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Reagan cleared of blame in Polish toilet paper shortage

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WARSAW, Poland -- For once President Reagan was not blamed by communist authorities for the latest woe facing Poles -- an official shortage of toilet paper.

Poles have been promised an extra roll this year to meet demand.

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'We know for sure that supply of toilet paper does not meet demand,' the government newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, said Thursday.

'The 255 million rolls of paper which found their way to the shops last year were bought out on the spot,' the paper said of the toilet paper shortage that has allowed Poles an average of seven rolls per year.

Surprisingly, toilet paper has been a key indicator in assessing the state of Poland's economy during 40 years of communist rule. Shortages have always occurred in times of crisis and only former Communist Party leader Edward Gierek, expelled from the party on charges of economic irresponsibility in 1980, managed to satisfy demand by importing Western paper.

The authorities have this year promised 'a certain improvement' by producing another 10 million rolls for market consumption, bringing the total number of rolls available to 265 million this year. They have also promised an additional plant by the end of 1985.

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