Seemingly unfazed by the recent European Commission proposal to punish countries which refuse to comply with "fair" refugee allocation quotas with fines as high as €250,000 per asylum seeker, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and former PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that no refugees will be accepted in Poland "as they pose a threat to security" adding that Poland will oppose any law forcing EU members to pay €250,000 per refused refugee.
"After recent events connected with acts of terror [Poland] will not accept refugees because there is no mechanism that would ensure security," Law and Justice (PiS) chair Kaczynski said on Saturday, as quoted by Radio Poland. Needless to say, Poland is also vocally opposed to the abovementioned proposal, announced last week, which would force EU member states to pay €250,000 per refused refugee. The common complaint voiced not only by Poland, but all Eastern European nations who would suffer the most from Europe's aggressive refugee reallocation proposal is that the goal of the EC is to redistribute the weight of the refugee crisis from countries such as Greece by introducing automatic asylum quotas for each EU member state.
"Such a decision would abolish the sovereignty of EU member states – of course, the weaker ones. We don’t agree to that, we have to oppose that, because we are and we will be in charge in our own country,” Kaczynski said adding that "this is the position of the prime minister and the whole of PiS… From the beginning we felt that this issue should be resolved, assisting refugees outside the EU."
Others agreed. The Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said last week that the quota system is “a bad system...it makes no sense."
Poland has been very vocal in its opposition to accepting migrants. According to the European Commission proposal, Poland, which has an existing quota of 6,500, would have to pay over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) if it were to refuse to accept any refugees, according to Financial Times. Kaczynski also addressed the recent anti-government protest Warsaw, stressing that the demonstrators tried “to impose on us the forced acceptance of immigrants.”
Hungary and Slovakia have also lashed out at the European Commission’s quota system. "Regarding the fines proposed by the European Commission, it is blackmailing,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said last week. Szijjarto called the quota system a “dead-end street” and asked the Commission not to follow through with it.
The Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak also opined saying that the timing of the Commission’s proposal was difficult, given efforts to reach consensus on closing migrant routes and reaching a deal on refugees with Turkey. “In the middle of these very sensitive talks, a proposal is put on the table that sets us back nine months and does not reflect reality in some aspects,” he said.
What is surprising is the curious carrot-stick approach that has emerged in Europe: carrot when interacting with Turkey, by paying the country's increasingly despotic leader Erdogan billions to keep as many refugees within Turkey's borders, and stick when dealing with EU member states, threatening punishment if they refuse to offload some of the refugee burden borne by countries like Germany. The irony, of course, is that it was the insistence of Merkel in 2015 to open Europe up to millions of Syrian refugees in hopes this may end up boosting domestic economic growth, only to see a huge popular revulsion to the influx of immigrants which as we reported earlier today cost the Austrian Chancellor his job and has led to Germany's AfD anti-Muslim party soaring to third place in the political polls.
As RT adds, solving the migration problem is a top priority for the EU, as it continues to face the worst refugee crisis since World War II. According to a February report compiled by the International Organization for Migration, more than 100,000 people have arrived in Greece, and 7,507 in Italy, since the beginning of the year. It is troubling that as part of the solution, Brussels is facing not only a collapse of the Schengen customs union, but even greater alienation between core European nations and the more recent, and far poorer, Eastern European entrants who rightfully see themselves as secondary actors in an increasingly unequal and crumbling "union" in which just a handful of top power countries call the shots.