Almost 90% of asylum seekers leave Latvia

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About 90% of people arriving in Latvia as asylum seekers leave the country, said Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity) appearing on LTV on August 9.

There are currently about 90 asylum seekers at Latvia's sole Asylum Seekers' Center at Mucenieki, said Kozlovskis. The figure includes both refugees under the EU relocation scheme and people detained on the border. 

Most of the asylum seekers in Latvia leave for other countries, notably Germany. However they can neither reside nor work legally at their destinations. 

"We've had cases when a family is returned to us from Germany with four children, and they're about to run out of benefits. A question arises [over what to do]," said Kozlovskis. The family in question has left already however, he later admitted. 

He also pointed out that on August 8 the government granted €5,000 to two families to cover their housing expenses. The pilot project aims to explore whether such support would encourage people to stay and integrate in Latvia. 

In the interview, Kozlovskis confirmed that Latvia will not meet its quota of admitting over 550 asylum seekers by September under the EU relocation scheme. However that does not mean Latvia will stop partaking in the scheme.

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