In a party spot, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poles would be asked in a referendum whether they were in favor of accepting “illegal immigrants” from the Middle East and Africa. The previous two questions concern the sale of state-owned enterprises and the raising of the retirement age. The referendum held jointly with the parliamentary elections has not yet been officially approved. The Sejm is convening next week, but questions about its sense are getting louder and louder.
Horror music in the background and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who announces the third referendum question. “Do you support the acceptance of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa under the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?” – is the wording of the question. In the published spot, you can see that the question already has a marked “no” answer.
The fact that Law and Justice will want to ask about the relocation of migrants was announced almost two months ago by President Jarosław Kaczyński himself, arguing that the Polish nation does not agree to this and therefore it must be the subject of a referendum.
The question mentions a forced relocation mechanism allegedly imposed by the European bureaucracy, but there are no such provisions. – The doctrine of the government party keeps going in this direction: the ignorant people are supposed to buy it. We are not ignorant people – emphasizes Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, leader of the Polish People’s Party, Third Way.
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Work on the EU regulation is still underway in Brussels, and there is no mention of a compulsory mechanism in its draft either. There is a solidarity program that assumes various forms of support – from relocation to financial or operational support. In addition, Poland could benefit from this program, as the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said in a recent interview.
– Poland hosts a million refugees from Ukraine. It is Poland that could benefit from European solidarity and will not be forced to do anything, assured Johansson.
The prime minister draws horror scenarios
However, those in power do not believe in the assurances of the EU commissioner. – They can decide what they want. We do not want someone else to furnish our country for us, says Piotr Mueller, government spokesman. – That means looted shops and hospitals. Destroyed schools and churches, danger on the streets, scary districts, ghettos in cities where the police are afraid to enter – the prime minister outlines horror scenarios.
Robert Biedroń, MEP of the Left, also spoke on the matter and presented the latest letter from Commissioner Johansson. – Ylva Johansson in writing and firmly answers: the relocation mechanism is voluntary – the politician quotes.
– Mr. Morawiecki – twice convicted by the court for being a liar – turned out to be a liar again in this question – believes Izabela Leszczyna, an MP from the Civic Coalition.
The opposition reminds that the third referendum question clearly refers to the past and the migration crisis from 8 years ago and does not refer to current real problems. – The rulers refer to the past as if they had no power to show the nation the future – points out Piotr Zgorzelski, deputy speaker of the Sejm, the Poland and the Third Way Coalition.
Who can gain from a referendum?
PiS has already announced the first two referendum questions. The first concerns the sale of state-owned enterprisesand the second – raising the retirement age. The questions are a clear attempt to find topics that would help the authorities fight for a third term – says Dr. Wojciech Rafałowski, sociologist and political scientist from the University of Warsaw.
– Law and Justice is probing, hence the release of one question a day to see how other groups will respond to it – assesses Rafałowski.
When it comes to the question of migrants, according to Dr. Rafałowski, Law and Justice will not be the main beneficiary of potential political benefits. – The main party that can benefit from asking this question, from placing it on the electoral agenda, is the Confederation – believes the expert.
The Confederation is critical of the question about migrants. Instead, she would ask Poles about other issues related to foreigners. – Do Poles agree to finance social benefits for foreigners? – proposes Stanisław Tyszka, MP of the Confederation.
The opposition has no doubt that by organizing the referendum, apart from trying to impose the tone of the election campaign, the rulers also have another goal – financial. The promotion of the referendum is not subject to such restrictions as the financing of the election campaign. – Now Orlen’s foundation, all these foundations of state-owned companies will be able to participate in the referendum, finance the election campaign – that’s exactly what it’s all about – says Marcelina Zawisza, an MP from the Left.
The ruling party announced that they would like to ask a total of four questions in the referendum. Next week, during the session of the Sejm, a vote is to be held on ordering a nationwide referendum, which would take place on October 15 – together with the parliamentary elections.
Main photo source: PAP/Andrzej Jackowski