In an apparent bid to create a younger, more reform-minded leadership, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski has overhauled the ruling Politburo and offered the clearest indication yet that Solidarity may be reinstated.
At Wednesday's meeting of the Communist Party's governing Central Committee, Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski announced that the party would re-evaluate its attitude toward the outlawed trade union federation."We are saying clearly that we desire to discuss the future model of the trade union movement - different from the present - together with the OPZZ (official union movement) and moderate leaders of former Solidarity," he said.
Reached Thursday at his home in Gdansk, Solidarity leader Lech Walesa called Rakowski's remarks significant, but said direct talks with the government were needed to make sure the authorities are ready to legalize the union movement.
"It is a pretty far-reaching statement, and we hope we are talking about the same thing," Walesa said by telephone. "To see if it is, we will still have to conduct direct talks. We believe it is the point, but we want it formulated in a clearer manner."
"It is a signal, but we are saying once again that without Solidarity, without relegalizing Solidarity there is no possibility of agreement," Walesa said. The movement was crushed by a 1981 military crackdown and outlawed the following year.
Rakowski told committee members Wednesday to return to local party units and poll members on the subject of Solidarity and on Walesa.