Initial seven refugees arrive in Estonia under quota

Dagne Mihkels
, reporter
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Arriving from Greece yesterday, initial seven refugees of war were placed in Estonia under the European migration plan, to dwell in Tallinn and Tartu. 

The seven include a family of five from Iraq, a man from Syria and a man from Yemen. Officials assure us all are very much interested in Estonia and have said they honour this state and desire to have a new beginning here in peace.  

The man from Syria has earlier been successfully employed in catering and does speak English. The Yemeni is a highly educate English philologist and has worked in journalism.

As for the Iraqi family, the father has laboured in construction and transport while the mother was at home. The school-aged children have an experience with going to school before. The family speaks Arabic.

All have passed background check and have been interviewed in Greece where among other things they were familiarised with Estonia and local customs.

«Firstly, it is important to realise the individuals are from areas of serious daily threat and are offered international protection by Estonia,» interior ministry chancellor Raivo Küüt told the press conference arranged yesterday.

He told the nation to «show respect towards these people and receive them as guests.»

No detailed information will be disclosed regarding the refugees, said the chancellor, as in native countries interest towards them may not have waned.

Mr Küüt added the state is in readiness to react should the individuals need protection in Estonia and the inland intelligence would be daily involved with that.

According to ministry adviser Kaisa Üprus-Tali the people will be dwelling in their new homes as assisted in by support persons.  

Under EU migration plan, Estonia has accepted to receive up to 550 relocated persons. Raivo Küüt said the monthly reception figures presented to Greece and Italy are 15 and eight, respectively.  

«The issue is how many they will actually be able to offer us. At the moment, files have begun to regularly arrive from Greece. I believe we will be able to fulfil our obligation of solidarity,» added the deputy chancellor.