- Poland’s foreign minister accused Germany of meddling in its internal affairs after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz demanded clarification on allegations that Polish consulates in Africa and Asia were selling temporary work visas to migrants at inflated prices.
- The dispute arose ahead of national elections in Poland on October 15.
- Facing pressure to address migration concerns in Germany, Chancellor Scholz urged Poland to provide clarity on the situation, stressing the need for dialogue on asylum policy.
Poland’s foreign minister accused Germany of trying to interfere in his country’s internal affairs after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Warsaw must clarify allegations that Polish consulates in Africa and Asia sold temporary work visas to migrants for thousands of dollars each.
Poland’s right-wing ruling Law and Justice party faces questions over the alleged plan ahead of national elections on Oct. 15 in which it is seeking a third term in power.
Scholz, whose government is under pressure to do more to curb immigration to Germany, called on neighboring Poland on Saturday to explain what is happening.
“I don’t want people to be lured away from Poland and only to discuss asylum policy afterwards,” Solz said in comments carried by the German news agency dpa.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau responded late Sunday on X, formerly Twitter, that the Scholz statement “violates the principles of sovereignty of the equality of states.”
AIRCRAFT PROBLEM LEAVES GERMAN MINISTER IN ABU DHABI, LATEST IN SERIES OF GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT ISSUES
Rau said he appealed to Solz to “respect Poland’s sovereignty and refrain from statements that harm our mutual relations.”
Rau himself is under political pressure at home because the alleged visa system operated outside the State Department. One of Rau’s deputies has been fired for his alleged role in the scheme, while prosecutors and anti-corruption authorities investigate.
Rau has dismissed calls for his resignation, saying he is not under investigation.
German Interior Minister Nancy Feiser said last week that Berlin was considering introducing short-term border controls with Poland and the Czech Republic to help curb people-trafficking in Germany.
He added that increased border controls should be combined with random police checks already taking place. The government said on Monday it was in talks with its Polish and Czech counterparts.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic belong to Europe’s visa-free zone, commonly known as the Schengen Area, which facilitates movement within the zone.
Asked Monday about Rau’s complaint, Scholz’s spokesman said it was “absolutely normal for the chancellor, in such a situation in which Germany is massively affected, to comment.”
“I can’t see any interference in any election campaign,” Steffen Hebestreit told reporters in Berlin.
Poland’s private TVN said some people in Uganda were protesting because they have paid thousands of dollars for help in obtaining work permits and visas for Poland, but now the process appears to have stopped. The Polish embassy in Nairobi, Kenya is under investigation by Polish anti-corruption authorities, TVN reported.