Poland's interior minister today claimed to have destroyed "most of the leading underground structures" in the country but anticipated that political opposition forces would try to stir up trouble in May, aimed, he suggested, at forcing cancellation of Pope John Paul II's planned visit in June.
His statement follows a toughened line against the government taken recently by Lech Walesa, leader of the outlawed independent trade union Solidarity, who called for "more visible demonstrations" of public opposition in view of the government's departure from the August 1980 agreements that gave rise to Solidarity.
Not mentioning Walesa, Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak referred instead to a comprehensive opposition action plan issued in January by the Solidarity Provisional Coordinating Committee, whose members are former union activists who have eluded the police. The program outlined a series of moves intended to impede production, boycott officially sanctioned social organizations and prepare for a general strike.
Addressing the Polish parliament on the first working day of its spring session, Kiszczak seemed to be trying to head off a new wave of social protest by stressing the success of police crackdowns up to now.
"We can state with a sense of responsibility," he said, "that the process of disintegration of the state has been stopped, an end has been put to anarchy debilitating the national economy, and the road to a persevering and patient overcoming of the crisis has been opened."
His bitterest remarks were directed at western intelligence agencies, which he accused of engaging in "particularly rabid and utterly cynical activities" targeted at destabilizing life in Poland.
Kiszczak said that western efforts against Poland were focused at the moment on "poisoning" church-state relations and "devising intrigues and provocations and supporting actions" that would upset the scheduled papal visit.
The government and the underground have been accusing each other of secretly maneuvering to spoil the atmosphere for a papal pilgrimage by inciting protests. Each side has reason to oppose the visit--the underground because the pope's coming would bolster the legitimacy of the regime of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, and the government because John Paul II's presence could stir antistate feelings in ways not felt since the Solidarity period.
"The Polish authorities will make every effort to ensure that these subversive and anti-Polish calculations are frustrated," asserted Kiszczak. "In this respect, we count on appropriate action by the church."
At the same time, he portrayed political opponents as thoroughly beaten. "During the past 15 months," Kiszczak said, "most of the leading underground structures have been forced to disintegrate. The remaining ones are gradually falling apart. Their activity is both meaningless and utterly senseless."
In a separate speech to parliament today, Justice Minister Slywester Zawadzki said that full use would have to be made of a clemency procedure announced by the government at the start of this year and there would have to be "further progress in restoring public peace and full normalization of life" before there could be a general amnesty for political prisoners. Poland's dominant Roman Catholic Church has requested such a move before the pope arrives.