Thursday 22 August 2019

Paris Terror Attack: Poland's new government uses massacre to reject EU refugee quotas

Poland's new European affairs minister Konrad Szymanski
Poland's new European affairs minister Konrad Szymanski

David Kearns

Poland will no longer accept migrants under European Union quotas after Friday's terror attacks in Paris.

In a deeply controversial statement linked to the killing of 127 people in the French capital by eight gunmen, Poland's incoming European affairs minister Konrad Szymanski said “there was no longer any political possibilities” for the Eastern European country to take in refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Under the EU relocation plan, 160,000 refugees registered in the frontline 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.

In a piece published in the right-leaning news portal, Mr Szymanski said his incoming government did not agree with Poland's commitment to accept its share of an EU-wide relocation of immigrants, and now, "in the face of the tragic acts in Paris” it had mandate to reject the scheme.

"The European Council's decisions, which we criticised, on the relocation of refugees and immigrants to all EU countries are part of European law," he wrote.

But "after the tragic events of Paris we do not see the political possibility of respecting them."

Mr Szymanski will take up his position on Monday as part of a government formed by the last month's election winner, the conservative and eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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