I don’t feel complicit, there is no scandal, nothing happened – this is how the Minister of Foreign Affairs answers journalists’ questions about the visa scandal. Zbigniew Rau gives the numbers, but it is not known where he got them from. The numbers of visas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs documents are completely different.
The opposition’s comment on the words of the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is merciless. – Either he’s a liar or he’s an idiot. In this situation, the worst thing is that it is not mutually exclusive, says Cezary Tomczyk from PO. – Under the supervision of Minister Rau, the head of foreign affairs, the visa mafia operated – adds Krzysztof Gawkowski from the New Left.
In the entire case, seven people were charged, three were arrested, and the director of the legal department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and deputy minister Piotr Wawrzyk were dismissed. Additionally, there will be inspections at all consulates. However, Minister Rau emphasizes that “there was no scandal.”
READ MORE: Visa scandal. What do we know so far?
The written statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that “it is not true that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has imported hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim countries and Africa,” but underneath there is a table stating that the total number of visas issued in countries other than Ukraine and Belarus it’s 374889.
Official data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide the exact number of visas issued by country: Turkey – over 50 thousand, India – 44 thousand, Kazakhstan – over 17 thousand. That’s a total of over 100,000. Additionally: Indonesia – over 8,000, Bangladesh – almost 5,000, Algeria – almost 3,500, Pakistan – 3,000, Nigeria – almost 3,000, Ethiopia – almost 3,000, Afghanistan – 1,000. These are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ data from the last 30 months.
What do PiS politicians say about this? Some admit that this is true. – The developing Polish economy needs people to work – says PiS MEP Zbigniew Kuźmiuk. – We need foreigners for hard physical work – said Mariusz Kamiński, Minister of Interior and Administration from PiS, on September 14 on government television. Other politicians prefer to talk about “several hundred visas” covered by the prosecutor’s office investigation, rather than the entire phenomenon.
The scale of the phenomenon also shocks supporters of the government, as candidates in the parliamentary elections can see for themselves during their meetings with voters. Because PiS politicians argued that there would be no migrants, but they are visible every day.
Words and reality
In the light of this data, the government’s slogans about “border protection” and “dangerous immigrants” sound like a distortion of reality. Especially in the context of the events of late 2022.
After installing the fence on the border with Belarus, representatives of the Territorial Defense Forces proudly wrote that they were at the post, and the Border Guard was finishing installing the so-called electronic barrier. That’s when the consulate in Brest signed an agreement in Belarus. There were three visa points that would handle up to 77,000 applications. – They pushed people out at the border to die in the forests. What for? To increase the price – says Szymon Hołownia from Poland 2050.
Onet’s investigation indicates that people who were turned away by the Polish Border Guard as part of the so-called pushback could buy a Polish visa and obtain a work permit for EUR 1,250. Onet reports the number of over 1,300 visas issued.
Main photo source: TVN24