While altogether 15 refugee families have been provided accommodation in the Southern Estonian city of Tartu over the last two years, as of September just two families remained in the city, regional daily Tartu Postimees reported.
Since 2015, a total of 64 people in 15 families have arrived in Tartu from the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers in Vao under the EU's migration plan. As of September, however, just nine people — two families of quota refugees and one individual — remained living in Estonia's second largest city.
According to the paper, ten refugee children were enrolled in schools and kindergartens in Tartu in May, just half of whom were still enrolled at the beginning of the current school year. Within the past two months, two families who had been resettled in Estonia under the EU migration plan left Tartu to move to other countries.
Piret Paatsi, head teacher at Tartu Descartes School, said that, based on her personal experiences, there are two types of new immigrant families. She said that there are those who have a positive attitude in every respect and begin learning the Estonian language as soon as possible, but more typical tend to be those who could be considered as simply passing through, as they knowingly come to Estonia only for a few months and then leave without notice.
Germany does not grant asylum to family that left Estonia
Germany has decided not to grant asylum to a Syrian refugee family that left Estonia this summer and headed to Germany, Time magazine reported.
The family of four arrived in Estonia in April and was provided accommodation with another Syrian family in the Southeastern city of Põlva. In early June, the family decided to leave Estonia for Germany, intending to seek asylum again.
According to an Instagram account following the fates of several Syrian refugee families in Europe, because the family was granted refugee status in Estonia, a European safe haven, Germany denied their claim for asylum. The family intends to appeal the rejection and hopes to find a sympathetic judge and avoid being deported back to Estonia.
"I lived in a tent, I gave birth, and then I returned to the tent," said Taimaa Abazli, the mother of the family. "[The tent] was dirty and disgusting. I suffered all of this inorder to get to Germany. That was my goal."
Liana Roosmaa, deputy head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration Policy at the Ministry of the Interior, told BNS that German officials have yet to inform Estonia about the deportation of any persons who have been granted asylum in Estonia.
Around half of refugees relocated to Estonia remain
A total of 161 refugees have been relocated or resettled in Estonia from Greece and Turkey since the EU program was launched, 85 of whom are either not currently in Estonia or have left the country permanently. Most of the quota refugees to leave Estonia have headed for Germany.
Estonia has pledged to accept 550 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece over a two-year period under the EU migrant relocation and resettlement plan.
Editor: Aili Vahtla