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Poland’s PiS caught in cash for visas scandal

Banners ares seen during an anti-government protest in Krakow, Poland

Banners ares seen during an anti-government protest in Krakow, Poland

A month out from Poland’s parliamentary elections, the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) is facing a PR nightmare of their own making: the party may be anti-immigration, but it seems they aren’t anti-cash.

There is mounting evidence that several thousand visas were given to migrants from Africa and Asia in exchange for cash– a major scandal for an anti-immigration party.

The scandal was uncovered after other EU states noticed an influx of migrants entering the Schengen area with Polish visas. Seven people have been detained and the deputy foreign minister has been sacked.

PiS is looking to win its third straight general election next month, running on a platform that highlights the party’s success in stemming immigration from Muslim-majority countries and managing ongoing tensions along the Belarusian border.

But PiS is neck and neck with the liberal opposition– former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO) – and facing a right flank challenge from the libertarian-nationalist Confederation Party. Right now it’s anyone's game, and could result in no government being formed, prompting a repeat election in early 2024.

With swing voters likely to determine the outcome of a tight election, getting caught hawking visas while running on an anti-immigrant platform could blow up for the PiS when Poles hit the polls next month.


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