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Prime Minister: Latvia cannot accept additional asylum seekers

Māris Kučinskis/flickr.com/Saeima.
Latvia cannot afford to resettle additional asylum seekers, said Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis during his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, 19 October.

The prime minister’s office reports that the two discussed topics associated with the future of EU, including EU budget after 2020, migration and potential support from EC for Latvian farmers.

In regards to migration affairs, Kučinskis said that Latvia actively participates in efforts to resolve the migration crisis. So far, Latvia has completed the majority of its obligations by providing support for EU operations and missions. It was made clear during the conversation that «Latvia cannot afford to accept more asylum seekers. Latvia has a clear position on this matter – participation in resettlement efforts can be only voluntary,» the prime minister said.

In relation to the matter regarding the EU budget after 2020, both sides agreed that the available EU fund volume should not be reduced. Latvian prime minister said his country does everything it can to reach an average EU level of quality of life. A lot of effort is being put into realizing necessary reforms. Nevertheless, support from EU funds will still play a major role in the future.

Speaking of the matter regarding the compensation mechanism, which is highly important for Latvian farmers, Kučinskis and Juncker discussed the situation with lasting rainfall, which has caused a state of emergency in many Latvian territories. «Provisional losses calculated for Latvian farmer hover around EUR 37.3 million,» Kučinskis said.

He also mentioned that Latvian government has reacted and has officially declared a state of emergency in 29 Latvian regions. There are also plans to financially support affected farmers.

It was also mentioned at the discussion that losses are too large to compensate solely using solely finances from the state budget. «Latvia expects solidarity from the EU and support for farmers that have been impacted by the floods,» said the prime minister.


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