Poland closes door on immigrants

Published on 8 September 2009 at 13:56

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According to unofficial sourcesquoted by Rzeczpospolita, Poland refuses to accept illegal immigrants landing each year on Italian, Spanish or Greek beaches. Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini has recently asked that all EU countries should bear the cost of providing for the illegal immigrants or accept some of them in their territory. “Poland believes that such mechanisms should be voluntary. We can, if we decide to, accept, say, several hundred refugees from Iraq but, as a not yet fully developed country, we cannot afford to accept any pre-defined quota of immigrants we would have to accept,” Jakub Wiśniewski at the Office of the Committee for European Integration(UKIE) told the Warsaw daily. Rzeczpospolita adds that Poland does not agree either to the European Commission’s latest idea, which is for member states to open themselves to refugees from war-torn countries and divide them fairly between themselves. “Brussels hopes that by creating an opportunity for refugees to reach the EU legally, it will reduce the number of the desperate individuals trying to cross its borders illegally,” writes Rzeczpospolita. The problem is that such a solution is opposed by countries with little experience of mass illegal immigration. According to the PolishOffice for Repatriation and Aliens, Poland granted asylum to just 186 individuals last year.

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