Poland, Hungary leaders persist with anti-migrant policies

AP News
Posted: Sep 22, 2017 8:13 AM
Poland, Hungary leaders persist with anti-migrant policies

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The leaders of Poland and Hungary insisted Friday that they will stick to their anti-migrant policies in defiance of the European Union and warnings of sanctions.

The refusal by either country to back a plan designed to ease the pressure on countries such as Greece and Italy has put them at odds with the EU's executive Commission, which has opened up infringement procedures against the pair.

Following a meeting with his Polish counterpart in Warsaw, Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, said EU nations have to accept the fact that neither his country nor Poland want to be "immigrant countries."

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo echoed Orban's position and said security issues were the main considerations, and that their policies are "right."

Orban also met with the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is Poland's most powerful politician despite not holding a government post.

In a separate reproach of the EU, Szydlo accused the bloc of being politically motivated in criticizing her government's overhaul of the judiciary as being a threat to the rule of law. She told a pro-government, Catholic radio station that EU leaders have no authority to assess the changes in Poland's court system and that their motives are political. She blamed Poland's opposition for having inspired EU censure.

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The policies of both countries have faced particular rebuke from the European Commission, the EU's executive body. Szydlo said in its criticism the Commission "often exceeds its powers and is guided by political, not factual, motives."