Poles want Ukrainian refugees to cover some costs

Most Poles now support Ukrainian refugees having to pay at least some of their living expenses in Poland, a new poll has found.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Poland has absorbed over a million refugees, and has opened up its labour market and health, education and welfare systems to them.

Last month, the Polish government decided to introduce, from this coming February, partial maintenance payments for Ukrainian refugees, with the exclusion of vulnerable groups, including the disabled and the elderly, the newspaper Rzeczpospolita wrote on Friday.

An IBRiS poll for the paper showed that most Poles, 57.7 percent, supported the move. Just over 21 percent said Poland should not expect any additional payment from Ukrainians.

According to government regulations, Ukrainian citizens who have stayed in Poland for more than 120 days, will have to cover 50 percent of their maintenance cost, but no more than PLN 40 (EUR 8.52) per person per day. From May, the participation in costs is planned to increase to 75 percent for those who have stayed in Poland for more than 180 days.

A large number of Ukrainians have already found jobs in Poland, which is facilitated by record-low unemployment levels in their host country and the cultural and linguistic closeness of the two nations.