Resistant to migrants, Poland debates the meaning of “solidarity”

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WHEN European Union interior ministers met on Monday to discuss a plan to redistribute 120,000 asylum seekers between them, Poland, the largest and most powerful of the EU’s central and eastern Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 9.04.36 PMmembers, quietly helped to shelve it. Unlike other central and eastern European leaders, Poland’s prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, has not indulged in populist anti-migrant rhetoric. But Poland wants full control over which asylum seekers it lets in. The prospect of accepting large numbers of Muslim refugees in the name of European solidarity seems to be a step too far for a country whose politics were already shifting to the right.

The forces driving that shift were on display in Warsaw on September 12th, when demonstrators staged two rallies (pictured), one friendly to immigrants and one hostile.

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