Poland’s prime minister on Wednesday cited the attack in Manchester in which a Polish couple died to reinforce her government’s opposition to a European Union plan to share migrants.
Beata Szydlo spoke ahead of a parliament vote in which the opposition sought in vain to oust Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
She praised Macierewicz, saying he wants a strong army capable of opposing threats that include terrorism.
Citing security reasons, her populist government is rejecting EU pressure for Poland to take in a number of migrants, even at the price of facing sanctions. The previous government, in 2015 agreed to take in up to 10,000 refugees fleeing armed conflict, but Szydlo’s team reversed that decision.
Only last week, the European Commission again warned Poland of “consequences” if it continued to refuse to take in migrants from camps in Italy and Greece, a decision which the previous government was set to implement. Since Szydło’s Law and Justice Party came to power in October 2015, however, they have refused to resettle one single migrant, frustrating and infuriating Brussels.
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, forming the so-called Visegrad Group, all oppose the imposition of migrants on their territories. The four countries refuse to follow the example of their Western European neighbors whose societies have been transformed by decades of mass immigration, accelerated by the latest wave of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.
Szydlo said during the parliamentary debate that Poland “will not submit to any blackmail on the part of the European Union,” and Poland “will not participate in the Brussels elites’ folly.”
Szydlo also accused her liberal opposition of supporting EU migrant policy, and in doing so “going hand in hand with those who point a gun at Europe, at us all.”
She said Poland is extending aid to people in refugee camps in the Middle East.
Concerning the attack in which the Polish couple died, orphaning two daughters, she asked: “Where are you headed, Europe? Rise from your knees and from your lethargy, or you will be crying over your children every day.”
— UMA (@UMAthemovement) May 26, 2017
She gave her support to Macierewicz’s steps to reorganize the armed forces by arguing that Europe should decide “whether we want politicians, who say that we need to get used to the attacks and who call terrorist attacks ‘incidents,’ or whether we want politicians who are strong, who see the threat and fight them, like Antoni Macierewicz.”
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