PM to veto illegal immigration at EU sitting

Mateusz Morawiecki said: "I will say a firm 'no' and maintain my veto on illegal immigration." Albert Zawada/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister has said that he will present a firm "no" on illegal immigration at a European Council meeting next week.

Morawiecki said in a televised announcement on Friday that "next week I'm going to a meeting of the European Council, where I will say a firm 'no' and maintain my veto on illegal immigration."

In early June, the EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, which comprises interior ministers representing EU member states, approved a new pact on migration and asylum. 

Under the draft regulation, EU members will have to accept an initial quota of 30,000 migrants from countries that bear the brunt of migration from the Middle East and Africa, such as Greece and Italy, or pay about EUR 22,000 per non-admitted migrant. Poland and Hungary were against the new rules, but were outvoted.

"Do you remember, it was the Law and Justice government that blocked illegal immigration in June 2018, and since then this problem did not exist until May of this year, when Weber and Tusk again decided to push the illegal immigration plan in Europe," referring to Manfred Weber, leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, and Donald Tusk, the Polish opposition leader.

"The Polish voice can and should be even stronger," Morawiecki said as he referred to the upcoming referendum, in which one of the questions concerns the issue of relocation of illegal immigrants from other EU countries to Poland.

"On October 15, we can say no to illegal immigration, to the forced relocation of illegal immigrants," the prime minister said. "Let's do it first as Poles, our voice will be heard throughout Europe. Our security is not given to us once and for all. We are fighting for Poland's security," Morawiecki said.

"Security is a paramount value and only the government of Law and Justice is the guarantor of this security. We must be aware that only Law and Justice is able to stop illegal immigration to Poland," he said. "Donald Tusk is a dangerous man and we must defend Poland against him."

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