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Ask Rescheduling of Debt Payment

January 16, 1986

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Poland has asked its creditors to reschedule $550 million in debt payments that came due Jan. 1, newspapers said Wednesday. The money was part of already rescheduled payments on its $29 billion foreign debt.

Also, the official news agency PAP said two more provincial Communist Party chiefs resigned Wednesday, raising to six the number of regional party heads replaced within the past week.

And the chief government pollster said the public mood four years after the imposition of martial law in December 1981 was dominated by deep uncertainty about the future caused by Poland’s severe economic problems.

Col. Stanislaw Kwiatkowski, director of the Center for Public Opinion Research, told a Warsaw news conference his latest poll indicated “a mood of waiting in a feeling of uncertainty” in which only a few people “feel safe, self-assured,”

A poll last month showed 17 percent of the people considered their family financial situation good, 38 percent rated it as bad and 45 percent as average, Kwiatkowski said.

Kwiatkowski said the figures were “not that good” and reflected severe criticism of economic conditions, but were better than a few years ago at the height of the economic crisis.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Stanislaw Nieckarz told local reporters Tuesday that Poland had hoped to receive $600 million to $800 million in new economic credits from Western governments last year.

Poland signed two rescheduling agreements last year with the Paris Club of 17 Western creditor nations covering about $13.3 billion due in 1982-85.

“We obtained only less than $200 million,” he said. “That is why the payment of $550 million had to be postponed toward the end of last year.

He added: “This payment must be rescheduled and talks with the Paris Club on this issue are expected soon.”

Poland has released preliminary figures on its 1985 trade balance that show its surplus with the West dropped nearly one-third from 1984.

Meanwhile, PAP said the Communist Party committee in western Gorzow Wielkopolski province named Wiktor Kinecki, formerly ambassador to Yugoslavia, to replace Florian Ratajczak as provincial party first secretary.

PAP said Ratajczak resigned “in connection with his appointment to the diplomatic service,” but did not specify his new position.

In eastern Zamosc province, Wladyslaw Kowal resigned as provincial party head and was replaced by Marian Wysocki, who had been governor, PAP said. It did not say why Kowal resigned and did not include the customary mention of appreciation for his service.

PAP reported earlier that since Friday, local party chiefs had been replaced in the Slupsk, Elblag, Leszno and Tarnow provinces. Poland has 39 provinces. Western diplomats have said the shakeup is being orchestrated by Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski to strengthen his control over party ranks prior to a crucial Communist Party congress scheduled for June.

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