Sunday, 4 December 2016

Interview with the President of Gdańsk

On Wednesday the 23th of November, we've met the President of Gdańsk-Mr Adamowicz to interview him about the immigrants in our city.

He invited us to his office and the interview began.

Firstly, we introduced our project and told about cooperation with Lubeck and Kotka. After this short presentation we started asking questions.

Have you ever lived abroad for a long period of time? What was the most important thing to feel good there?

Mr. Adamowicz: I lived in Canada for 2 months when i was 15 years old. You have to know the language while living abroad.If you don’t know it you have to learn it quickly. Another thing is to know the customs and traditions, you have to be curious about the country. It can help you to find a job.

How many imigrants are in Gdańsk?

Mr. Adamowicz: It’s hard to say the exact number, but it’s a few thousands. Most of them are from Ukraine. There are also other nationalities such as Germans and Hollanders who came here looking for a job. To make things clear I’m not inviting anyone. I don’t have that privilage, the migration is the the natural thing. It has always been around the world.

He also mentioned the Ukrainian who is living in Gdańsk for a long time and his children are learning in school here, discovering culture and language (perhaps they’ve got eastern accent).

Can you point positive and negative effects of immigrants’ presence?

Mr. Adamowicz: They have a positive impact at our economy, working for big companies and factories. The immigrants enrich our culture, cuisine, we can educate each other and break the stereotypes. Many people from Gdańsk moved to another countries, so the immigrants are taking places of them. Immigrants also have abilities and talents, so we can take advantage of it.

Should we be scared, considering what is going on in other European countries?

Mr. Adamowicz: No, we shouldn’t. Poland isn’t the major country with military actions in central Europe. The terrosits don’t consider our country as a main goal. Moreover they can’t cross the border with a big amount of money (10,000 euro), so an attack is unlikely to happen.

Have you faced any protests or disagrees with accepting immigrants?

Mr. AdamowiczPeople are sending me messages about their doubts about this subject. I am an open person comparing with other citizens. There are groups who can have bad influence on general opinions. For example Arabian groups who don’t know language, even if they have lived here  for a long time.   Polish is rather homogenous nation. For us meeting other race is something strange and we don’t feel very comfortable with it. It is different than in the USA or UK.

Can you tell us something about the Immigrants Council in Gdańsk?

Mr. Adamowicz: The Immigrants Council involves people from different nationalites who are working on social integration.

Can you mark Immigrants Supporting Centre’s activities?

Mr. Adamowicz: They’ve created the Immigrants Integration Program which helps us to step into their shoes. Their aim is to show people how immigrants are feeling in foreign country.

What would you recommend the youth who want to help immigrants?

Mr. Adamowicz: I recommend you to meet and talk with them. It is the best way to get to know them.

We discovered answers for questions which were rankling us. Our next step is to interview the Immigrants Council. 

Keep your fingers crossed!

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