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Minister considers 2015 refugee quota met as redistribution scheme expires

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu.
Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

Estonia considers its part in the European Union's 2015 migrant redistribution plan done, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) said on Thursday. The plan called for Estonia to take in 550 refugees, of which only 175 ever made it here.

Based on the 2015 plan 175 refugees made it to Estonia coming through Greece and Italy. About half of them are no longer in the country.

This means that of the much-contested decision to agree with the scheme and take in 550 people, just over a hundred are actually living here at this time.

Estonia has agreed to take in another 80 people over the next two years from Turkey, based on the EU's new migrant distribution scheme.

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday that Estonia considers the 2015 redistribution scheme to be a timely limited agreement, and that as its duration has expired Estonia no longer needs to take in any more of the 550 people first agreed on.

"This means that an obligation to take in 550 people doesn't exist. The next decision was that the government will apply for the parliament's approval through the Ministry of the Interior to take in up to 40 people a year in 2018 and 2019," Reinsalu told ERR's Aktuaalne kaamera newscast.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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