Former Polish president Lech Walesa criticizes UK anti – immigration attitude
Lech Walesa the former president of Poland has accused the UK of irrational approach to its immigration policy. Mr Walesa became a globally famous figure when he led a strike by the Solidarity union at the Gdansk shipyard in 1980. After the fall of communism in eastern Europe, Mr Walesa became the first democratically elected president of Poland in 1990.
He lost power in 1995. Mr Walesa gave an interview to Polish TV station shortly after Cameron made his comment that the fact that transitional controls were not imposed on Polish citizens in 2004 when Poland together with several other Central European states entered EU, was a huge mistake.
At that time the UK government thought that only 13 000 people from those countries will come to the UK, but at the end, it turned out that more than half million arrived to live and work in Britain. These high levels of immigration caused significant anger in some parts British Press and led to the rise of far-right nationalistic parties such as UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage.
Mr Cameron told journalists at the EU summit that EU countries must ‘slow down access to each other’s labour markets’. Mr Walesa said that the UK should be grateful to Poland for the role that it had played in defeating communism which had, in turn, saved the UK billions of pounds in reduced defence expenditure.
According to Walesa the UK should now accept Poland because in the battle with the Communism its economy suffered greatly and was almost destroyed, which led hundreds of thousands Polish people to search for better opportunities to work abroad. Mr Walesa has written a letter to Cameron in which he has expressed his frustration with the UK’s anti-immigration policies.
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