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Polish PM says refugee crisis plans to be unveiled next week

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 11.09.2015 11:44
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz announced in Poland's lower house of parliament on Friday that an extraordinary session will be held on 16 September when the government's resolutions on the refugee crisis will be put forward.
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz speaks in Poland's lower house of parliament on Friday, 11 September. Photo: PAP/Jacek TurczykPrime Minister Ewa Kopacz speaks in Poland's lower house of parliament on Friday, 11 September. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Her declaration follows a statement made on Thursday at the Economic Forum in Krynica, southern Poland, where she said it was the country's “duty” to take in people who are fleeing for their lives.

The voice of the Polish parliament must be a strong voice that is worthy of Poland, where 'Solidarity' was born,” she said on Friday, in reference to the trade union that helped topple the country's communist regime in the 1980s.

Kopacz likewise appealed to opposition parties to not use the refugee crisis as a stick with which to beat the EU.

“If you now want to use this debate to argue that Poland should get out of the European Union, I say no.

“You have complexes, have them.

“You have the right to do so, but do not take advantage of this tragedy to start a row.

Kopacz declared that members of her Civic Platform party, as well as coalition partner the Polish People's Party, “feel like Europeans.”

A right-wing opposition coalition led by Jaroslaw Kaczyński's Law and Justice party has railed against the prospect of an intake of refugees in recent weeks.

This morning, Jarosław Gowin, leader of the Poland Together party that is a part of the right-wing coalition, said in an interview that Pope Francis is “wrong” to call on Roman Catholic countries to take in Muslim asylum-seekers.

Law and Justice MP Beata Kempa said in parliament on Friday that Poles are “frightened of terrorists.”

Speaker of Parliament Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska responded that “one cannot equate refugees with children with terrorists.”

The Polish government agreed in July to take in 2,000 refugees. However, on Wednesday, President of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on EU member states to divide up 160,000 people in a policy of “solidarity”.

In this light, Poland could accept about 12,000 refugees.

Juncker has called on EU member states to accept the proposals during the Extraordinary Council of Interior Ministers on 14 September. (nh/rk)

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