World: Punching Bag on a Thread

The network of independent trade unions now being formed represents the wild card in Poland's economic future. "The question," says a West European diplomat in Warsaw, "is whether they will behave like British unions, which are interested only in their own demands, regardless of the cost to the nation, or whether they will, like West German unions, moderate their demands so as not to harm the overall economy." Poles at large were generally aware of that danger. The country's economy, as Communist Party Official Mieczyslaw Rakowski describes it, "already resembles a punching bag...

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