Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Migrants carry diseases which could hurt local population', claims former Polish Prime Minister

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late president's twin, called the report 'a mockery of Poland' (AP)
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late president's twin, called the report 'a mockery of Poland' (AP)

Former Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski says migrants who have arrived recently in Europe are carrying diseases that could hurt the local populations.

The words sparked a sharp rebuke from a left-wing politician, Janusz Palikot, who slammed Mr Kaczynski's words as racist language that Adolf Hitler "would not be ashamed of".

Mr Kaczynski, whose opposition Law and Justice party is expected to win parliamentary elections on October 25, told voters in Makow Mazowiecki: "There are already signs of the emergence of very dangerous diseases which haven't been seen in Europe for a long time: cholera on Greek islands; dysentery in Vienna; various types of parasites, protozoa, which aren't dangerous in the organisms of these people, but which could be dangerous here."

READ MORE: Migrants climb into truck containing polar bear in Calais

Meanwhile, Croatia's conservative president says her country might need to build a fence on its border to stop the migrant influx just as neighbouring Hungary has done - comments that are drawing criticism.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said: "I think some kind of a fence or physical barrier will be needed in the future."

She added: "I would like to avoid that, but I don't see how else we can protect ourselves," particularly if neighbouring countries close their borders with Croatia.

Hungary has sealed its border with Serbia and threatened to do the same with Croatia because of the tens of thousands of migrants crossing through to go to Western Europe. Croatia's liberal government has ruled out building a fence.

More than 170,000 asylum-seekers have passed through Croatia since mid-September.

German police and city officials say the federal government needs to quickly come up with long-term plans for dealing with the massive influx of asylum-seekers.

They say more police officers, teachers and other support personnel are needed immediately.

Gerd Landsberg, head of the Federation of German Cities and Municipalities, said: "We need a national, a European and also an international strategy to slow the flow of newcomers."

He told reporters that Germans were losing confidence in the government's ability to deal with the influx.

German Police Union head Rainer Wendt says security forces are stretched to the limit dealing with border controls, attacks on refugee homes and crimes inside the refugee facilities.

He said: "We need quick relief now."

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