Polish jokes bad for business

Polish ambassador warns that negative attitudes about Poles could result in rejection of Danish goods

The opinion held by some Danes that Poles are lazy, dishonest, tax-dodging welfare cheats could wind up costing the country money. Rafal Wisniewski, the Polish ambassador to Denmark, delivered that warning in an opinion piece in today’s Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

The ambassador said that negative opinions of Poles expressed by high-level Danish politicians makes it hard to stem the rising tide of those in Poland that are opposed to importing Danish products like meat and butter.

Danish professional organisations like Dansk Industri (DI) and union Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening (DA)  agree that the tone towards Poles has been unduly harsh.

“The conduct has been excessive and unworthy of comment,” DA spokesperson Jørn Neergaard told Berlingske newspaper. “We need to remember that they are our neighbours.”

Locusts
Brian Mikkelsen – a Konservative business spokesperson, has previously called eastern European workers “locusts that jump into a field, suck out the energy, and then jump to the next field” – rejects the idea he has contributed to a negative tone.

Venstre’s foreign affairs spokeperson, Søren Pind, also denied that statements like ”a pair of clogs in a strawberry field can trigger a child support check” made by party head Lars Løkke Rasmussen have in any way contributed to a negative image of Poles in Denmark.

“That remark was about welfare and has nothing to do with Poles, who are both diligent and talented,” Pind told Jyllands-Posten.

READ MORE: Royals and ministers team up for Poland visit

Martin Lidegaard, the foreign minister, stressed that the government in no way paints an negative image of Poles and that he believed the general impression of Polish workers in Denmark was positive.





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