Warsaw Scolds Walesa for His Criticism of Reforms

From United Press International

The Polish government scolded Solidarity leader Lech Walesa on Friday for his criticism of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s reform program, saying “exposure of political differences does not serve the interests of the country.”

The remarks by government spokeswoman Malgorzata Niezabitowska came a day after Walesa attacked the government for failing to address the concerns of workers in the Gdansk shipyard, where the Solidarity union was born in 1980.

The exchange was part of a growing tiff between Mazowiecki, the head of the Solidarity-led government, and Walesa, the trade union chief, about how the country should be governed.

In the southwestern industrial center of Katowice, meanwhile, 50 right-wing activists took over the headquarters of regional Polish television and radio, which is controlled by the Solidarity government. The protesters, members of the nationalistic Confederation for an Independent Poland (KPN), walked peacefully into the headquarters and occupied the building to press demands for greater access by opposition groups to the media.


KPN leader Adam Slomka was meeting with regional governor Tadeusz Wnuk on the matter, a KPN spokesman said in Katowice.

“We want to protest the monopoly of the Solidarity communistic government on the media,” the spokesman said, referring to last year’s round-table arrangement allowing the Communists to retain some posts in the government.

The latest tiff between Walesa and the government erupted Thursday when the union leader supported a brief strike at the Gdansk shipyard by workers concerned about low wages. Walesa lashed out at the government for choosing “the wrong version” of democracy, which he said is not allowing individuals their full liberties within the law.

Walesa also has demanded that Communists be ousted from positions that permit them to control various sectors of the economy.