Communist Party officials criticized the government of Prime Minister Zbigniew Messner on Saturday as Poland's leaders struggled to solve the economic problems that have bred widespread labor unrest.
Eleven strikes continued at mines, ports, shipyards and factories throughout Poland, but there were no reports of police attempts to dislodge the striking workers.The Communist Party's 230-member Central Committee met on Saturday and several delegates lambasted the government's handling of Poland's dire economic problems and the labor unrest.
Messner, prime minister since 1985, acknowledged the criticism in a speech in which he reviewed his government's performance and stressed its plans to improve the economy, the state news agency PAP said.
In remarks to the party meeting, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski said that the communist government would undertake a "self-critical analysis" of the problems behind the latest wave of strikes in Poland.
Messner, as head of the government, oversees the various ministries and is theoretically responsible for government performance. But ultimate power rests with the Communist Party led by Jaruzelski.
PAP said the party plenum would continue on Sunday.
On Saturday, the government was attacked by a series of committee members as ineffectual. Some of the sharpest criticism came from Politburo member Alfred Miodowicz, leader of the official trade union alliance OPZZ, which was set up after authorities crushed the Solidarity union in 1981.
"Nothing can explain the sluggishness in solving various problems, the failure to make progress," Miodowicz said, according to PAP. "Hence, the so-determined voices demanding personal accountability."
Aleksandra Koszada, a party member from a radio plant in Kutno, said, "It is tragic that the conviction is becoming widespread that only strikes can prod our government into resolute action.
"The government's ineptitude is responsible for many economic problems and wasted years," added Bogdan Borys, a metalworker from Czestochowa.
The attacks added strength to speculation that the plenum would lead to government changes, perhaps replacing Messner himself.
The meeting was held less than a day after the government offered to begin talking with workers, possibly including Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.
But speakers also railed against the strikes. "They have an anarchy-generating, destructive character," said Politburo member Jozef Czyrek. "They cannot be accepted."