Poland    GOVERNMENT MAKES AIRFIELD SAFE FOR POPE'S MOST AMBITIOUS HOME VISIT
Dozens of explosives left behind by the Nazis and Soviets more than 50 years ago have been unearthed in recent weeks in preparation for a papal Mass expected to attract up to 500,000 faithful next month. Poland will host the Pope's most ambitious trip home, from 5-17 June.
    Grzegorz Borek, who is overseeing papal preparations in Torun, beamed: ``We are so happy that the airfield will finally be safe, thanks to the pope's visit.''
    As the first Polish-born pope, John Paul has been widely credited with awakening Poland's opposition movement, which overturned communism in 1989. Under Poland's new democracy, his five trips have spurred another kind of change -- a papal pilgrimage often has been the only way for Polish cities to get money for a usually overdue overhaul.
    Amid Poland's costly transition from a socialist economy to a free-market system, rebuilding infrastructure after years of communist mismanagement has been a low priority. But priorities change when John Paul -- affectionately nicknamed ``Papa'' -- comes to town.

11:38am 17/5/99 / AP
 
 


  
  


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