Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki Saturday presented candidates for his new Cabinet of experts who he said would continue processes "well started" by the previous government and accelerate privatization.
In his inaugural speech to the Sejm or lower house of Parliament, Bielecki outlined his economic policies and named 19 candidates for ministries, five of them from the previous Cabinet."This is going to be a government of experts, competent especially in the economy," Bielecki said. "The composition of this government must guarantee the continuation of those projects and processes which were well started by the previous Cabinet."
The main link is Leszek Balcerowicz, who will serve as deputy prime minister and finance minister as he did in the government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki. Balcerowicz was the author of the stringent economic reform program implemented Jan. 1, 1990, to lead Poland out of its deep post-communist economic crisis.
Ironically the program, which sharply cut down hyperinflation, stabilized the zloty and started the privatization process at the cost of a nearly 40 percent drop in living standards, was the main target of attacks by Lech Walesa, now president, on the previous government.
Also retained from the Mazowiecki administration are Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski, who authored Poland's first independent foreign policy since World War II, Defense Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk, Telecommunications Minister Jerzy Slezak and Transport Minister Ewaryst Waligorski.
Bielecki said he would use the experience of the previous Cabinet to speed up privatization, with emphasis first on small business.
"Today we must first of all accelerate small privatization," he said.
He said Poland's unemployment, which has topped 1 million or 6 percent of the workforce, has not yet produced the desired effect because inefficient enterprises have not been liquidated.
"Unemployment has not brought any clear improvement in the economic structure because it was not connected with elimination of the worse enterprises," he said. "This must change."
In the foreign policy area, Bielecki said relations with Poland's eastern neighbor will be conducted on two levels: with the Soviet Union as a single entity, and with its individual republics.
Bielecki also announced changes in the structure of the government. The Home Market Ministry will be incorporated into the Industry and Trade Ministry and the Central Planning Office will be transformed into an institute for economic analysis.