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First quota refugees from Eritrea arrive in Estonia

Asylum-seekers' center in Vägeva, Jõgeva County, in 2017.
Asylum-seekers' center in Vägeva, Jõgeva County, in 2017. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Four women from Eritrea arrived in Estonia this week under the European Union's migrant distribution plan, marking the first time Estonia has accepted refugees relocated from Italy.

The four Eritreans arrived in Estonia from Italy on Tuesday, and were sent to live at a center for asylum-seekers in Vägeva, according to a Ministry of Social Affairs spokesperson.

One of the women has graduated from a secondary education facility. The women have no recorded work experience.

Thus far, quota refugees from Syria, Iraq and Yemen have been relocated to and resettled in Estonia.

Although Estonia had been in talks with Italy since the EU's relocation and resettlement program began, Estonia first sent its experts to conduct interviews with refugees in Italy at the end of September. An agreement was not reached sooner as Italy did not agree to Estonia conducting interviews on location in Italy as it does in Greece and Turkey.

The four women to arrive this week are the first refugees to arrive in Estonia under the EU program since late October.

A total of 175 refugees have been relocated or resettled in Estonia from Greece and Turkey since the start of the EU program. Approximately half of these refugees are either currently not in Estonia or have left the country permanently.

Estonia has pledged to accept a total of 550 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece over a period of two years under the EU migrant relocation and resettlement plan.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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