Swinoujscie, one of Poland's Baltic Sea ports, was quiet but tense on Thursday (17 December) as reports continued of violent riots in nearby cities.
GV People in Swinoujscie town suare-early morning
SV Car passes horse and cart
SV Banner across street "Kiermasz Swiateczny"
SV & CU People queue to buy newspapers at street kiosks
LV People walk past shops
LV EXTERIOR.. Supermarket
CU PAN..Fruit and vegetable in window with prices indicated
SV INTERIOR..people at cash desk in supermarket (2 shots)
SV Tinned and bottled foods on display with prices
CU Loaves of bread
SV Women at meat counter
LV & CU Dress shop window with price reductions shown on dresses
CU Men looking in shop window
CU Man's coat on display with price reduction indicated
LV & CU Christmas decorations in shop window (3 shots)
LV Women look in shop window
CU Washing machines, refrigerators and other electrical goods, including sewing machines on display with price reductions marked (3 shots)
SV Young men look in shop window
CU PAN..Plastic goods with price reductions
LV Boy walks away carrying Christmas tree
GV City Square
Initials SAW/MR/PS/1640 SAW/MR/ES. 17.25
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Background: Swinoujscie, one of Poland's Baltic Sea ports, was quiet but tense on Thursday (17 December) as reports continued of violent riots in nearby cities.
The Visnews cameraman filming in Swinjouscie was temporarily detained by police during his visit which coincided with reports of street fighting in Poland's biggest port Szczecin, 40 miles south (70 kms) along the Oder River.
A Swedish reporter has said that tanks and militia clashed with molotov cocktail throwing demonstrators. Riots started earlier in the week in the ports of Gdansk and Gdynia about 150 miles East of Swinoujscie after the Polish Government put up many foodstuff prices by 20 percent.
In Swinjouscie, formerly known as Swinemunde and like the riot torn cities originally part of Germany, the higher priced food was on sale. The Polish Government has reduced prices on certain consumer goods, including refrigerators and sewing machines.
The city is on the border with East Germany and papers on sale give only limited coverage of the dramatic incidents in the nearby towns.
SYNOPSIS: Swinoujscie, one of Poland's Baltic Sea ports, was quiet but tense on Thursday as reports continued of violent demonstrations in nearby cities.
Townspeople queued for papers to get news of the incidents but the demonstrations received only limited coverage. Life seemed orderly in the city despite reports of street fighting the same day in Szczecin, 40 miles south along the Oder River.
The demonstrations were apparently sparked off by food price increases of up to 20 per cent. In Swinoujscie prices were marked up but Christmas shopping seemed to be going on as usual. Swinoujscie, formerly known as Swinemunde, was originally part of Germany. The affected cities on the Baltic Coast, Gdansk and Gdynia, are also former German towns.
The food price increases were accompanied by a reduction in the prices of many other consumer goods. Clothing was marked down in Swinoujscie.
The unpopular price increases, coupled with new production schedules, appear to have been a major factor in the outbursts.
There were some signs of Christmas in Swinoujscie, however, and townspeople shopped for those consumer goods which were considerable reduced.
Washing machines, refrigerators and a wide range of electrical equipment were well down in price. Swinoujscie is on the East German border and about 150 miles west of the Baltic ports where trouble was first reported earlier in the week.
Reports from the demonstration-torn cities said that tanks had been involved and buildings set on fire. In Swinoujscie the Visnews cameraman who filmed these scenes was temporarily detained and questioned by police before being allowed to leave.