Woidke asks Poland to open a border for commuters

Dietmar Woidke

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister appeals to the Polish government.

(Photo: dpa)

Potsdam, Frankfurt (Oder) Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) has asked Poland to relax the strict corona rules for commuters who work in Germany. “In my view, commuters should have the opportunity to get to their jobs on the other side of the border,” wrote Woidke, who coordinates German-Polish cooperation for the German government, to the Germany coordinator in Poland, Bartosz Grodecki.

He campaigned for pragmatic solutions if the restrictions were extended. The “Märkische Oderzeitung” from Frankfurt (Oder) reported on Saturday. The national conservative government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki closed the borders for foreigners in the middle of March in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Commuters must return to Poland for two weeks of domestic isolation after returning to Poland. According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in southern and eastern Brandenburg, this affects more than 25,000 commuters in Brandenburg and Berlin. Brandenburg supports the commuters financially.

On Friday evening, protests against the border closure occurred on both sides of the German-Polish border. Around 300 people took to the streets in the neighboring town of Ggorlitz, Zgorzelec, the PAP news agency reported.

There were demonstrations in the border towns of Slubice near Frankfurt (Oder), Rosowek in West Pomerania and Gubin in Lower Lusatia, each with more than a hundred participants. According to the police, the protests were quiet.

“Think of a common economic region”

“The region is split in half, which makes life very difficult for many people in the border area,” said Marta Szuster, a spokeswoman for the protests in Rosowek to the news agency. According to police, around 50 people, including schoolchildren and commuters, demonstrated in Frankfurt (Oder) against the closure of the Polish border. This demonstration was also trouble-free.

Woidke wrote in the letter to Poland: “The German side understands the border controls that Poland has introduced. But we also have to keep in mind that the border cuts through a common economic region. ”

Last weekend, when the Germany coordinator was appointed in Warsaw, the head of government advertised that the partnership would not be damaged by the corona pandemic.

More: Since the corona crisis, calls for a strong state have been increasing. The Polish government is just about right. Other EU countries are reacting with caution.

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