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English Section

Top Polish officials to mark 40th anniversary of Solidarity

31.08.2020 10:00
Top Polish officials are expected to attend events in the Baltic port of Gdańsk on Monday to mark 40 years since the country's former communist government signed a landmark agreement with striking workers calling for greater freedoms.
Audio
  • Poland marks 40th anniversary of the country’s Solidarity trade union agreement
An exhibition mounted at Gdańsks Solidarity Square this month to document the birth of the legendary Polish trade union and trace how it defied communism 40 years ago.
An exhibition mounted at Gdańsk's Solidarity Square this month to document the birth of the legendary Polish trade union and trace how it defied communism 40 years ago. Photo: PAP/Marcin Gadomski

President Andrzej Duda is expected to make an address during the ceremonies, which will also honour the country’s Solidarity trade union four decades after it was founded.


The birth of Poland’s Solidarity movement in 1980 marked the beginning of the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. The birth of Poland’s Solidarity movement in 1980 marked the beginning of the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe.

On August 31, 1980, Poland’s communist authorities reached a sweeping accord with striking workers at the Gdańsk shipyard that led to the establishment of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in communist Eastern Europe.

In a message to mark the 40th anniversary of that milestone, the Polish president has said that “August 1980 was the foundation of a free Poland” and "a historic breakthrough that gave rise to momentous changes that transformed Europe and the world."

He added that the events in Poland at the time became an inspiration for other nations and eventually culminated in the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe.

Polish President Andrzej Duda. Polish President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a newly published article that "the spirit of solidarity is necessary for today's Europe" as countries strive to build "a better future" for their citizens.

A variety of commemorative events have taken place and more are scheduled in Poland and beyond at the end of this month to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Solidarity and the signing of the country’s milestone 1980 August Agreements.

(gs)

Source: PAP

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