Polish leader says government enjoys good ties with unions, church
Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski stresses that Europe needs a stable Poland. And he maintains that there is no need to resume dialogue among the government, the Roman Catholic Church, and trade unions within Poland -- since that dialogue was never broken. These were the highlights of a half-hour meeting Monday between the Polish leader and journalists visiting Warsaw from West Germany. The journalists were accompanying Willy Brandt, chairman of West Germany's Social Democratic Party, as he celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Polish-West German normalization treaty that he signed as chancellor.
General Jaruzelski began the press conference by approving Mr. Brandt's final words in his speech at the Warsaw Palace: ``Europe needs Poland.'' Jaruzelski stated that this as well as Brandt's remark that Europe requires good Polish-West German cooperation ``is not just a flourish. It's a historical necessity.''
Jaruzelski declined to be drawn out on Brandt's further call for the ``Europeanization of Europe.'' Citing Brandt, a questioner stated that Jaruzelski had told Brandt that medium- and small-size states in Europe could now take initiatives of their own in the period following last month's superpower summit. Jaruzelski said that Poland had taken some initiatives in the post-war period and sees a necessity for taking more, especially in Polish-German relations. He did not elaborate, however.
The Polish press has been emphasizing the bilateral aspect of the Brandt visit, while Brandt has been stressing a European identity that spans the East-West divide.
Jaruzelski dismissed as a joke a question about when dialogue between the Polish government, the Roman Catholic Church, and ex-members of the Solidarity trade union would resume. As evidence of continuous dialogue he recounted the almost 50 instances when top government and church officials have met.
Solidarity, however, is a ``closed chapter,'' he stated. It is no longer a legal organization. Two thirds of its former members now belong to the new trade unions, and some now sit in Parliament and on the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Those who claim to speak for Solidarity in opposition to the government do not represent the former members, he said.
On the question of West German recognition of Poland's western border, Jaruzelski approved the position of Brandt and his party, the May 8 statement of President Richard von Weizs"acker, and ``many'' statements by Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In the 1970 treaty Germany recognized the Oder-Neisse line as Poland's western frontier. Legally the West German position is that no borders must be changed by force, but that final borders await a peace treaty officially ending World War II.
President von Weizs"acker has said that West Germans should go beyond the legal position about the former German territories awarded to Poland at the end of World War II and be reconciled with Poles who have made the region their home for the past 40 years.
Within Chancellor Kohl's center right coalition there are different opinions about the border. Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher stated that the border recognition should be politically binding for future West German governments. But a vocal minority within Kohl's party, led by politicians from organizations of Germans expelled from what is now western Poland, say that West Germany still has a claim to the territory in question.
Dr. Kohl, seeking to bridge the two groups, has said that the borders stand, but he has not been as unequivocal in every statement as have his foreign minister and the opposition Social Democrats.