Western bank ironing out an easing of Polish debts

Western bankers were expected to ease some of Poland's foreign debt burden. Nineteen banks will discuss a payment plan worked out by a smaller group in Vienna last week.

Under the plan, $2.37 billion that Poland owes the banks this year would be rescheduled over 7 years. Repayment would begin after a four-year moratorium. Poland's price for the deal would be interest payments of two percentage points above the rate at which the banks lend to each other and 1.5 points above the level charged to their most reliable borrowers.

Meanwhile, Poland's Agriculture Ministry warned that this year's harvest may be poor again, raising the prospect of prolo nged rationing to cope with severe food shortages.

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