Revised refugee system to cost €15.4 million

The Latvian Interior Ministry has revised the necessary sum for admission of refugees and, according to its revised cost estimates, the sum is €15.4 million euros, slightly down on rather the previous figure of €16m the ministry's spokeswoman Daiga Holma told the BNS newswire October 24.

42 percent of the sum or 6.5 million euros will be sourced from EU funds, and 4.5 million euros from the government budget, with 4.4 million euros from emergency funds.

The Latvian government has adopted a tentative action plan for the admission of refugees in Latvia, and the Interior Ministry earlier estimated that the sum necessary for the program would be 16 million euros.  

The government will hear the Interior Ministry's report on October 27.

Interior Ministry's state secretary Ilze Petersone Godmane said earlier that none of the events planned in the admission plan has been deleted, on the contrary, they have been explained in more detail, and the required sum is similar to what has been named earlier.

"We said already earlier that the required sum is not just for admission of the 531 refugees, but we are speaking about development of the system. The system that has been functioning for the past 17 years is not able to absorb such a large number of people," said Petersone-Godmane.

The first refugees might be expected in Latvia some time this winter.

In line with the decision made by EU interior ministers, Latvia has to take in additional 281 asylum seekers on top of the 250 asylum seekers agreed on earlier, and thus, the total number of asylum seekers to be accepted by Latvia so far is 531.

The Latvian government and the Latvian parliamentary committee on European affairs have supported the plan by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, for dealing with the migration crisis in Europe under which Latvia would admit up to 776 asylum seekers.

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