«Actions of Saeima coalition parties Unity and Union of Greens and Farmers, specifically the intentional refusal from participating in today’s vote regarding a draft that would order the government explain its position on the African refugee matter to the Saeima and society, demonstrates their desire to hide from open discussions of matters of national importance. It also shows that the government has no plan for the refugee matter,» – notes Latvian Regional Alliance.
Due to the lack of votes, the initiative launched by LRA and other opposition parties – Harmony, To Latvia from the Heart and the National Alliance – to have the government provide explanations on the refugee matter was not viewed in the Saeima.
Considering that the last couple of months have seen an increase in the interest of Latvia’s people in regard to the refugee matter and because information that has been provided by the government on the subject so far has been inconsistent, anyone and everyone in Latvia has the right to ask the government to provide a detailed position on this matter.
«The 157th point of the government declaration states: ‘We will realize a strict and controlled migration and asylum policy’. Unfortunately, the actual situation shows that the part about strict and controlled migration policy is left out,» – adds LRA.
After the 11 May meeting of the coalition, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma publicly announced that Latvia would not support the so-called refugee quotas. Instead, Straujuma said Latvia would support solidarity in other measures: strengthening of border control or provision of medical assistance. On 26 June, in her conversation with journalists in Brussels, Straujuma announced that ‘Latvia is prepared to resettle refugees, as it is impossible to avoid solidarity in the European Union’.
«Unfortunately, aside from the resettlement of refugees, sources of funding for housing and integration, the government has left out the discussion about other major aspects. These include any sort of security analysis (including the entry of radical elements and terrorists), nothing has been heard of healthcare analysis and the spread of the Ebola virus, which has been recently noted in Africa. It is also hard to understand why no one has mentioned the million Ukrainian refugees, who are mentally closer to us and are located nearby,» – notes the party.
«The reasons behind secrecy in the refugee matter and the review of this matter in the Cabinet of Ministers behind closed doors. This and many other factors make us cautious and make us ask questions: Is this another Citadele case? Why does the government, which verbally stands in favour of openness and transparency when reviewing matters of national importance, reviews matters of national importance behind closed doors?» – asks LRA.