Those responsible for visa scandal will be "appropriately" punished says PM
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said that officials involved in a visa issuance scandal will be sacked and an investigation into the scheme has already led to charges.
Polish prosecutors have already started examining alleged irregularities in the granting of work visas to foreigners after the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported last week that Poland's Foreign Ministry might have allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants to come to Europe by granting them Polish visas in return for bribes.
According to the newspaper, former Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk, who was the minister responsible for consular matters and visas, was the author of a draft regulation on visa facilitation for temporary workers from about 20 countries, including Islamic countries.
The directive assumed "the possibility of employing up to 400,000 workers in Poland," Gazeta Wyborcza wrote.
The scandal has the potential to harm the government in the run-up to October 15's general election given that it has made protecting Poland from the apparent dangers of what it considers unrestricted migration a top priority.
In a video posted on social media on Friday, Morawiecki played down the scale of the apparent scandal saying that "irregularities relating to several hundred visas, I repeat, several hundred visas, were identified by us as part of control procedures."
"Poland’s law-enforcement services took appropriate action and people suspected of breaking the law were identified. The prosecutor's office brought charges against seven people, and three of them are in custody," he added.
Morawiecki also said he was convinced that the people responsible "will be appropriately punished" and that he had ordered the foreign minister to dismiss officials "who failed to fulfil any of their duties."
The prime minister also took aim at Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition grouping, Civic Platform, saying that he "brings up the issue of visa irregularities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because he wants to make political capital out of it."
Tusk wants to create a sense of threat based on a lie "that will be repeated a thousand times by foreign media favourable to him," Morawiecki claimed.
"Donald Tusk is responsible, together with Angela Merkel and Manfred Weber, for the tragic migration policy that led to a real invasion of thousands of illegal immigrants to Europe," he added.
"It was those irresponsible decisions of European bureaucrats that led to rapes, robberies, destruction of streets, plundering of European cities, chaos and fire," said Morawiecki.