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Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
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Minister: 90% of arrivals should be sent bat to their home countries

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOnly one out of ten asylum seekers has the right to remain in Europe and receive refugee status, says Latvian Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs.

In his interview to Rīta Panorāma, Rasnacs explained that the number of people up for resettlement should be ten times smaller and 90% of arrivals from Syria, Eritrea and other countries should be sent back to their home countries.

Rasnacs believes that instead of resettling new people, Europe should combat human trafficking operators who deliver people to Europe under the guise of asylum seekers.

Rasnacs said cutting off countries that refuse to resettle refugees from funding of European Funds is nothing short of blackmail. ‘The blackmail elements are often heard nowadays. If such threats are ever realized, it would ruin the EU,’ – added Rasnacs. Nevertheless, Latvia is not against resettling refugees. Although Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia oppose the quota system offered by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, they will reluctantly resettle refugees.

The minister denied claims that the National Alliance’s position on this matter could potentially lead to the collapse of the government: ‘NA may end up in the minority. But this will not affect the government’s stability in any way […],’ – said Rasnacs.

On Wednesday, 9 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced in his speech to the European Parliament that EC requests all member states to help resettle additional refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary. Latvia will have to resettle 526 refugees.

According to the EC report, Latvia will have to resettle 237 refugees from Hungary, 68 refugees from Italy and 221 refugees from Greece. Lithuania is requested to resettle 780 refugees – 101 from Italy, 328 from Greece and 351 from Hungary. Estonia will have to resettle 373 refugees, including 48 from Italy, 157 from Greece and 168 from Hungary.

Latvia’s government had previously agreed to resettle 250 refugees in two years. It is planned that the aforementioned 526 refugees will be added on top of the agreed number. With that, Latvia will have to resettle 776 refugees in total.

In his opening speech, Juncker said now is not the time for Europe to be afraid. He believes now is the time for brave actions. He added that the agreement regarding the new refugee plan should be approved next week.

The 160,000 people Europe will have to resettle should be helped in compulsory order, said Juncker. He urged the EC Interior Ministers Council to reach an agreement regarding resettlement of 160,000 refugees during their meeting scheduled for 14 September. He added that member states should not consider religion a criterion when deciding on resettlement of individuals.

«There is no religion, no beliefs, when it comes to refugees,» – said Juncker. «We don`t distinguish.» He added that the EC will soon take measures against countries that do not comply with EU norms regarding asylum seekers.

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