EU Demands Clarity from Poland over Alleged Visa Fraud Claims Amid National Elections

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The European Union has commanded Poland to address and clarify allegations implicating the country’s ruling party in sweeping visa fraud. Polish media outlets previously reported that numerous migrants had been shelling out up to $5,000 to expedite their visa applications through Polish consulates and private organizations.

In light of the serious allegations, a European Commission spokeswoman stated that Warsaw had been granted a fortnight to answer to detailed inquiries regarding the matter. The Polish government’s response to these fraud allegations was one of disbelief, labelling them as “absurd.”

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Germany is also probing the issue, imploring Poland to provide specifics about the count of visas issued and the nationalities of the recipients. Concerns voiced by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser led to her contacting her Polish equivalent, Mariusz Kaminski, to discuss these serious allegations.

While acknowledging the unlawful issuance of hundreds of visas, the incumbent government firmly contested the opposition’s suggestions that the actual figures are significantly higher. The governing Law and Justice party, known for its stringent immigration policies, denounces these claims ahead of the imminent national elections on October 15.

Echoing throughout the contentious campaign season, the opposition branded it as a grand scandal of the current century and an example of government corruption at its highest echelons. They estimate the fraudulent visas issued to be in the high hundreds of thousands, predominantly to people hailing from Asia and Africa.

Attempting to quell the controversy, Kaminski rebuked the opposition, arguing that their actions were detrimental to Poland. During a conversation with his German counterpart, he reassured her not to fall for this “nonsense.”

In the wake of the scandal, the end of August saw the dismissal of the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister, Piotr Wawrzyk. Poland’s foreign ministry is currently under audit while the country’s anti-corruption bureau has initiated a thorough investigation. The ministry has voiced intent to terminate contracts of outsourcing companies handling visa applications since 2011.

As the Law and Justice party strives for an unrivaled third term in office, the scandal adds a layer of uncertainty to the election results. The alleged corruption potentially undermines the government’s firm stance on immigration control.

Last year, Poland erected a 116-mile steel barrier along its border with Belarus and deployed troops to counter illegal crossings. Subsequently, a humanitarian crisis unfolded with stranded migrants braving freezing conditions alongside the border—a crisis Poland blames on Belarus’s “hostile activity.”

Amid these crises, Poland continues to challenge proposed EU plans to relocate migrants from Mediterranean countries witnessing a higher influx of arrivals to other fellow member states. Just this week, Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski labeled the relocation of migrants as “an incentive for the human trafficking industry.”

Furthermore, the current leadership condemned a new film by Agnieszka Holland, which brought the spotlight onto the migrant crisis on the Belarus border. The much-acclaimed film, Green Border, was accused of tarnishing Poland’s reputation and harming the honor of those striving to protect their country.