Visa scandal in MFA. EU Commission: it's up to Poland to investigate any wrongdoings
"It is for Poland, for the member states, to investigate any wrongdoings in this regard," European Commission Spokeperson Anitta Hipper said when asked about the visa scandal in Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Poland's National Public Prosecutor's Office has also issued a statement regarding this case.
TVN24 correspondent in Brussels Maciej Sokołowski on Friday (Sept. 8) asked European Commission Spokeperson Anitta Hipper about the alleged violations in Polish visa system.
"The Commission cannot comment on ongoing investigations as we are aware these are taking place. It is for Poland, for the member states, to investigate any wrongdoings in this regard," Hipper said.
"The Polish authorities have started the investigation so we should not prejudge this. We’ll respect its outcome and we will continue being in touch with the authorities," she added.
Poland's National Public Prosecutor's Office has also issued a statement regarding the case, in which it said the inquiry launched in concert with the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) would look into irregularites in a few hundred visa applications submitted in the last 18 months. The prosecutor's office added that less than half of said applications had been approved.
According to the statement, "the irregularities pertained to Polish diplomatic establishments in Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Philippines, and Qatar".
On August 31, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki dismissed Piotr Wawrzyk as a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the MFA, the reason for that decision was "a lack of satisfatory cooperation".
Asked about his decision, Morawiecki said a few days later that an inquiry was ongoing. "We want to maintain absolute transparency and honesty. As soon as we find traces of irregularities … we leave matters to be clarified. The dismissal took place to eliminate any doubts," he added.
"Gazeta Wyborcza" said on Wednesday that the Polish MFA could have brought hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe and that PM Morawiecki had admitted Wawrzyk's dismissal was a result of an inquiry by the anti-corruption authority into the MFA. "It's possible it (the inquiry) pertains to a huge corruption scandal as a result of which hundreds of thousands immigrants arrived in Europe," the daily wrote.
Furthermore, the newspaper added that, in the MFA, Wawrzyk had been responsible for consular and visa-related affairs. He turned out to be the author of an ordinance regarding visa facilitation for temporary employees from approx. 20 countries, including Islamic states. "It (the ordinance) assumed a possibility to hire up to 400,000 workers in Poland," - "GW" informed.
"Unofficial information, however, draw a picture of a corruption scandal, which facilitated an influx of tens of thousands of immigrants through international recruitment companies ... They (the companies) were behind the idea of minister Wawrzyk's ordinance," the newspaper said.
"Wyborcza" added that approx. 200,000 migrants arrived in Poland in 2022, including 130,000 from Islamic countries.
On Friday, the daily reported that the CBA's operation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is connected with "an international investigation into the operations of the Indian company VFS Global, an intermediary in visa applications".
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24