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Poland: Warsaw Ratifies European Social Charter

Warsaw, 17 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has ratified the European Social Charter. Poland has thus become the first East European country to adopt the charter.

A presidential office spokesman told journalists in Warsaw yesterday that Poland signed the charter in 1991 but needed six years to adjust its laws to European standards.

The document lists basic economic and social rights of citizens, such as the right to be rewarded justly for work, the right to collective bargaining, the right of employees to organize and the right to social security.

The charter was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1961 and has so far been ratified by 20 European states. British Prime Minister indicated at the EU summit in Amsterdam yesterday that his country, which in the past refused to sign the charter, is now preapred to do so.