Polish prime minister Beata Szydło announced that no more than 400 refugees will be relocated to Poland in 2016, as part of the previous government’s commitments on the issue.
“These were bad decisions, but this government is a stable government and understands that there must be some continuity and we will thus honour the commitments of our predecessors, but only to the extent that Poland is capable of at the moment,” said prime minister Szydło at a press conference.
However, in September 2015, the previous government led by the Civic Platform (PO) party agreed to host 5,000 refugees, which, combined with a previous agreement, drove the number up to 7,000. This was part of the European Union’s strategy to relocate 160,000 refugees among its member states.
Already when the national-conservative Law and Justice party took office last November, the new prime minister said her government was not prepared to accept the refugee quota agreed upon with the other European leaders. To justify this decision she said the attacks in the French capital had ‘changed the situation’, since several terrorists arrived in Europe using Syrian refugee passports.
The prime minister added that refugees coming to Poland would be duly selected:
“We would like to make use of the right to choose which groups of refugees are to be sent to Poland. There is also an additional requirement, that we would need to find people who would like to come to Poland.”
At the moment, a group of Polish officials are in Greece to verify the backgrounds of the 67 refugees who were allocated to Poland and are expected to arrive in the near future.
According to the Polish Press Agency, the Polish government has estimated the cost of the refugee relocation at over PLN 10 million (EUR 2.3 million), partly reimbursed by the European Commission.