Straujuma declares solidarity with Europe on refugee load

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma made her ‘doorstep statement’ upon arrival at the Special meeting of the European Council in Brussels Thursday and declared solidarity with fellow European Union member states facing the unprecedented sea-bound migrant waves flooding into the Mediterranean countries from the coasts of North Africa.

"First off let me say thanks to our Interior Minister (Rihards Kozlovskis) who managed Monday to gather all of his counterparts in order to begin planning for what needs to be done, like today’s European Council meeting.

But the actions needing to be taken must strike at the causes, so today we’ll be talking about the aid policies toward the states surrounding Libya and secondly then the battle against human trafficking according to various methods.

The interior ministers have prepared an action program so that will be the primary topic of the talks.

Right now there is under preparation a volunteer solidarity program, so of course solidarity  must be part of it but as for how much of the burden Latvia can assume I cannot see how that can happen, the question is how we can even get them as far as other countries yet, but Europe must be in solidarity."

As for the pending proposals of MEP Artis Pabriks of the European People's Party (EPP) group on possible mitigated considerations for the Baltic states historic and ongoing trouble with integrating Soviet-era migrants and their descendants, the premier responded:

"I wouldn’t wish to think that we could expect such considerations even in current times for past conditions anymore as the situation is likely to be worsening to the east and I believe nevertheless that there must be solidarity at the European level.

I can’t say of course how many or how we may be taking but we are united with Europe and its member states and we can’t just leave those of our fellow member states alone by themselves dealing with the results of events like this."

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