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Polish Political Parties Propose Referendum Questions on EU Migrant Policy as Election Looms

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Poland’s Prime Minister has revealed another referendum question to ask the Polish population, with the referendum set to happen this October, alongside the country’s elections. The PM intends to ask citizens whether the country should take in thousands of illegal migrants from the Middle East and Africa, in addition to the other question if the retirement age to be raised or remain unchanged.

According to Info Migrants, with such a move, the ruling party in Poland, the Law and Justice party, is attempting to place migration from the Middle East and Africa at the centre of the electoral campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on October.

“Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, in accordance with the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy? – is the fourth and final question on this referendum, on which the current PM Mateusz Morawiecki expects a clear “No” from the majority.

The European country has accepted millions of Ukrainian migrants since the Russian invasion in 2022, but it hasn’t been as welcoming to migrants from Muslim-majority countries. In recent months, migrants from these countries have been trying to cross the border from Belarus to Poland, and the latter has accused Minsk of using desperate people as a political weapon.

According to data by Eurostat, Germany and Poland have been the leading countries to grant temporary protection statuses to Ukrainian nationals, with the two accommodating more than 1.4 million beneficiaries or 53 per cent of all applicants.

The migration aspect is being used by the ruling party, which in 2015 when millions of people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan came to the EU, won a strong majority in the lower house of parliament. In addition, the same party is using migration again for electoral purposes, especially against the rival candidate, Donald Tusk, who is reportedly known for favouring migration policies that serve Germany more than Poland itself.

Other referendums are also set up by PiS for October 15, with one of those referendum questions asking Poles if they support selling off the state-owned firms. Another one asks whether the age of retirement should be raised or not.

Tusk, who served as Prime Minister of Poland between 2007 to 2014 and was the European Council president, previously suggested raising the retirement age, but he later regretted that decision. Another referendum topic will be revealed on Monday.

Poland feels threatened by the neighbouring country of Belarus as the number of people irregularly crossing the border is on the rise, despite the construction of a barrier wall that was supposed to withstand such irregular migration patterns.

“The first sign of the war in Ukraine was (Belarus President) Alexander Lukashenko’s attack on the Polish border with Belarus. It was thanks to (our) political foresight and the anticipation of what may happen that we may focus now on helping Ukraine, which is fighting to protect its sovereignty,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed out back then.

According to Poland Border guard Straż Graniczna, on one day alone, more than 130 people attempted to cross the EU’s eastern border, and the majority of these migrants were from Bangladesh, India, Eritrea, and Ethiopia while five Ukrainians and one Moldovan were accused of smuggling.

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