‘Sanctuary City’ Plan for Poland Fails as Opposition Party Clashes With Public Opinion

Around 2000 migrants who arrived by train, walk near the border town of Kljuc Brdovecki, on October 24, 2015, to cross the Croatia-Slovenia border. Crowds of refugees and other migrants camp by roads in western Balkan countries in worsening autumn weather after Hungary sealed its borders with Serbia and Croatia, …

Plans to present a list of Polish areas willing to welcome refugees have fallen through after local authorities refused to back the initiative.

In defiance of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s pledge to keep Poles safe from troubles plaguing Western Europe as a result of mass migration, Civic Platform (PO) leader Grzegorz Schetyna announced the party was going to unveil a list of cities and regions which are willing to host migrants, to send the message that Poland shows “solidarity” in the face of the migrant crisis.

Poland has refused to take part in a European Union (EU) scheme which insists that countries across the bloc be forced to welcome quotas determined by Brussels of the thousands of migrants arriving in Europe weekly by boat.

Pointing to terror attacks in Western Europe, the conservative PiS government has argued that retaining control of Poland’s border is the only way to keep the country safe.

However, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (Daily Legal Newspaper), the PO list which promised to show Polish towns and cities which are happy to receive migrants is not likely to be forthcoming.

The newspaper’s investigation found that Schetyna’s call for local authorities to volunteer to host refugees — a European version of America’s sanctuary cities debate — “is getting a marginal response and in some cases even open resistance”.

“Local authorities are gearing up for elections next year and don’t want to risk stirring up discontent among the public who, for the most part, are against accepting migrants,” Dziennik Gazeta Prawna wrote, citing analysis by Polish political scientist Jarosława Flisa.

Asked when the party will be presenting its list of towns and cities volunteering to accept refugees, PO deputy spokesman Jan Grabiec admitted there will not be a list as such, telling the newspaper: “It’s more about a dozen villages showing a sign of goodwill.

“We want Europeans to know that Poles are not racists who are afraid of refugees,” he added.

Last week, Breitbart London reported a study which found most Poles said they would rather leave the EU than have Brussels force migrants from third world nations on their country.

Conducted by pollster IBRiS, the survey found that 57 per cent of respondents would be willing to forego EU development funds if it meant Poland retains sovereignty on the issue of accepting migrants from outside Europe.

The seventh-poorest, and fifth most populous, nation in the bloc, Poland is the largest beneficiary of its development funds and membership has high support  — with 71 per cent of Poles believing that belonging to the EU is a “good thing”, according to a March survey by Eurobarometer.

But the June survey, published Wednesday to coincide with a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, showed that more than half of Poles would rather their country leave the bloc altogether than be forced to surrender border controls to Brussels.


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