Polish mayor who took on Salvini: I don’t speak to hypocrites

Przemysl, Poland, Mar 13 (EFE).- Wojciech Bakun has swapped his suit and tie for camouflage and although he is not planning on heading to the frontline, the mayor of Przemysl, a Polish city on the Ukrainian border, has become something of a hero for his efforts to help some 350,000 refugees as well as his decision to humiliate Italian far-right politician Matteo Salvini.

“I don’t speak to hypocrite people,” he tells Efe.

Bakun took issue with Salvini’s trip to Poland last week, describing it as a publicity stunt to get photographs with refugees in Przemysl, a major transit point for refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Bakun decided to show up by confronting Salvini with a copy of a Vladimir Putin t-shirt the controversial Italian politician was photographed wearing during a trip to Moscow over six years ago.

“See what your friend Putin has done,” the Polish mayor told Salvini in footage that spread quickly around the world.

Speaking to Efe, Bakun described Salvini as “insolent.”

“I don’t owe him respect or apologies, I already told him what I wanted to say.”

“After everything that happened since 2014 (when Russia annexed Crimea), Salvini continued to support Vladimir Putin, and that seems terrible to me.

“This war did not start two weeks ago, but it only expanded. At one time, Salvini supported this war,” he said, adding that the Italian politician changed his stance in a matter of days.

The mayor spoke to Efe at the Przemysl train station, from where tens of thousands of refugees have traveled to other European cities.

One thing Bukan does share with Salvini, however, is his approach to Ukrainian refugees, who have been welcomed in Poland, compared to those of Middle Eastern, Afghan or North African descent, who during the migrant crisis at the Belarus border between 2021-22 came face to face with an inaccessible European Union. EFE


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