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137 000 Belarus citizens possess Pole's Card
137 000 Belarus citizens possess Pole's Card, the number also including 55 000 people who have received the charter in the past three years, reports euroby.info.
Poland began to hand out Pole's Card in Belarus in 2008. Over half of the applications were rejected in the past 11 years.
Pole's Card, an ID document issued by Poland, offers several benefits to ethnic Poles residing in other countries, including Belarus. The list of benefits includes free education at Polish universities, work in Poland without a work permit, a 37%-discount on railway ticket, etc. However, Pole's Card does not automatically mean Polish citizenship.
The authorities in Belarus are unhappy with Pole's Card. Three years ago, Head of the Council of the Republic, the upper chamber of the Belarusian National Assembly Mikhail Myasnikovich voiced concerns to Polish Senate Head Stanislaw Karczewski, arguing that this policy triggers emmigration of Belarusian youth and outflux of highly-qualified professionals to Poland.