Poland: The Price Is Wrong

The Price Is Wrong

Price hikes seem to make Poles see red. Riots over such increases toppled Poland's leadership in 1956, 1970 and 1980. So Warsaw officials trod cautiously last week when they announced price rises on virtually everything from cigarettes to kindergarten classes in the sharpest round of increases in six years. Though the jump in food prices was far smaller than the 110% boost that voters rejected in November, at 40% it was big enough to cause new ripples of unrest. In Gdansk, some 3,000 protesters chanted slogans and waved banners outside the local Communist Party headquarters.

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