Poland Living with Shock Therapy

Soviets, take note: the Poles discover that patience must not be in short supply if economic reforms are to succeed

Just after noon each day, Henryka Ptasinska, 33, collects meals for herself and her six children from the soup kitchen at 10 Inwalidow Square in the leafy Warsaw suburb of Zoliborz. She is one of 250 regulars at the serving hatch in the white-tiled kitchen, opened to alleviate some of the pain produced by Poland's forced march from a centrally planned communist system to a free- market society. Her lunchtime routine shows that the success of that transformation still hangs in the balance.

As Mikhail Gorbachev prepares to embark on his latest plan to save the Soviet economy, he has expressly...

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