Is Poland entitled to reject refugees?

Poland's government continues to reject demands that it take in more refugees. The country now faces EU treaty infringement proceedings if it fails to accept the agreed number of refugees from other EU states in the near future. While some commentators are filled with shame by the behaviour of the country's politicians, others find the social discourse on the issue questionable.

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Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (PL) /

It used to be the Jews, now it's the refugees

Xenophobia is playing the same role in today's Poland as anti-Semitism did in the past because in times of political uncertainty people tend to project their fears onto migrants, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna comments:

“Insecurity is the worst nightmare. It never gives us a break, it puts us under constant pressure and keeps us permanently on the move. It makes our lives difficult. Luckily there are the refugees. ... They bring children with them, and tons of explosives that these children will ignite in a huge bonfire in a few years' time. ... Today anti-Semitism is politically incorrect and forbidden by the law. ... But the same doesn't go for hostility towards foreigners. That's the latest trend. You can display it openly, brag about it even. Complaining about Jews wanting to destroy our country? Tasteless. Spreading fear of immigrants who use the Syrian War to bring us the Koran, only to beat us over the head with it? This narrative is all the rage.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

I'm ashamed for Poland

The fact that now the leaders of the opposition social-liberal Civic Platform (PO) and the agrarian Polish People's Party (PSL) have announced that they too reject the policy of taking in refugees comes as a bitter disappointment for former Solidarność leader Władysław Frasyniuk, who writes in Gazeta Wyborcza:

“I have to admit I was speechless. Please allow me to remind you, dear sirs, of Poland's tragic history. As a people we have faced the threat of ourselves being refugees for the past 200 years. ... Luckily somewhere in the world, in democratic countries, there were leaders who took pity on our suffering. When I heard the statements by Grzegorz Schetyna [of the PO] and Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz [of the PSL], I was ashamed. ... I had long since given up the illusion that Kaczyński [head of the governing PiS] has so much as a scrap of compassion in him. I view the lack of compassion among the opposition as the defeat of everything I have tried to achieve in the past 25 years.” (PL) /

Warsaw should not pay for others' mistakes

Refugees are a security risk that Poland should not accept, the pro-government portal urges:

“The conservatives won the elections in Poland because they promised the people change. On the issue of the migration crisis they have consistently opposed the suicidal policy of welcoming Muslims. Germany pursued this policy without consulting anyone else. The distribution of refugees to certain countries (including Poland) is a way of passing on the buck. The conservatives were also against that. We don't want to sacrifice our security for decisions that are taken without us. Neither the European Commission nor Germany have the right to make demands of Poland in this matter.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Polexit has already begun

With its nationalism and racism Poland's government is moving further and further away from European values, Gazeta Wyborcza criticises:

“The Germans can do it, the French, the English and the Spaniards too, not to mention the Greeks, Italians, Latvians and Lithuanians. But Catholic Poland can't take in any more people who are fleeing bombs. … The PiS government is positioning itself outside Europe. But it's still stretching out its hand for more money. … However Europe, which after years of crisis has begun to reconstruct itself around France and Germany, won't support a country that doesn't care about European values. The Polexit has already begun.”