Poland rebuts German chancellor's visa scandal comments

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau calls on Germany to stay out of Poland's domestic politics

Jo Harper  | 25.09.2023 - Update : 25.09.2023
Poland rebuts German chancellor's visa scandal comments


Poland has demanded that Germany stay out of its domestic politics following claims of alleged visa irregularities breaching EU migration principles.

"The latest statement by (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz violates the principles of sovereign equality of states," Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said Sunday on X, referring to a recent statement by Scholz that reports of Polish missions abroad issuing visas in return for bribes "requires explanation."

"The competences of the German Chancellor clearly do not apply to the proceedings pending in Poland," Rau asserted.

This came after Scholz said Saturday on the scandal surrounding Polish visas that "those who come to Poland must be registered there and undergo the asylum procedure." The German side "will talk to the Polish government about this," added the German chancellor.

In the wake of the irregularities, Poland's ambassador to Germany was summoned to the Interior Ministry in Berlin.

Investigations into the matter are ongoing by Polish prosecutors and the Central Anticorruption Bureau. So far, seven people have been charged with possible visa fraud.

"Statements in this matter indicate an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the Polish State and the ongoing election campaign in Poland. In the name of good bilateral relations, I appeal to the German Chancellor to respect Poland's sovereignty and refrain from statements that harm our mutual relations," Foreign Minister Rau added.

The opposition in Poland claims that the scandal smacks of corruption and that hundreds of thousands of documents were issued. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, in turn, argues that there is no scandal.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson sent a letter to Polish authorities requesting explanations. European Commission spokeswoman Anitta Hipper admitted that the commission had received a response, but that it was "insufficient."

In the run-up to Poland's parliamentary election on Oct. 15, PiS has ramped up anti-German rhetoric.

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