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Poland says cannot take migrants under EU quotas without guarantees after Paris attacks
November 14, 2015 / 11:55 AM / 2 years ago

Poland says cannot take migrants under EU quotas without guarantees after Paris attacks

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland cannot accept migrants relocated under a European Union quota system after the attacks in Paris without security guarantees, its incoming European affairs minister said on Saturday, in a sign that the attacks may seriously undermine EU refugee policy.

People light candles and put flowers in front of the French embassy in tribute to victims of Paris attacks, in Warsaw, Poland November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Konrad Szymanski will take up his post on Monday in the government formed by the winners of last month’s election, the conservative and eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party.

“The attacks mean the necessity of an even deeper revision of the European policy towards the migrant crisis,” he said at a Saturday briefing.

“We’ll accept (refugees only) if we have security guarantees. This is a key condition, and today a question mark has been put next to it all around Europe,” he added without elaborating on what he meant by security guarantees.

In comments on right-leaning website wPolityce.pl, Szymanski reiterated that the incoming government did not agree with Poland’s commitment to take part in an EU-wide relocation of immigrants.

In September, Poland broke ranks with its ex-communist partners from the ‘Visegrad group’ - Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - by backing a European Union plan to share out 120,000 refugees across the 28-nation bloc.

A group of migrants, coming off an incoming train, are seen next to police on the platform at the Swedish end of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark, in Hyllie district, Malmo November 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stig-Ake Jonsson/TT News Agency

Under the plan, agreed by the outgoing centre-right, pro-EU government, Poland was to take in 4,500 refugees, adding to some 2,000 it has already accepted.

In a comment on RMF FM radio, Szymanski said: “The (EU Council) decision is valid for all EU countries, but its implementation is very hard to imagine today.”

The migrant crisis was a key issue in the Polish election campaign, with PiS strongly critical of the government’s decision.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris in which at least 127 people were killed.

Poland’s incoming Prime Minister Beata Szydlo lit a candle at the French Institute in the southern city of Cracow on Saturday.

At a briefing she refused to comment on the migrant issue, adding that she and her government will do everything “for the Polish nation to feel safe.”

Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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