Monday, July 5, 1999 Published at 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Reagan touted for Warsaw honour
Many Polish squares were renamed after Solidarity's victory
A group of about 100 prominent Poles has launched a campaign to rename a central Warsaw square after former US president Ronald Reagan.
The chairman of the Solidarity movement, Marian Krzaklewski said Mr Reagan had helped Solidarity in its struggle against the communist regime in the 1980s.
"Reagan was the main author of the victory of the free world over the 'evil empire'," he added.
Although Mr Reagan has never been to Poland, he is well regarded there for his support for Solidarity as well as sanctions against Poland's communist rulers after the regime imposed martial law in December 1981 to crush Poland's independent labour movement.
Constitution Square is one of the last remaining names in Warsaw linked to the communist era.
If the group succeeds, Mr Reagan would join George Washington and Woodrow Wilson as US presidents with Warsaw plazas named after them.
Committee spokesman Jozef Szaniawski said the square bears the name of an "invalid constitution of the country which no longer exists" - thanks in part to Mr Reagan.
Mr Szaniawski said the idea emerged after a news report about Mr Reagan's health. The committee would like the square renamed on 11 November, Poland's Independence Day.
Mr Reagan, who turned 88 on 6 February, disclosed in 1994 that he had Alzheimer's disease, which destroys brain cells and causes memory loss.