Poland: Big Brother Hears You

Big Brother Hears You

Like Communist rulers elsewhere, Polish officials have not been eager to submit their decisions to a vote of the people. But to win public support for a sweeping economic-reform package, Warsaw announced last week that it will put the measures to a referendum in late November. The plebiscite will be the first since the late 1940s.

Patterned after Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (restructuring), the reforms call for laying off more than 3,000 government employees, granting greater freedom to state-owned companies and allowing prices to jump by slashing subsidies. Gaining voter approval for the program could prove difficult. In an official...

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