Talks on Legalization of Solidarity, Poland’s Future to Open on Feb. 6

From Reuters

Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and Poland’s Communist rulers agreed on Friday to start formal talks on Feb. 6 on the country’s future and legalizing the banned union.

A Solidarity spokesman said the date for “round-table” talks in Warsaw was worked out at secret discussions Walesa held with Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak.

“It was agreed that the first meeting of the round-table will take place on Feb. 6 in Warsaw,” spokesman Jacek Ambroziak, a legal adviser to the Roman Catholic church, told reporters outside the church’s headquarters.

“I am happy and very tired,” Walesa said after more than 11 hours of talks with Kiszczak at a government villa in the village of Magdalenka, about 12 miles south of Warsaw.


They met to make the final preparations for the round-table talks that the Communist government hopes will forge a national coalition with the opposition to pull Poland out of economic crisis.

The government offered the talks to Walesa, Roman Catholic church officials and independent public figures in August during the worst labor unrest since Solidarity was banned under martial law in 1981.

But Walesa refused to attend unless authorities promised to consider restoring his banned union, which challenged Communist rule during its 16-month legal existence.