WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s new prime minister, Beata Szydlo, vowed Wednesday the country will cooperate with the European Union in fighting extremism, but was reserved on accepting refugees.
Szydlo opened her policy speech with a condemnation of last week’s attacks in Paris and said that her government’s priority will be to ensure the security of Poles and to contribute to the EU’s security. She did not specify the means.
She also vowed solidarity with other EU members in “sharing what is good” and a readiness to “bring help in extraordinary situations like natural disasters, terror or even war threats.”
“But you cannot call it solidarity when some countries try to, in a way, export problems that they have brought on themselves without the participation of other nations, who are now to be burdened with them,” Szydlo said in an apparent reference to Germany.
Following the Paris attacks, members of the new conservative Cabinet have expressed reluctance to keep Poland’s earlier promises to accept some 7,000 refugees within an EU plan, citing concerns for Poland’s security.
Szydlo vowed Poland will be more “active and assertive” in the international arena, with the U.S. being its chief partner in ensuring security.
However, most of her speech was dedicated to promises of Poland’s economic development that she said will fuel a better life for all citizens. Some of the reforms, like state funding of health care and a two-level school education, echoed the systems used under communism.
Szydlo’s conservative government was sworn in on Monday and enjoys a parliament majority. It is expected to easily win a vote of confidence later in the day.
Earlier Wednesday President Andrzej Duda drew opposition ire after he pardoned a minister in Szydlo’s Cabinet, Mariusz Kaminski, who was convicted of abuse of power while head of the anti-corruption body in 2007.