War of words between Poland and UK continues
January 20, 2014
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of main opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party
The leader of Poland’s main opposition Law and Justice (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski wrote an open letter to the Poles living in great Britain, in reference to the recent remarks on Polish migrants taking advantage of UK welfare system made by the British PM and encouraged them to return to Poland as soon as possible.
In early January Cameron said that he will call for an amendment to the EU’s governing treaties that would allow Britain to withhold welfare payments from workers of other European nations, whose children are living overseas. He singled out people from Poland, one of the biggest migrant communities in Britain, as an example of the potential for the rules to be abused.
In his letter Kaczynski wrote about ‘hurtful stereotypes’ of Poles in UK and “lack of appreciation” shown by the British government of the important contribution Poles have made to the UK economy.
“I would like to strongly underline that I do not accept these type of views” and I made it very clear during my conversation with the British Prime Minister”, Kaczynski wrote.
"I am aware of the great sacrifices you make to maintain your families. I know, too, that emigration is often forced emigration, caused by a lack of prospects of a decent life for young people in today's Poland,” Kaczynski added.
PiS leader also said that his party would always defend the rights of Poles living abroad. “Poles all over the world have to feel the strength and involvement of the Polish state whenever they need it”.
He also appealed to the Poles living in UK to take advantage of their rights there.
“Be visible in the public life of Great Britain. I encourage you to participate in British and Polish elections as this is a natural instrument to fight for the rights of Poles living on the Thames, the rights that are yours.”
Kaczynski also stressed the fact that Poles living in UK should not lose contact with their homeland and encouraged them to “when only opportunities and perspectives arise” take a decision to return to Poland.
Polish PM Donald Tusk had earlier said Poland would veto any changes to EU rules aimed at reducing welfare payments for any particular nationality rather than applying equally to citizens of all EU member states.
"We will not agree to it if these are changes that would stigmatize any particular national minority," Tusk said.
Meanwhile, a British portal www.dailystar.co.uk reported that
Polish MP Agnieszka Pomaska said during a conference in London that Poles are brainier than Brits and they work harder, sparking fury among British workers.
“Top British jobs are going to immigrants because they work harder”, she said.
She also praised her countrymen for moving up from low-wage jobs and landing higher-paid office work.
“Now the Polish people are better educated and their knowledge of English is better, so they are looking for other possibilities.”
She added that migrants deserved to get child benefit even if their children still lived in Poland because they paid tax over here.
There are more than 25,000 Polish children receiving child benefit payments in Great Britain and they are the biggest beneficiary group.