Latvia grants asylum to first refugees from Greece

The Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) has decided to grant alternative status to the first two refugee families which arrived from Greece to Latvia at the beginning of February as part of the EU's refugee relocation program, PMLP told LETA Thursday.

The family from Eritrea has already found a place to live, while the family from Syria is still looking for a place to live and are still residing at the refugee center in Mucenieki. Both families have put learning Latvian as a priority, and would like to live and work in Latvia.

After being granted his status, the head of the family from Eritrea, who has unique language skills, was given a job at the refugee center.

His job description includes supporting the center's staff, ensuring communication with asylum seekers, as well as written and verbal translations from the Tigrinya, Arabic and Amharic languages.

The family from Syria is looking to find employment as soon as possible.

The first six asylum seekers arrived in Latvia from Greece in early February.

Latvia has undertaken to accept 531 asylum seekers to be relocated from Greece and Italy under the EU-wide refugee relocation scheme. 

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