Freedom and solidarity are Poland's foundation - PM

The prime minister recalled that “in 1980, workers had the courage to oppose evil represented by the communist authorities supported by Moscow. Workers were fighting for dignity and normality,” he said. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

"It is extremely important for us in moments of truth to be brave, to have the courage to fight for freedom, for Solidarity and for what is Poland's trademark worldwide," PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on the 39th anniversary of the Jastrzębie Agreements.

"Freedom and solidarity are the foundation on which Poland has been built," the prime minister said during a ceremony marking the anniversary in Jastrzębie Zdrój, southern Poland, on Tuesday.

Having laid flowers at the Jastrzębie Agreements memorial, the prime minister stressed that this was the place where "in the 20th century the east met cruelly with the west." He underlined that Poland and the Polish people experienced such terrible suffering during the years of WWII and although beaten down also survived the communist era.

The prime minister recalled that "in 1980, workers had the courage to oppose evil represented by the communist authorities supported by Moscow. Workers were fighting for dignity and normality," he said.

Having repeated that freedom and solidarity were Poland's foundation, the PM declared that his government "has been conducting a policy of dignity for Polish families and the weak in order to better divide the fruits of economic growth."

He expressed his gratitude to Solidarity for its struggle for freedom and emphasised that his government had been implementing the obligations made by the trade union at that time.

In a letter to the gathering, President Andrzej Duda wrote that the anniversary of the events from 39 years ago "reminds of the enslavement of the communist time, the dependence on the Soviet Union, and of the time when the dignity of Polish heroes, veterans, working people and the faithful was trampled on."

The president underlined that the striking workers made tough demands, demonstrated extreme courage and the strength of the Polish spirit of freedom." He added that "the Jastrzębie Agreements were visible proof of the awakening of this strength and of its influence on the social and political reality."

President Duda stressed that the signing of the Jastrzebie Agreements was another nail in the coffin of the communist system, which enslaved people.

Signed on September 3, 1980, the Jastrzębie Agreements followed identical accords in Szczecin (August 30) and Gdańsk (August 31). The agreements laid the ground for the formation of the Solidarity Union, the first independent trade union in the then Soviet bloc, which in 1989 took power from the communists in a partially-free election.