Skip to comments.Thousands of Poles moving to Britain to avoid national service
Posted on 11/18/2007 2:59:45 PM PST by BGHater
Thousands of young Poles are moving to Britain to avoid being drafted into their country's army.
All Polish men over 18 must serve nine months' national service.
But since Poland joined the EU in 2004 thousands have come to the UK to get out of it.
Now Poland has ordered a crackdown on the draft-dodgers and they face up to three years in jail if they return home.
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Duty: Polish men are expected to complete nine months' national service
Colonel Wojciech Ozga, a spokesman for the Polish Army, said: "Poles of conscription age who do not inform the army before they leave the country for periods of over two months will have to face the legal consequences."
Courts in Poland are processing a backlog of thousands of charges against its nationals living in the UK for being "absent without leave (AWOL)" from their military service.
Malgorzata Klaus, a public prosecutor in the city of Wroclaw, who is currently prosecuting at least 30 draft-dodgers who had returned from Britain, said those who failed to turn up for military service would be stripped of their rights of citizenship.
She added: "This means they can do nothing here - get a job, open a bank account, marry, even inherit property. The only options are to turn yourselves in or stay abroad."
Lukasz Wronski, 23, who left Poland for Britain as soon as he finished school and works in a meatpacking factory in Liverpool, said he had never heard of any requirement to inform the army before he left the country.
He added: "I was planning to go back eventually, when I had a job to return to, but now I don't know."
Marcin Kowalski, 21, who became a builder in the UK after failing to find work in his homeland once he left school, said when he returned to Poland earlier this year he found that he had been called up by the army in his absence. He has been told he now faces jail.
"I'm living in permanent fear," he said.
Poles can avoid the army by continuing their studies until the age of 28 when national service is no longer required.
The Polish army believes more than 300,000 teenagers were eligible for conscription this year.
But with an estimated one million Poles having moved to Britain since it joined the EU in 2004 - the vast majority between the ages of 18 and 34 - it is unclear how many of the conscripts have failed to report for duty.
The Home Office said there had been no formal discussion of the problem between the British and Polish governments.
This law, or one similar has been in effect since the era of Napoleon. To claim ignorance is no excuse.
Conscription, especially peacetime conscription is an immoral practice. Not only does it reduce a citizen to a disposable commodity for the benefit of the state, it lowers the professional standards of the army concerned. Perhaps Poland should be following with the rest of Europe and the civilised world by abolishing the practice....
I prefer the US start it.
“Conscription, especially peacetime conscription is an immoral practice.”
nonsense, it can serve a useful purpose, 9 months is hardly a major commitment.
“Perhaps Poland should be following with the rest of Europe and the civilised world by abolishing the practice..”
Yeah, Europe is known for its high morals. /sarc
Poland is a sovereign (and civilized) nation and is entitled to enact and enforce conscription laws if she wishes.Yours is a response that one would expect to hear from some Eurocrat in Brussels or from Dennis Skinner or Michael Foote.
That’s a BS.
They actually go to UK (and Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and elsewhere within the EU), but the reason is definitely not to avoid the army. They just want to get more money for their work, than they can get in Poland.
However - as a result they also avoid the draft.
Of course they are. And Poles as citizens of the EU are free to vote with their feet and live elsewhere in the EU were they will not be compelled to involuntary servitude in a job which they may not be temprementally suited for.
Conscription is an evil practice, and although the anglo-saxon nations have sometimes resorted to it in their darker moments of imminent peril, as a general rule, it has been seen as a gross infringement on individual liberties to force people into the army in PEACETIME of all times...
The trend on the continent is to move away from conscription towards professional armies. Admiteddly, this is a fairly recent trend, but it is one I believe any country that is not in imminent danger of invasion should adopt...
Temperamentally suited for????? My God! Are you "old Labour" or are you a Lib Dem? And as for running from one EU country to another I thought that arrest warrants issued in one EU country must be honored and enforced in every other EU country.Isn't that correct? And if so couldn't Poland issue an arrest warrant for the return of a Polish citizen who's dodging the draft and demand that the UK...or Germany...or Italy...etc....carry out that warrant?
Or would the EU show contempt for Poland's laws by refusing so to do and,at the same time,demanding the return,from Poland,of some British citizen accused of "inciting racial hatred" (by stating,for example,that I Slam is a violent cult) when there's no such crime in Poland?
Oh,and BTW,any country that sits next to today's Russia and was brutally occupied by Russia for so many years and until so very recently would be absolutely justified to think herself in continuous peril.
Thus,the existence of conscription laws.
“The trend on the continent is to move away from conscription towards professional armies. Admiteddly, this is a fairly recent trend, but it is one I believe any country that is not in imminent danger of invasion should adopt...”
Thats the beauty of being a country, your people can have laws they like. Your strategy defies the EU mantra that all countries remain sovereign.
Military service teaches a lot of valuable basic skills. Things like showing up to work on time, integrity, personal responsibility and so on. If you’re in imminent danger of being invaded its too late to start training your army.
As I said, not everybody is temprementally suited for the army. I know several people who are in the forces and none of them would like to see a return to national service. They want comrades who volounteered to put themselves in harms way and want to be there.
Conscripted armies are poorly trained and generally have a very low standard of morale compared to professional forces. It doesn’t make sense from any perspective, short of the most dire national emergency to have them.
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