LRA urges Vejonis to actively participate in refugee resettlement matter

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Latvian Regional Alliance urges President Raimonds Vejonis to take active part by calling in a forum that would gather all political parties present in the Saeima, ministers and representatives from different Latvian regions so that it would be possible to search for solutions in the refugee resettlement matter.

The refugee problem is a matter of national security for Latvia. The government’s inability to make decisions in different important matters has only increased constitutional crisis in the country, according to LRA.

«Having seen the government’s inability to resolve the refugee problem and the growing public concerns and lack of trust in state power, we have decided to turn to the president with a proposal to gather all Saeima political parties, ministers and municipal leaders behind one table to try and find solutions without different political ambitions so that we can make decisions that would help maintain our country’s national security. We understand that important decisions have to be made and that these decisions will likely have an impact on next generations of Latvians. Involvement of Latvian municipalities in the process of solving this problem is vital. Once we start resettling refugees, municipalities will be the ones to carry this burden,» – says leader of LRA’s Saeima faction Dainis Liepins.

LRA has never been against solidarity and supporting war victims. The party is nonetheless concerned about the government’s inability and reluctance to explain matters related to resettlement of refugees in Latvia. LRA understands that by joining international organizations like NATO and the EU, Latvia has taken up responsibility to abide by rules of solidarity and principles of mutual aid. However, Latvian residents are concerned about being left in the dark about the government’s decision-making process, notes LRA.

LRA adds that lately the Latvian government has been consecutively avoiding giving clear answers to simple questions, including the way how interests of Latvian residents will be defended, conditions refugees will have to abide by in order to be allowed to resettle in Latvia, the exact number of refugees Latvia will have to resettle and where these refugees will come from.

Meanwhile, EU Interior Ministers still haven’t reached an agreement in regard to refugee quotas, as confirmed by officials.

«Yes, not everyone is on board at the moment,» – said Luxembourg minister Jean Asselborn.

According to him, a ‘large majority’ supported refugee redistribution. It is expected that EU ministers will return to this matter in October.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said his country, Czech Republic and other countries refused to support the new plan. EU officials have decided to organize a new meeting of EU leaders in the near future.

Interior Ministers have agreed to redistribute 40,000 refugees from Greece and Italy within the next two years. The matter regarding 120,000 asylum seekers remains unresolved.

According to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, there are some countries that do not feel responsible to provide solidarity in the coming crisis. «This needs to change,» – he said.

The plan to redistribute refugees among EU member states has faced serious opposition from Central and Eastern European countries.

«We will only resettle as many refugees as we can afford,» – said Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. «No more, no less,» – she added.

Because of Europe’s open borders, it is impossible to make sure refugees remain in countries they do not wish to be in, said the minister.

Asselborn said it majority’s support of the plan would be enough to adopt the new plan for redistribution of 120,000 refugees. European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said efforts are being made in order to have the proposal accepted in all member states.

Work on the matter of refugees and their redistribution among member states needs to be continued, said de Maiziere.

Redistribution of 40,000 refugees will take place across the next two years. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to establish many ground rules for member states before those refugees can be safely redistributed.

According to information from the International Organization for Migration, more than 430,000 illegal immigrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year.

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