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Deputy PM says Poland won’t accept relocated refugees

Poland will not agree to the EU’s system for relocating refugees, a deputy PM has said after the EU’s migration chief last week warned the European Commission had “the tools and the power” to ensure member states would accommodate migrants, The Polish Radio reports.

In an interview with Polish Radio, Polish deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin said that the European Commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, “did not notice that the government in Poland has changed”.

The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which took power in October 2015, has voiced opposition to EU plans to distribute refugees throughout the EU.

“Resolving the problem is based on eliminating the source of the problem, that is bringing peace to the Middle East,” Gowin said.

Last week, during an official visit to Warsaw, Avramopoulos said that all EU member states should “respond positively to their commitments”, adding that non-compliance would force the European Commission “to take some measures”.

In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of asylum seekers over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East.

EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 100,000 refugees of more than two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.

However, only 14,000 migrants from refugee camps in countries along the Mediterranean coast have been relocated in the EU. Poland, which had been assigned 6,200 refugees, has not taken in any of them.

According to the European Commission, only Austria, Poland and Hungary have not accepted any people from migrant camps in Italy and Greece, while Malta and Finland are the only countries to have fulfilled their obligations.

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