Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on Poland to clarify allegations of a visas-for-bribes scandal, airing concerns that it could be adding to his own country’s migration struggles.
Just one month before a key general election in Poland, the government is grappling with allegations that operatives in consulates may have handed out thousands of Polish temporary work visas, and EU access, in return for bribes.
“I don’t want people from Poland to simply be waved through, and then have a discussion about our asylum policy afterwards,” Scholz said Saturday at a rally of his Social Democratic Party.
He called for discussions with Warsaw. “Further measures may then have to be taken at the borders, for example at this one,” Tagesspiegel quoted the chancellor as saying.
Brussels has also urged clarity on the matter. In a letter that EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson sent to Poland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Zbigniew Rau, the bloc warned that Poland could be violating EU law, and gave the government until October 3 to respond to the allegations, and explain how it intends to handle the issue.
A spokesperson for the Polish government said Warsaw had decided to “carry out an extraordinary inspection and audit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Consular Affairs as well as all Polish consular establishments” and that the ministry had decided to “terminate contracts with all outsourcing companies” that handle visa applications.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused opposition leader Donald Tusk of exaggerating the numbers, saying that the government has identified “irregularities involving several hundred visas — I repeat, several hundred visas.”
Source : Politico