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Polish PM Kopacz accuses opposition of xenophobia over refugee intake

PR dla Zagranicy
Jo Harper 17.09.2015 07:26
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz has attacked Poland's main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) over its stance on the refugee crisis, saying the party had “shown its true face - anti-European and xenophobic.”
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. Photo: PAP/Radek PietruszkaPrime Minister Ewa Kopacz. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

At a parliamentary sitting on Wednesday, Kopacz of the ruling liberal Civic Platform (PO) party accused conservative PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński of looking to make political capital out of the crisis, in the runup to general elections in Poland on 25 October.

"Law and Justice, five weeks before the election, has shown us its true face, anti-European, xenophobic, always striving to quarrel and seek enemies," Kopacz said.

Kopacz added that PiS when last in office a decade ago was a party to negotiating the Treaty of Lisbon, which set out rules for EU migration policy, among other things.

Kaczyński in turn said the allegations were "divorced from reality."

During a parliamentary debate on the migration crisis in Europe and its repercussions for Poland, Kaczyński said the government had no right "under external pressure" and "without the consent of the Polish people to take decisions which may have a negative impact on them in the realm of freedom and safety." This, he said, "is a violation of the constitution, a violation of the principle of sovereignty of the nation, as well as civil rights."

The head of PiS also said that there was a serious danger that incoming foreigners would not respect Polish laws and customs, and would later "aggressively enforce their requirements in various areas of life."

Poland has agreed to increase the number of refugees it will take in, but remains against an EU-imposed quota system. (jh/rk)

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