>Poland: retiring early retirement

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The Warsaw Voice reports protests by trade unionists over the scaling back of early retirement schemes – one of the last remaining special social policies of the transition period intended – some say – to dampen down the possibilty of Latin American style social unrest. Probably the political system is stable enough, the government popular enough, the coffers empty enough and workers in declining heavy industies weak enough to allow this to happen now. Public sector workers may have few unpleasant surprises up their sleeves, but as events last year in Bulgaria showed, no one cares that much if the education system grinds to halt.

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