In a meeting with Polish Ambassador to Iceland Gerard Pokruszyński last week, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperations Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson underlined that infection shaming towards Polish people in Iceland is insupportable. He believes the pandemic has brought out negative tendencies in Icelanders’ nature, as evident by the unsparing and unfair discourse on the Polish diaspora in Iceland.
Guðlaugur met with the Polish ambassador to Iceland Gerard Pokruszyński last Friday. Communication between Iceland and Poland was the main topic of their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but the Ambassador disclosed his worries over the negative discourse towards Polish people in Iceland over the Coronavirus pandemic.
Guðlaugur reiterated the importance of not discriminating against the inhabitants of Iceland, were the Polish or of other nationalities, stating: “The pandemic has brought out certain good qualities in the nation but also bad ones. One of them is infection shaming, which in the past weeks has been directed against people of foreign origin. We can’t support that people are discriminated against on such grounds, as the virus does not care about nationality. The Polish community in Iceland has enriched the nation and had a significant part in creating the economic success of the past few years and the discussion in the past few days is both unsparing and unfair.” The Minister went on to state that he celebrated Iceland’s and Poland’s cooperation and the opportunities to be found in increased communication, among else in connection to The EEA and Norway Grants.
About 20,000 Polish people live in Iceland, making them the most populous group of immigrants by nationality.