Poland’s incoming government has announced that it will no longer honor the European Union’s distribution program due to the terrorist attacks in Paris, calling for ‘security guarantees’ before they accept any more refugees.
Poland has announced it will no longer take refugees via an EU program, in a deeply controversial statement that linked the crisis to the killings in Paris.
“The European council’s decisions, which we criticized, on the relocation of refugees and immigrants to all EU countries are part of European law,” European affairs minister Konrad Szymanski wrote on the right-leaning website wPolityce.pl.
“After the tragic events of Paris we do not see the political possibility of respecting them,” he said.
Under the EU relocation plan, 160,000 refugees registered in the front-line states of Greece and Italy were to be relocated around the 28-member bloc, but there has been fierce resistance from several eastern European countries.
“The decisions by the EU Council that were criticized by us over the resettlement of refugees and migrants in all EU states are of a binding nature. However in the face of the tragic events in Paris, we see no political possibility of implementing them,” he wrote on the site. “Poland must retain complete control of its borders, as well as its asylum and migration policy,” Szymanski insisted on the site.
Witold Waszczykowski, Poland’s rising foreign minister, voiced his concerns as well, saying Europe needed to “approach in a different fashion the Muslim community living in Europe which hates this continent and wishes to destroy it.”
Under the EU relocation plan, 160,000 refugees registered in countries like Greece and Italy are to be relocated throughout the 28-member state bloc. According to the plan, which was agreed to by Poland’s outgoing center-right, pro-EU government, Poland was set to accept an additional 4,500 refugees, on top of the 2,000 it has already accepted.
Germany’s ‘urgent plea’
In response to rising right-wing reactions to the Paris attacks, Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s interior minister, cautioned against connecting the terror attacks in Paris to the record-breaking influx of refugees in Europe.
“I would like to make this urgent plea to avoid drawing such swift links to the situation surrounding refugees,” Thomas de Maiziere said, noting that there have already been “appalling scales of attacks against asylum seekers and asylum seeker shelters.”
Along with increasing police and border controls, the minister said that security forces will also keep a close watch on far-right extremists.
“Germany, too, remains firmly as ever in the firing line of international terrorism,” he insisted.
Beata Szydlo, Poland’s soon-to-be Prime Minister lit a candle at the French Institute in Krakow on Saturday. Szydlo refused to comment on the refugee issue, but added that she and her government will try to do anything “for the Polish nation to feel safe.”
(AFP, dpa, Reuters)