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.