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Tuesday 25.10.2016 | Name days: Beāte, Beatrise

Latvian government to make up its mind on refugee matter at the end of September

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter listening to the report on possible consequences that will follow should Latvia refuse to resettle refugees, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma stated that the government will make its final decision on this matter during the 29 September meeting.

She added that this matter will be on the meeting’s agenda regardless of political parties’ decisions, because the final decision is for the government to make.

Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis noted that the position is basically complete. There are, however, certain matters that still require discussing.

Straujuma emphasized that it is necessary to speed things up, considering the current state of things in Europe. «No one had expected the refugee influx to grow so rapidly,» – she said.

She also drew attention to the fact that residents in Latvia do not know how the refugee resettlement process will be carried out and what will happen to those people after all is done. This is why she asked Interior Ministry to prepare a detailed report in regard to the first resettlement stage.

«People expect solutions. They are dissatisfied with our inability to produce results. They wish to know – who are those people who are expected to resettle in Latvia; where they will live and where they will work,» – added Straujuma.

Although Interior Ministry’s state secretary Ilze Petersone-Godmane informed the ministers that Latvia’s non-government sector engaged in work with refugee matters is not as powerful as those in other countries, the Prime Minister disagreed. She added that there are multiple NGOs in Latvia prepared to become involved and provide assistance to refugees that will soon arrive in Latvia.

«Both Lithuania and Estonia had first made political decisions. We will end up arguing with the entire world, we will become unpopular,» – warned Finance Minister Janis Reirs. He urged ministers to understand that it will be harder to explain to children why life in Latvia is worse than in Lithuania and Estonia if the country receives less support from the EU because of Latvia’s refusal.

Although initially Straujuma said this matter would be discussed in more detail on the next government meeting, it was decided that the government will make its final decision on 29 September.


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