Signalling what appeared to be a shift in government policy, Szydło said: “I do not see how Poland could take in immigrants at the moment.”
Her comments came a day after a series of blasts in the Belgian capital killed over 30 people and injured more than 250.
“The previous government vouched to take in refugees. It agreed to accept several thousand people, who could come to Poland on a voluntary basis. A total of 28 EU countries agreed to it: to solve this problem through relocation.
"But I say it very clearly: I do not see how Poland could take on any immigrants in the present circumstances,” Szydło told the Superstacja broadcaster.
Government spokesman Rafał Bochenek said the current system of checks on refugees coming to Europe from the Middle East was not working efficiently.
“We cannot... allow a situation to develop whereby the events that are now happening in Western Europe spread to Poland. Many such events have taken place in the past few months and we want to protect Polish citizens from that,” Bochenek added.
In an earlier interview, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said: “We can’t settle [the refugees] here. What are we supposed to do? Keep them in camps? They don’t want to live in Poland. They don’t know Poland.
"They know that we can provide about EUR 100 per month per person [in state benefits]. In Belgium, it’s EUR 60 a day. That’s another problem. Open borders, lack of jobs.
“We have two million young emigrants living in Germany, in the UK. And 1.5 million jobless people here in Poland. I can say to the Syrians, ‘Yes, you are welcome, but what are you going to do here? Live on the streets?’,” Waszczykowski told the Carnegie Europe magazine.
Unhappy at deal
The Law and Justice (PiS) party, which swept to power in October, had previously said Poland would accept 7,000 refugees - albeit under certain conditions - over the next two years, in line with a pledge by the previous government.
But PIS had been hinting it was unhappy at the agreement by the former government led by Civic Platform to accept some 7,000 migrants as part of an EU-wide programme to resettle 150,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea who are currently in camps in Italy and Greece. (rg/pk)
Source: Newsweek, Superstacja