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Great PaulVDV 2022-04-05 10:00

Hello Mariusz,
We have heard several times in our news reports how well Poland is handling this refugee crisis.
You also noticed this on the spot.
The difference in attitude of the government in Poland and Hungary towards the invasion and war in Ukraine is remarkable.
Poland has an incredible number of Ukrainian refugees within its borders. Do you know if they are spread all over the country? Or do they stay close to the Ukrainian border in the hope of returning soon?
I suppose many want to go to those places where they already have family or friends.
Best regards, Paul

Old 04-05-2022, 08:06 PM
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mkamionka mkamionka is offline
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Default To PaulVDV: Poland's attitude

Hi Paul,
There are several issues which you touched here.
I think there were different phases of the crisis.
There were of course over million of Ukrainians working in Poland beofre the war, filling the gap left by workers whoc moved to the western Europe.
So the first early wave of the refuguees were people who simply joined their family members and friends all over Poland. I know they were working everywhere from big cities to little remote villages, so they were quite spread across the country.
The next wave was also realively easy because Polish people have responded with a lot of heart so even though they are on average quite poor, they decided to share their houses with many Ukrainians. This had of course limited capacity of help so I think a lot of these optionms were quickly saturated. Then there was another phase when the number of people reached the peak per day: this became logistically a challenge and certainly there were some incidents on both sides of the border.
By comparison with Germany Polish people are not very well organized but they did compensated it with their warm hearted attitude.
A lot of my friends were and still are heavily involved as volunteers to help.
So there was a moment when the logistsic was overwhelming and spontaneity of people was not enough to cope.
Initially all political forces were united in getting help. POlish political scene similarly to other countries became unnecessarily strongly polarized. For example My parents have to neighbours. But very kind but they are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum. They are so very aggressive against each other. My parents want to be friend with both of them but it is so hard because they have very strong opinions and are quite aggressive about it. So at the early phase I have seen all of these political opponents working together to get help. Later when the system got overwhelmed of course they started to blame each other but it is still relatively mild.
Now I think sosme systems have been already developed and I read the everythink is working smoother although we still do not have too many long term opportunities for the refugees.

So what I am saying it was not always smooth but taking into account the scale of the problem I think the answer was great indeed.

Now the refugees are actual war refugees from the neighbouring country, people who have no other direction to escape to. We are the natural place they should come, similarly to for example the extremely rich Arabic countries who could should accept the refugees from the neighboring countries at war. Saudi Arabia or Emirates are so much richer than Poland and yet they don't want to accept culturally similar refugees from neighbouring countries. Maybe the thing is also that we see mainly women and children arriving from Ukraine while from Asia or Africa there are usuall young adult healthy man who left their women and children alone while clearly aiming not at those countries which are safe but rather those who offer more free stuff.
I suppose this is yet another aspect of it.

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Old 04-06-2022, 03:45 PM
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PaulVDV PaulVDV is offline
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Hi Mariusz,

Surprising to read that neighbours with different political convictions allow this to play a role in their mutual relationship.

In Belgium we have learned not to talk about politics with our neighbours. Everyone wants to live on good terms with their neighbours.
At the most, we complain together about the usually very lengthy formation of a new government in our country without blaming one of the parties for this.
Certainly in places where Flemish and French-speaking Belgians live next to each other and vote for other parties in elections (different parties with opposite programme), neighbours talk about things other than politics.
This is very clear where I live.

With regard to the organization of the refugee crisis in Poland:
I have only heard very favourable reviews on Flemish TV about the way in which the mass of refugees in Ukraine are received.
You were comparing your country with the most organized country in Europe

To date, Belgium has only registered 30.000 Ukrainian refugees. However, residential villages are being built for a lot more.

I myself dislike the way in which Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Oman,... provide insufficient help to Arab refugees from other countries.
This was in the past already the case with Palestinian refugees, who were often not welcome in those rich countries.

In fact, we should reach a compromise through the United Nations, in which all prosperous countries offer assistance with refugee flows. Not just North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand,...
There are many other countries where there is enough money and they spend it in mega projects and not in helping people in emergency situations.
Personally, I also think that there was sufficient reason not to let Qatar organise the upcoming World Cup.

Kind regards,
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