Jaroslaw Kaczynski, chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), says it was Germany’s decision to open Europe’s borders, not Poland’s, and his countrymen should not have to pay for their neighbour’s mistakes.
“We have not opened Europe for refugees – Ms Merkel has,” the veteran conservative told public broadcaster TVP Info. “And it is Ms Merkel and Germany that have to bear the consequences, not Poland.”
In late 2015, the European Union forced through measures requiring member states to accept a share of 120,000 migrants in southern Europe – later increased to 160,000 – despite strong opposition from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
The Civic Platform Party (PO) government, at the time led by current President of the European Commission Donald Tusk, did not oppose the measures – a stance which led to the party’s landslide defeat in the parliamentary elections weeks later.
Law and Justice repudiated the migrant quotas shortly afterwards in response to the Paris terror attacks.
The party’s Minister for European Affairs said the attacks presaged “the necessity of an even deeper revision of the European policy towards the migrant crisis”, and insisted that Poland would not take any migrants without “security guarantees”.