The Polish Parliament Saturday overwhelmingly approved the new Cabinet of radical free-market economist Jan Krzysztof Bielecki.
After a daylong debate Friday, in which many of the 60 speakers attacked Bielecki's program, 272 Sejm (lower house) deputies voted to approve his Cabinet, four were against and 62 abstained."Our program is the market economy," Bielecki told the chamber before it approved his 19-man Cabinet in which only two members have had no ties to the Solidarity union.
Only one-third of the Sejm deputies are from the Solidarity movement that toppled the Communists from power last year.
The rest are ex-Communists or their former allies but parliamentary commissions approved every candidate in hearings earlier this week.
Speakers in the debate attacked Bielecki's farm policy, and ex-Communists urged him to do more for ailing state industry and a growing army of unemployed. Many criticized his plans for faster privatization of state enterprises.
But Bielecki told legislators that he would not hesitate to close down unprofitable factories.
"Maintaining financial support for the deficit-making economic structures means spoiling effort and money. It is a road to nowhere and a barrier for reforms," he said.
He added that the sale of state-owned factories, which form 90 percent of Polish industry, was inevitable.
"Privatization is not an ideological choice as some deputies suggested. It is an indispensable condition of the rebirth of the Polish economy," Bielecki said.
Bielecki's Cabinet has five ministers who served in the former government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki. They include the key figures of Krzysztof Skubiszewski and Leszek Balcerowicz, foreign and finance ministers. Balcerowicz also retained his post as the Cabinet's only vice premier.