1969 – 1978

Decade of miracle on credit. The unsolvable problems of the centrally planned economy resulted in a roll – ing deterioration of the availability of basic goods. Protests against a rise of consumer prices which erupted in 1970 in the cities on Poland’s Baltic coast were forerunners of a change in power. Edward Gierek, the new First Secretary of the communist party replaced Gomułka and promoted the idea of a new opening with the west and an intensive modernisation programme fuelled by unsustainable foreign loans. After the initial boom, the ineffectual centrally planned economy faced growing difficulties in handling debt payments, which ended with a major crisis by the end of the decade.

December 13, 2018
1959 -1968
Decade of increasing stagnation. After the initial post-war development boom in the 1950s, the ineffective centrally planned economy began stagnating. This led to a general dissatisfaction with the performance of Władysław Gomułka's regime and a growing demand for reforms. Afraid of destabilising the system, Gomułka was, however, not inclined towards any social or economic changes [...]
December 13, 2018
1979 – 1988
Decade of bankruptcy. As the crisis grew, so did the number of protests. In the wake of negotiations with the regime, an independent trade union known as Solidarność was established and became a mass opposition movement with 10m members. The outnumbered communist party reacted by declaring martial law. In response, the trade union adopted a [...]
Written by: Bartosz Stefaniak