West Berlin Planning Visas For Poles
BONN, West Germany (AP) _ West Berlin plans to require visiting Poles to obtain visas in an attempt to curb the city’s burgeoning black market, a spokesman for the federal government says.
Roland Bachmaier, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said Monday that the Western allies, the West Berlin government and the West German government have been discussing the idea, but no date has been set.
On Sunday, the West Berlin Morgenpost newspaper said the requirement would take effect July 1 and also apply to other Eastern Europeans.
The paper said West Berlin authorities were concerned about the growing black market in the city, for which they blame visitors from Poland and other East European countries.
A large West Berlin supermarket chain last week started restricting sales to Poles, limiting the amount of goods they can buy in each store.
About 120,000 Poles flock to West Berlin every week, authorities say, many seeking jobs and trade on the black market.
Berliner Morgenpost said Poles and other Eastern Europeans wishing to stay in West Berlin longer than one month would have to give ″convincing reasons″ for their stay and prove they have enough money to fund their visit.