“Poland cannot accept refugees.”
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło continues to defy the European Union’s demand that her country, along with Hungary, begin accepting refugees by June or face sanctions.
“I hear in Europe very often: ‘Do not connect the migration policy with terrorism,’ but it is impossible not to connect them,” Szydło said. “We must control our borders”.
The populist “Poland First” PM was responding to an ultimatum laid down by European Union Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who said, “I call on Poland and Hungary who have not relocated a single person to start doing so right now.”
If they haven’t begun accepting refugees by the EU’s next report in June, he said, “the Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the treaties and to open infringement procedures.”
Szydło said her country will not “succumb to blackmail.”
EU leaders ruled in September 2015 that each member country must accept asylum seekers over a two-year period to take the load off Greece and Italy, which have taken in tens of thousands from the Middle East.
Only 14,000 of the more than 100,000 refugees from camps in Mediterranean coast countries have been relocated in the EU.
Poland, which had been assigned 6,200 refugees, has not taken in any of them, joining Austria and Hungary that also have not accepted anyone from migrant camps in Italy and Greece. Malta and Finland are the only countries to have fulfilled their obligations.