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Polish PM: We cannot accept refugees

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 16.05.2017 18:13
Poland cannot take in any refugees, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło said on Tuesday, despite an EU deadline to start admitting asylum seekers by June.

She told a press conference in Warsaw that “there was no agreement” of EU member states to compulsory quotas related to accepting migrants.

Szydło added that thanks to Poland's tough attitude towards refugees, “a critical attitude towards the mechanism of migrant relocation is becoming increasingly widespread in the European Union”.

“Poland cannot accept refugees,” she added.

On Tuesday, the European Union said that Poland and Hungary have until June to start accepting refugees or face sanctions.

“I call on Poland and Hungary who have not relocated a single person ... to start doing so right now,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters.

“If no action is taken by them before the next [Commission] report in June, the Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the treaties and to open infringement procedures,” he added.

In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of asylum seekers over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East.

EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 100,000 refugees of more than two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.

However, only 14,000 migrants from refugee camps in countries along the Mediterranean coast have been relocated in the EU. Poland, which had been assigned 6,200 refugees, has not taken in any of them.

According to the European Commission, only Austria, Poland and Hungary have not accepted any people from migrant camps in Italy and Greece, while Malta and Finland are the only countries to have fulfilled their obligations. (rg/pk)

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