ONR Organise Rynek Protest Against Ukrainian Immigration

Extreme right wing group the ONR, who recently organised a string of protests against Islam and 'Islamification', have now decided to take aim at Ukrainian immigration.

The group will gather at the Rynek on Saturday at 3pm to protest against Ukrainian immigration, which they claim is stalling wage growth in Poland. A rival protest at the same time supporting the Ukrainians has also been organised.

The ONR's statement regarding their motivation for holding the protest reads as follows:

"Since the beginning of the unrest in Ukraine, Poland has taken in more than 1 million refugees from the country. However, this figure only represents the official data. In fact, the number of Ukrainians could be a lot more.

Among the immigrants from the east are mainly unskilled laborers, who bring down wages for Poles.

Before the Polish accession to the European Union, we were promised a chance to work abroad, which would result in the departure of many people, a reduction in unemployment and an increase in wages in the country. Meanwhile, our wages did not increase, and unemployment is not falling. This is because in the place of our loved ones has come newcomers from the east.

Our government not only supports Ukraine financially, but also supports Ukrainian immigration via social benefits – all at a time when Polish health care, roads and education are in a deplorable state.

Together we opposed the onslaught of Islam, which resulted in politicians bowing to the pressure of society.  Now we say "NO" to immigrants from Ukraine!"

The ONR's negativity about the influx of Ukrainian workers does not appear to have been replicated by economists however. Tomasz Wieladek, an economist at Barclays Plc, said in a report that “the mitigation of population aging from migration will likely contribute to higher long-run growth.”

PKO Bank Polski SA have said the immigration wave from Ukraine "has effectively delayed the graying of Poland’s population by five years."

On top of that, almost 40 percent of firms in sales and services rely on Ukrainians according to a survey conducted by Work Service SA, a recruiting and human resources company in Warsaw.

The ONR's claims about unemployment do not appear to be true either – at least according to official figures. In recent times the jobless rate in Poland has been at the lowest since the data series started in 1992. It was 5.5 percent last quarter, compared with 5.9 percent in the prior three months.

The amount of Ukrainians living in Wroclaw has shot up in recent years. In response to the situation, the city have even set up special language courses for Ukranians of all ages, while Wizzair and Ryanair have both announced the routes between Wroclaw and Kiev. Earlier this week, Wroclaw Aquapark also revealed that 20% of their employees were Ukrainians.

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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