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Most migrants leave Polish accommodation facility – border guard

Anna Michalska told a Monday press conference that people who cross the Polish border illegally are transferred mainly to guarded detention centres for foreigners.
Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The majority of migrants transferred to an ‘open house’ accommodation centre run by a Polish foundation have left it, and have probably also left the country, a spokeswoman for the Polish Border Guard has said.

Anna Michalska told a Monday press conference that people who cross the Polish border illegally are transferred mainly to guarded detention centres for foreigners. But sometimes, due to their poor health, they can be sent to an open accommodation centre run by the Dialog Foundation, which cooperates with the Border Guard.

However, she said that a majority of people transferred to the Dialog facility have already moved on.

“From August 1 until today, we handed over 286 such people to the Dialog Foundation… of these people, 258 people left the open house… despite the fact that they initially declared their intention to stay in Poland,” she said.

“They are probably not on Polish territory… they have probably left for other EU countries,” she added.

She reiterated that the countries of Western Europe are the preferred destinations of migrants rather than Poland.

The cost of keeping foreigners in the Dialog’s open house is borne by the Border Guard.

“The cost for these 286 people amounted to PLN 1.5 million (EUR 319,000), of which half a million zlotys (EUR 106,000) was spent only on psychological and medical help, including dental treatment,” Michalska said.

Poland has been struggling to stem a wave of migrants trying to cross its eastern border from Belarus. EU members accuse the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, of instigating the crisis in order to destabilise the bloc.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been nearly 40,000 attempts to illegally cross the Polish border from Belarus, including over 8,000 in November and nearly 17,300 in October.


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