When you visit Warsaw for the first time, it is not the cold weather that hit you the most, it is the presence of history in everyside of the city. Some sides speak of the communisme era, some others speak of the nazi era and some others show the resistance of Polish people, their suffering and their victory. Warsaw is a city that rose from ashes and stood again on its feet. The music of the five minutes short movie that has been projected in the Uprising Musuem in Warsaw is still resonnating in my head. The movie projected what Warsaw looked like right after the War. It was an absolute ruin!
When you get into some old reinnovated building, sometimes it feels like the stones were lost, found and gathered again. Polish cities have been actually collected and rebuild again.
Poland has actually been through a major transformation in the last 26 years. Since 1989, Poland GDP per capita has developped, and it has outpaced its central and european neighbours. In 2008 and 2009, while the world was sinking in a major global financial crisis, Poland was the only EU economy not to suffer from recession.
Some economy experts see that Poland could even give lessons in economy to the EU. According to EurActiv :“The Polish economy has also grown faster than that of the EU, by 49% since 2003, while the average figure for the rest of the Union is only 11%.”
This was a result of a series of agressive decisions taken by the government. Not to mention that the country’s entry into the European Union had given a great boost to the economy. Polish are actually the first beneficiaries of European structural funds.
Could these facts interpret the position of polish different governments on immigration crisis? Poland former Civic Platform (PO) centrist government has accepted after some pressure to share the burden of the immigration crisis with its european partners. It went even against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia in the EU-summit on immigration crisis that was held in september 2015. However, the new government of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party has made it clear from the beggining of its election that Poland is not taking part in the european asylum project. Then it somehow stepped back and said that it would accept the EU deal and take a share of refugees if security measures were guaranteed. Yesterday, right after Brussels attacks, polish government said that no more refugees are accepted in Poland.
Poland is a country with a few ethnic minorities, and the government position about the EU deal on refugee qouta system may reflect a fear of a threat to their national unity, to the country they have shed blood to rebuild. However, have Polish really forgot how it feels to flee the war and to seek refuge in other countries?
EurActiv, Poland ‘can offer economic recipe’ to the EU, 8 septembre 2014, https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-europe/news/poland-can-offer-economic-recipe-to-the-eu/
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