PM: asylum seekers 'will have to work from day one'

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said Tuesday that the 776 refugees due to be taken in by the country will have to start work as soon as they arrive. 

"These people will have to start working from day one," straujuma told LTV's morning news show Rita Panorama.

"There are empty living places in the regions where there is work," Straujuma claimed, added that the Interior Ministry was talking to various companies about providing workplaces.

The only example she cited was to say the building industry was one area where possibilities were being discussed.

However, taking up such positions would help refugees to help themselves and to help the country as a whole, she maintained.

"We are united in the coalition that they will learn the Latvian language and [their children] will go to Latvian-language schools," Straujuma said.  

Asked how the refugees would learn Latvian she replied: "There will be courses to which they will have to go."

"There is no other variant... if they want to live here, they have to learn the Latvian language," Straujuma said.

The government's working group will present a full plan for the asylum seekers' reception next Tuesday, and it will be made immediately available online for the public to examine, Straujuma said.

She also voiced the opinion that refugees should be distributed throughout different municipalities and districts, not kept in one group which would "create problems both for their side and for society's side," she said, without goign into detail about the nature of those problems.

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