Second thoughts on refugee plan

The Latvian government plans to look again at its plans to accept refugees from other European Union member states with evidence mounting that the current plan simply is not working.

The nationalist National Alliance party has proposed that the refugee acceptance plan be discussed at the next meeting of the Coalition Council.

National Alliance party Saeima deputy Rihards Kols told the LETA newswire that lately there had been different reports about the number of refugees granted asylum in Latvia and the number of such refugees actually remaining in Latvia. He said now was the right time to discuss whether the refugee acceptance plan could be revised or improved.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said in response that the government had discussed the matter two weeks ago and was receiving all the necessary updates. The government could return to these discussions after the Economics Ministry and Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry present their proposals regarding possible improvements to the current procedures.

"It's not about increasing benefits, it is about how we ensure implementation of practical matters," explained Kucinskis. For example, asylum seekers have to be provided accommodation and offered opportunities for integration on the labor market.

Latvian Television has reported that out of the 23 asylum seekers that had been relocated to Latvia as part of the European Union's refugee relocation program, 21 persons were already in Germany.

Latvia has agreed to take in more than 500 refugees from EU member states Italy and Greece, plus more from Turkey under another EU deal.

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