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Poland: New Prime Minister Pledges To Repair Country

Warsaw; 10 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Poland's new prime minister, Jerzy Buzek, today pledged his right-leaning Solidarity-led government will work to repair the country following four years of rule by ex-communists.

Addressing lawmakers in Warsaw, Buzek said his coalition had learned the "painful lessons" of its 1993 election loss when voters turned to ex-communists amid dissatisfaction over economic hardships associated with reforms. He says his government wants to make up for lost time and seeks a final break with the communist past.

In outlining his program ahead of a parliamentary confidence vote this evening, Buzek criticised the leftists' economic performance and promised to press ahead with unfinished privatisation. He said foreign policy will remain largely unchanged, with Polish entry in NATO and fast integration with European Union structures a priority.

Leftist president Aleksander Kwasniewski later criticised Buzek's speech as too politicised and said the prime minister had failed to explain how he would pay for reforms.