Walesa gives backing to strike-hit government

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The Independent Online
President Lech Walesa threw his weight behind the beleaguered Polish government yesterday after the Solidarity trade union piled pressure on it by staging a strike in Warsaw, Reuter reports from Warsaw.

Radical Solidarity leaders called the 24-hour strike in protest at the government's refusal to award pay rises to striking teachers and health workers, but most factories and shops carried on working as usual.

President Walesa, concerned that the government could lose a parliamentary no-confidence vote called by Solidarity for next week, said there was no realistic alternative to Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka's coalition government. The former Solidarity leader also declined to rule out using his presidential powers to install his own government of experts if hers collapsed.