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Poland: Bank Credits Discussed For Bankrupt Gdansk Shipyard

Warsaw, 5 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Poland's deputy prime minister, Miroslaw Pietrewicz, said today that negotiations are underway on bank credits to save the bankrupt Gdansk Shipyard, where the Solidarity trade union was born.

Pietrewicz, who is also the minister of state treasury, told Parliament that the shipyard's administration is negotiating a loan with the Bank Gdanski, a major commercial bank in northern Poland, to build five vessels contracted by a German company.

Our correspondent in Warsaw reports that the bank may be willing to provide credits for a smaller company to be carved out of the Gdansk Shipyard, and that the government would then be willing to provide state guarantees for the loan.

Pietrewicz said negotiators hoped to reach an agreement, which could rescue the historic state-run yard, later today. But our correspondent says that another negotiation session is scheduled for this evening.

Meanwhile, about 100 shipyard workers continued their 11-day-old sit-in protest at the provincial governor's office in Gdansk, demanding that the government bail out the yard.

The shipyard, employing some 6,300 people, has debts of some $152 million and in August the government declared it bankrupt.