MORAL AND PATRIOTIC COMMITMENT
Maybe what I will write, will turn out to be a promise but – I hope – a fulfilled promise. I mean that we will finally have a good act about repatriation – an act promised by the Law and Justice party in an electoral campaign. This is the last time for such an act, because a lot of Poles living in Kazakhstan or other republics of the former Soviet Union are leaving, for example, for Russia where they are offered quite good conditions of their stay. It does not need to be added what harm it brings to the Polish interests.
Writing that we have finally got a good act, I will mention that the act of 2000 did not turn out to be successful, which is proved by the data of the Foreign Ministry. Nearly 6 thousand Poles returned to Poland whereas Kazakhstan is inhabited by a lot of thousands of them. Unfortunately, a lot of those who have been waiting for a possibility to arrive in their homeland for years, might have resigned from it, because they were not able to hear a voice from homeland. And this is an absolutely unpermitted situation.
I will remind that the main reason of the fact that the act of 2000 was inactive was ceding the burden of repatriation onto the shoulders of municipalities. Finding work, providing communal premises for thousands of repatriates was beyond possibilities of self-governments. At present there is a chance for people deported by the Soviet authorities to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, Tadżykistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or the Asian part of the Russian Federation and also descendants of these people to see their dreams come true.
What is important, the basic matter will be a declaration of the very interested person that he feels a Pole. I do not have to remind that a lot of people do not have any documents and, what is more, a lot of our compatriots from the area of the USSR before the Second World War were consciously destroying all documents concerning their Polish origin, because being a Pole exposed them to arrests, repressions or sending to labour camps at that time, so, a lot of our compatriots cannot document their Polish origin in an explicit way. Hence, if somebody declares his affiliation to the Polish nation in the presence of the consulate of RP and if there are any kinds of premises which would confirm this declaration, we will help such people to settle in Poland.
The act established an office of a proxy of the government for repatriation issues and a Council for issues of Repatriation to give opinions on helping repatriates. This act shall contain a provision which says that repatriates can be invited, certainly also by their names, by families living in Poland and, certainly, they will be allowed to receive grants envisaged by the act. Whereas, those who would not have a relative in the country, would live in adaptation centres, having accommodation with food, a possibility to gain particular skills, including learning Polish language and doing professional courses.
Moreover, particular forms of financial help were offered to repatriates. According to it, a proxy will help a repatriate after his leaving a centre of financial help to meet needs of accommodation up to 25 thousand zlotys. Furthermore, a municipality which will provide a flat to a repatriate, will receive a single grant from the state budget at the amount of 25 thousand zlotys per a repatriate. This is also very important as municipalities have not been interested in letting in repatriates so far, just for financial reasons. In the last years only 6 municipalities let in our compatriots and 3 of them have been discussing this possibility till now. Even 79 local governments stated that they could not afford repatriates.
The government assumes that Poland starts thinking about our compatriots more seriously than it used to. It should be said that help to our compatriots in the East has been – I dare to say – a disgrace of the Polish country. To compare, I will remind that Germans brought in nearly a million of people of German origin from the area of the USSR during 5 years. So, we are to pay off a moral debt which we have towards to Poles in the East.