Polish PM Morawiecki seeks referendum on irregular migration

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks to media at the gas station of Gaz-System in Rembelszczyzna, near Warsaw, Poland [Czarek Sokolowski/AP Photo]

Polish premier looks to hold referendum to ask citizens if they support accepting ‘illegal immigrants’.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wants to hold a referendum on irregular migration, asking citizens whether they support accepting irregular migrants as part of a European Union relocation plan.

Morawiecki announced his plan for a vote on October 15 – alongside the country’s parliamentary elections – in a new video published on social media over the weekend, which included scenes of burning cars and other street violence in Western Europe.

The question would say: “Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa under the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?”

In the video, a Black man is seen licking a huge knife in apparent anticipation of committing a crime.

Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski then says: “Do you want this to happen in Poland as well? Do you want to cease being masters of your own country?”

The video suggests that the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party will use migration in its election campaign, a tactic that helped it take power in 2015.

EU interior ministers in June endorsed a plan to share out responsibility for refugees and migrants entering Europe without documentation, the root of one of the bloc’s longest-running political crises.

At the peak of Europe’s refugee crisis, Poland was neither a country of entrance nor a destination country for people seeking shelter.

However, in 2021, the country became a front-line state in the crisis when people began trying to enter Europe from Belarus, by crossing through Poland.

European authorities viewed this as an effort by the Russian ally to generate turmoil in Poland and other European countries. Warsaw instantly built a large wall along its border with Belarus in an effort to bar people from entering.

But the PiS has been accepting Ukrainian refugees.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland has been hosting more than a million Ukrainian refugees, who are primarily white and Christian.

Morawiecki’s party has made it clear that they consider Muslims and others from different cultures, even if they are from Ukraine, to be a threat to the nation’s cultural identity and security.

The video takes aim at Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk, a former president of the European Council. “Tusk is the greatest threat to our security, he is the greatest threat to Poland’s security,” Morawiecki said.

“Let’s not let Tusk — as an envoy of the Brussels elites — demolish security in Poland.”

Besides the migration question, two other questions to voters have also been announced by the PiS party in recent days. One question seeks to ask voters for their views on privatising state-owned enterprises, and the other will ask if they support raising the retirement age, which Law and Justice lowered to 60 for women and 65 for men.

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