Commissioner calls for no slinking on refugee responsibility

Latvia cannot afford to be seen as ducking its responsibilities of solidarity with fellow member states on the immigration crisis, The Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks warned on LNT independent television channel’s morning news program Tuesday.

Muižnieks emphasized that the current system in place for accepting the tide of refugees flooding into the Mediterranean states is not functioning, as it disproportionately burdens the border states on the EU’s south.

Latvia must look at the issue from a long-term perspective, said Muižnieks, rhetorically evoking the scenario of a flow of refugees coming from the east. Then we’ll be wishing for solidarity, the commissioner remarked, who is himself a first-generation refugee native sons from the US.

He expressed hope that the governing coalition would reconsider its opposition to the idea of accepting at least a quota of refugees to mitigate the now grossly imbalanced burden. Even then, he warned, the discussions will likely be protracted.

On Monday the coalition came out with a statement after a meeting called by the National Alliance political group to discuss the pending discussion of binding quotas for accepting refugees amongst all EU member states.

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told the press afterwards that solidarity could be shown in many other ways than accepting the mandatory application of quotas to vulnerable states and their purportedly still-volatile post-Soviet demographic situations.

Politics
Politics