Poland mulls border checks at border with Germany
Poland has introduced border controls with Slovakia and is also considering it on borders with other countries, including Germany, the spokesman for the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) has said.
Rafał Bochenek told the state-owned TVP television on Wednesday that the Polish side is also monitoring the western border, and the government is considering restoring control there.
"I know that this type of analysis is underway because Germany is very often the destination for illegal migrants," he said, adding that last year Germany accepted around 100,000 illegal migrants, and almost 70,000 this year.
Germany has recently warned that it might introduce border checks at its border in Poland despite the fact that both countries are part of the border-free Schengen zone. Berlin has been concerned with increasing numbers of migrants coming to Germany after crossing Poland and the Czech Republic.
But Bochenek said that Poland is also concerned about the migrants coming to Poland from Germany.
"There are therefore serious threats and risks that some of them may want to, for example, enter Poland to commit crimes, thefts or attacks," Bochenek warned. "We want to ensure the safety of Poles. This is a priority for us."
Top PiS politicians have often expressed concerns about the criminal aspects of the presence of migrants in Western Europe, and the prime minister has often criticised the West for allowing migrants to intimidate local populations.
"Chancellor Scholz is trying to divert attention from what is happening in Germany, because Germany today has a huge problem with illegal migration," Bochenek continued. "Various elections are also taking place in Germany, where the extreme right - the AfD party - is totally anti-migrant. Today we can clearly see how Scholz's polls are falling and the AfD is rising, so Scholz - somehow wants to break into the AfD electorate - is trying to push a quasi-migrant narrative," he said.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday that he had instructed the interior minister to introduce checks of buses and cars at the Polish-Slovak border, which may be used by migrants who do not have the right to enter Poland.
Deputy Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said later on Wednesday at a PiS provincial convention held in Pruszkow, a town near Warsaw, that as he was the person in the government responsible for security matters, he had given the order to strengthen the borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic and to introduce special checks.
"It's not that we are intentionally taking a course of action against these countries, as we want to be with them and are on the best possible terms," he said. "But the point is that we cannot tolerate this situation."
"I hope this will be a temporary state of affairs - it's something that we must do," he added.
Kaczynski said that "we will not be expelled from the Schengen Area, but this could have happened had we removed the wall at the border and allowed migrants to enter."
"Today, we are defending Polish borders, it's we who are defending Europe," he said.