Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a rally in central Poland that if his conservative government remains in power, in 10 years’ time, Poles will have more purchasing power than citizens in neighboring Germany.
“During (former Prime Minister) Donald Tusk’s reign, Poles used to go to Germany to pick asparagus (..) I want to see Germans coming to Poland to pick strawberries and apples,” he said.
Poles still make up a substantial amount of Germany’s construction, healthcare, agricultural and manufacturing workforce — often as temporary workers who earn low wages. Poland’s conservative government has long sought to bolster Poland’s economy in relation to the German powerhouse in order to draw back workers and raise living standards.
Morawiecki also noted during his speech that his government would resist the European Commission’s latest attempts to relocate illegal migrants to Central Europe. His comments came on the back of a controversial vote in Brussels that would force countries to accept migrants or pay fines of up to €22,000 per migrant, according to Polish news outlet Rzeczpospolita.
The Polish leader promised that Poland would avoid the scenes witnessed in France and Sweden, with illegal migrants making life unsafe for locals. Morawiecki also accused the European Commission of attempting to force Central Europe to repeat the mistakes made in Western Europe.
The Polish prime minister noted that the previous liberal government had accepted the compulsory relocation of migrants. He warned that if the liberals win the coming election, they would bow to Berlin and Brussels and allow the migrants in.
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He then accused the liberal opposition of having catastrophically reduced the state budget during their terms in office. He noted that during liberal rule, many Poles left the country, unemployment was over 2 million and the retirement age was raised. According to Morawiecki, the ruling conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński had rescued Poland from penury:
“Jarosław Kaczyński pulled Poland out of the mess, visible in many dimensions — institutionally and in relation to the people,” said Morawiecki.
He added that Poland must not go back to the past of low-paid labor and was proud of the record of the present administration in more than doubling the minimum wage.
Morawiecki further accused the liberal opposition of wanting to govern in the interests of Germany rather than those of Poland.