot on the good name of socialism in Eastern Europe: the waiting time for purchasing a private automobile is frequently longer than a five-year plan and seldom shorter than the Berlin blockade. Only those with access to foreign currency seem to be able to drive away from a showroom with a new car minutes after walking in. For humbler folk who have the cash to spend (but precious little to buy), the wait can drag on for as long as seven years. Although the Polish government is trying hard to meet consumer needs, the fierce...

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