Polish leaders explain austerity plan to workers

Poland's Communist leaders addressed a meeting of worker activists to defend plans to reduce inflation, wages, and overmanning. The meeting was part of a government strategy to improve grass-roots contact with workers, whose dissatisfaction with living conditions has set off several political crises. The measures will mean a further drop in living standards for most citizens.

Meanwhile, 500 Solidarity supporters appealed to the authorities to amnesty all political prisoners before the Pope's visit in June, sources said. And underground leaders of the banned trade union issued a statement that appeared to urge a repeat of last year's May Day celebrations, when thousands of people staged informal pro-Solidarity marches.

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