Episode 51

Illegal Immigrants Detained at Slovakian Border & more–10th Oct 2023

Electoral thresholds for minorities, political debate on national television, an anti-immigration speech, famous youtube blogger charged with sexual abuse, MP’s salaries, and much more! 

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 10th of October twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

One of the hot topics from previous weeks stays on the agenda with new updates.

Recall that the country introduced border checks at the Slovakia frontier last week, to prevent further illegal immigrants from entering Poland. On Thursday, the 5th, border guards detained fourteen illegal immigrants who were trying to enter Poland from the Slovakian border. The country also sent five thousand illegal immigrants, who entered Poland in August and September, back to Slovakia.

On that note about migration, Dominik Tarczyński, member of the Law and Justice party and European MP, gave a speech regarding illegal immigration in the European Parliament session and it became an international hit on social media. On Wednesday, the 4th, he loudly criticized other EU countries because they wanted to allow more immigrants to enter the European Union. Tarczyński said that Poland has zero terrorist attacks and the lowest unemployment rate among European countries because they don’t let illegal immigrants enter Poland. He believes that they will worsen the country's economic situation. Wanna listen to the speech? Follow the link in the show notes!

Also, on Friday, the 6th, Poland officially rejected the European Union's new plan for the relocation of immigrants among European countries. According to the plan, the EU countries will all equally take immigrants and provide them with necessary social and medical care so Germany, France, and Italy won’t have to host the majority.

Next up, a conflict in the Middle East shocked the world.

On Sunday, the 8th, President Duda announced that Poles were not harmed in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Polish Air Force sent three planes to evacuate citizens from Israel. Duda urged Poles not to visit Israel until the conflict was settled. The government expressed its support for Israel.

Poland also faces internal issues.

On Friday, the 6th, the police set an investigation on the most-viewed Polish Youtuber, Stuart Burton, or Stuu, who was accused of pedophilia. Reportedly, he organized a party and invited girls under fifteen. Allegedly, he sexually abused the teenagers.

Let’s talk about the elections.

On Friday, the 6th, the newspaper Rzeczpospolitą or Republic published the results of their recent study saying that half of Polish women may not vote in this week’s election. According to experts, they think that the election will not change the anti-abortion law or increase wages due to recent rising prices.

Similarly, on Monday, the 9th, state television TVP held a political debate for leaders who will take part in the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Morawiecki, main opposition leader Tusk, Poland twenty fifty party’s leader Szymon Hołownia, among others, answered questions about migration, privatization, retirement age, security, unemployment, and social benefits. All politicians agreed that the government should not increase the retirement age. However, they argued about migration since the Prime Minister is strongly against immigrants, but Szymon Hołownia said that they should accept immigrants because they will work and benefit the country.

Still in the election topic, journalists revealed information the public should be aware of before voting.

An MP cannot receive a parliamentary salary if they have another job or business. However, on Thursday, the 5th, the online newspaper Wirtualna Polska or Virtual Poland said that seventy-eight members of parliament were receiving thirty-five thousand dollars per year despite having another job. Reporters stated that politicians are using a loophole in the regulations. However, authorities refused to give any details about the identity of those seventy-eight members of parliament and how they managed to skip the regulation.

Moving on…

Jacek Harłukowicz, the journalist of an online news platform called Onet, published a surveillance video showing seven police officers beating to death a young Ukrainian man, Dmytro Nikiforenko. The event happened in Wrocław, in twenty twenty-one. Police said that Nikiforenko was drunk after a party and acted aggressively in public. However, the footage shows that the police tortured him heavily. He was later declared dead in a sobering-up center. Hanna Machińska, former deputy of the Commissioner for Human Rights for Poland, said that the Commissioner currently deals with more than thirty cases in which police killed civilians. She said that authorities massively cover such cases so that the public will not lose trust in the police.

Speaking of Ukrainians, the people’s sympathy towards them is vastly decreasing…

Janusz Kowalski and Robert Bąkiewicz, two politicians from the Sovereign Poland party, want to prevent Ukrainians with Polish citizenship from joining the country's political front. They proposed introducing electoral thresholds to enter parliament for national minorities, including Ukrainians with Polish citizenship. Normally, every party should get at least five percent of all votes to be able to participate in the distribution of parliamentary seats. However, the constitution allows national minorities to enter parliament even when they don't reach the threshold.

Similarly, the research Institute Ibris asked Polish people about their attitude towards Ukrainians. Forty-eight percent of them expressed that they support extending aid to refugees from Ukraine. However, forty percent of respondents said that they had changed their attitude towards them. They think that the refugees have a “demanding attitude.”

Along with the refugee issue, the country is facing a shortage of oil as the prices are low and people buy it in bulk…

Recently the government decreased prices to attract people to vote for the ruling party in the upcoming election. On Thursday, the 5th, the directors of ambulance stations in Ostrołęka and Warsaw said that they couldn’t fill their ambulances’ tanks in the city center. Ambulances get over to the countryside to refuel, and in the meantime, their service is not available for more than an hour, which puts at risk patients' lives. Despite these incidents, Piotr Müller, a government spokesman, said there is no threat of a fuel shortage in the country.

On that note about internal affairs…

The government will build a grain port in Gdańsk. On Monday, the 9th, Robert Telus, the farm minister, announced that the state-owned Agro-Food Investment Company signed the contract with Baltic Port. He added that the Polish farm industry will flourish since they have recently banned the import of cheaper grain from Ukraine and grain port will help Polish farmers to export their products to Europe at a higher price.

Despite the challenging political front, the cultural life sparkled with victory…

This week, two Polish movies have drawn the attention of a global audience. The film Forgotten Love, adapted from a classic Polish novel Znachor by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz, secured second place globally among non-English Netflix films with twelve million views since its release on the 27th of September. The other Polish masterpiece is The Peasants, a hand-painted animation. It is an adaptation of Władysław Reymont’s Nobel Prize-winning novel of the same title. Also, the movie will be Poland’s candidate for the Oscars.

Lastly, another cultural event will relieve people from election stress…

This week, the best pianists from different countries will perform in Warsaw. Fifteen pianists, three of them from Poland, will compete in the 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments. The competition will run from Wednesday, the 11th to Sunday, the 15th. Wanna know more? Follow the link in the show notes!

Aaaaand that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

Do you ever wonder who these Rorshok people are and why they care about what is going on in Poland? If so, head over to our website to find out more about us and the other things that we do! You can read all about the organization, other projects we are carrying out, and the other podcasts we do. If something catches your eye, or you have any questions, please reach out. You can find all the contact information and the website link in the show notes.

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