Poland rebuffs Solidarity referendum

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The Independent Online
Poland rebuffs Solidarity referendum

Warsaw - Turnout in Poland's referendum on sharing out state assets was 32.4 per cent, below the 50 per cent needed to make it legally binding on parliament. The State Electoral Commission said that 94.5 per cent of those who voted said "Yes" to Lech Walesa's question: "Are you for carrying out a general transfer of (state) property to the citizen?" The referendum was called by outgoing President Walesa in December and parliament added four questions on specific issues of what to do with remaining state assets left over from the Communist era. Mr Walesa and Solidarity saw the vote as a chance for wealth to be shared out among citizens, to create a broad property-owning class and prevent assets remaining in state hands or being bought up by ex-Communists. But ex-Communists who dominate the ruling left-wing coalition, which already has a privatisation policy, opposed the vote. Reute

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