Former Polish PM Tadeusz Mazowiecki dies at 86
October 28, 2013
Poland's first prime minister after the collapse of communism, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, died Monday morning at the age of 86.
Mazowiecki, born in 1927, was a democratic opposition activist during the communist era and in 1989 became the country's first non-communist prime minister after World War II.
He was a key figure in Poland's political transition to democracy and oversaw the economic "shock therapy" of the early 1990s, which aimed to replace the country's centrally controlled economy with a free market system.
Former Solidarity trade union leader and ex-president Lech Wałęsa said that Mazowiecki was "Poland's best prime minister so far," adding: "Such people would come in handy today, when democracy in Poland has hit trouble."
In tribute to Mazowiecki, flags at the prime minister's office and the president's office in downtown Warsaw were Monday flying at half mast.
The Warsaw Voice website will shortly publish an interview with Mazowiecki, one of the last he gave to the press. The interview will also appear in the December issue of the Voice.