Polish moderates say nation may have reached turning point
The optimists among the moderates in Poland profess to see a prospect for movement toward ''social agreement'' between the government and the Polish people.Skip to next paragraph
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Although anniversary demonstrations on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 2 were a reminder of the continuing weaknesses of the social fabric in Poland, some moderates say these demonstrations also marked - or offered - a possible turning point.
''They brought the government no gain in credit,'' says one of Poland's veteran noncommunist politicians, ''but they were a setback for the militant underground opposition.
''The latter must do a lot of rethinking if it is to survive. For the government it means something of a breathing space.
''The question is how it makes use of it.''
This relatively optimistic view is not widely held. Even its adherents admit it depends on the sincerity of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's resolve (they give him considerable credit for it) to lift martial law ''by the end of the year,'' and his ability to reach a clear understanding with the Roman Catholic Church.
Archbishop Jozef Glemp repeated the church's conditions for agreement at the recent Jasna Gora celebrations. They are: the lifting of martial law, release of internees, gradual amnesty for those sentenced by military courts for anti-martial-law activities, and the fixing of a date next year for the papal visit originally foreseen during last month's jubilee.
The visit, of course, depends on the government satisfying the first three counts. Thus the visit is crucial to any agreement under which the church would, in effect, be lending approval to government endeavors to ''normalize'' Poland.
The joint government-episcopate commission that met Sept. 7 agreed peaceful dialogue offered the only possibility of solving the country's ills. It discussed the Pope's visit but did not set a date for it.
The moderate view assumes this will be done soon, if only because a favorable church attitude is necessary to General Jaruzelski's whole program.
Questions of martial law itself, the internees, and amnesty are not insoluble , moderates say. They suggest that, after the shock of the anniversary outbursts , the country is likely to remain quiet long enough for the government to get things moving.
''It hasm to do so before the next anniversary (the Dec. 13 anniversary of martial law) if it is going to do it at all,'' the source already cited says.
The moderates regard the move against four leaders of the former dissident group KOR having been made to ''satisfy our neighbors'' as much as anything.
In the domestic context it seems intended to exclude from the scene the political driving force behind Solidarity's extremist wing for as long as the government deems necessary.
Release of the internees and amnesty for those imprisoned under martial law are regarded as things the government will ultimately have to concede anyway.
The moderate view depends also on more active talks about the new unions. There has not been much encouragement from the government on this question.
The official spokesman has just excluded talks of any kind with the union's ''extremist'' leaders. He went on to infer that Lech Walesa himself was not helping. He is ''silent,'' the spokesman commented. It might be more accurate to say that Walesa is ''silenced'' by his long isolation.
Trybuna Ludu, the Communist Party newspaper, speaks of the ''complexity'' of dialogue with the Catholic Church and says the new union movement will include ''the positive part of Solidarity's achievements.''