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Poland to hold referendum on accepting migrants as part of EU scheme

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talks to journalists as he arrives for the third EU-CELAC summit in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talks to journalists as he arrives for the third EU-CELAC summit in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with EBU
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Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) wants Poles to vote on four key topics, including migration, border security, the retirement age, and the privatisation of state companies.

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Polish lawmakers have adopted a draft resolution to possibly hold a nationwide referendum in October on the country's most pressing questions.

Pending a draft by the Legislative Committee, the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) wants Poles to vote on four key topics, including whether to accept thousands of migrants as part of an EU migration scheme.

On Thursday, a debate on the proposal was held in the Sejm, followed by a vote. 233 MPs voted for the proposal, 211 were against and 8 abstained. The absolute majority needed to pass the proposal was 227 votes.

Donald Tusk's opposition "Civic Platform" party strongly opposes the referendum. It accuses the ruling party of trying to "demonise opponents with loaded questions", while Tusk described it as "invalid".

"I am very surprised that the Civic Platform, which also has Civic in its name, calls for a boycott," said Marek Ast, who is a member of the Law and Justice party.

 "Donald Tusk himself annuls this referendum before it has been approved by the Sejm. This means that they are very afraid of the answers to these questions."

Poles will also have their say on whether or not to dismantle fences on its border with Belarus.

The ruling party has previously voiced concerns over increased migration pressure along its eastern frontier.

Poland has recently beefed-up security amid fears of possible provocation from Russian Wagner group mercenaries stationed in Belarus.

Other questions seek to quantify support for the privatisation of state companies and potentially raising the retirement age.

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