Three former Polish prime ministers – Marek Belka, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Leszek Miller – wrote a letter to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. They asked questions in connection with the visa scandal.
The content of the letter was published by an MEP and former prime minister Leszek Miller. We read in it that “in recent days, Polish public opinion has been outraged by unofficial information about the issuance of hundreds of thousands of visas and work permits to people from outside Europe by Polish government institutions, including consular posts.”
The dismissal of Deputy Minister Piotr Wawrzyk was further mentioned and it was noted that it took place “without the reason for the dismissal being made public.” “Due to the ongoing activities of the special services, Polish society is deprived of reliable information,” said the former heads of government.
Therefore – as they wrote – they are asking the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, three questions:
1. Do the European Commission and its EU services have information on this subject, including rumors of corruption in this process, and can they disclose it? 2. Has the number of job seekers with visas issued by Polish officials increased on the labor market of other Member States? 3. If the EC can confirm that such a phenomenon has occurred, what countermeasures are being taken or planned?
In addition to Miller, the letter was signed by former prime ministers Marek Belka and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
Investigations into irregularities in submitting visa applications are conducted by the prosecutor’s office Central Anticorruption Bureau. So far, seven people have been charged with possible visa fraud.
The opposition talks about corruption and claims that hundreds of thousands of documents issued arouse suspicion. Head of PO Donald Tusk he called it “the biggest scandal of the 21st century in Poland.” In turn, Law and Justice politicians argue that there is no scandal. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Saturday he argued that “it’s not even a scandal“.
The deputy director of the Department of Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office, Daniel Lerman, reported at a conference last week that “the investigation was initiated on March 7, 2023 based on materials provided by the Central Anticorruption Bureau.”
– It concerns paid protection in the acceleration of visa procedures in relation to several hundred visas and visa applications submitted over a year and a half. Of these several hundred visas, most of them were granted through refusal decisions, the prosecutor explained. He added that the procedure concerned applications for visas for foreigners to work in Poland.
Main photo source: Andre Borges/PAP