PiS to Make Migrants an Electoral Issue, Though Mayors Insist They Can Cope

Thursday's resolution was passed with the support of MPs of the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the far-right Confederation alliance. During the vote, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski announced that the country would hold a referendum on the issue of relocating asylum seekers, which according to local media could take place on the same day as the autumn general election.

"We do not agree that the Polish state should bear the social and financial costs of the bad decisions of another European Union member state," the resolution passed by parliament read. "The 'open door' policy, which was pushed through by Germany, violating the [EU] treaties, turned out to be a big mistake."

"Statistics indicate Poles say they feel safe," Kaczynski said during his speech in parliament announcing the referendum. "And what is the situation abroad, in France, Germany, Sweden or Italy?"

"In many beautiful cities, such as Paris, Marseille or Rome, we are dealing with districts of terror, we see tyres and cars on fire, and women are afraid to go out for a walk in the evenings," Kaczynski continued.

The PiS leader argued that the EU's relocation plans for persons claiming asylum were "unlawful interference" by Brussels in domestic affairs and that the EU should take into account the fact Poland has helped millions of Ukrainian refugees, more than 1.5 million of whom continue to live in the country.

The Polish opposition was quick to point out that, via this referendum, PiS appears intent on inflaming negative feelings towards asylum seekers and migrants as a means to generate more electoral support, in the same way that it did in 2015 when it first came to power. Back then, against the backdrop of the 2015 European migrant crisis, Kaczynski...

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