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Sixty-one percent against Polish humanitarian corridors: study

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 28.06.2017 12:30
Sixty-one percent of Poles are critical of the Catholic Church’s suggestion to set up humanitarian corridors in Poland, according to a study for the Rzeczpospolita daily.
Refugee children from Syria. Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development. (CC BY 2.0)Refugee children from Syria. Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development. (CC BY 2.0)

The poll of 1,100 people showed 33 percent supported humanitarian corridors and six percent did not have an opinion on the matter.

The daily said that misconceptions about how humanitarian corridors work, as well as a fear of migrants built up by politicians, are to blame for this strong opposition to the Church’s idea.

Rzeczpospolita said that the government’s anti-migrant rhetoric led to one parish recently banning a “coloured” child from entering a church, and to a hijab-wearing girl being spat on in eastern Poland last week.

But last year, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki said that “the Church, unlike politicians, cannot say ‘the people do not want it, so let’s not do it’.”

The Church has suggested that single mothers and their children, the ill, disabled and elderly should be flown to Poland – bypassing the treacherous journey by boat through the Mediterranean Sea – and placed under the Church’s care, after undergoing scrupulous security control, Rzeczpospolita said.

It is a plan that the Polish government could take to the European Union – which has launched procedures against the country for its failure to partake in a refugee relocation programme – but, despite the idea being occasionally floated in Warsaw, no steps have been taken to this end.

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

EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 migrants of more than two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.

Poland’s previous government agreed to take in several thousand refugees but the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party that swept to power in October 2015 is yet to accept any.

Meanwhile, 13,500 people have arrived in Italy on boats from the middle east in the last two days alone. (vb)

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