Next 12 refugees from Greece to arrive in Estonia next week

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The next 12 refugees to be settled in Estonia under the European Union's migrant relocation program are to arrive in Estonia next week.

The group who is to arrive from Greece includes two families from Syria, one family from Iraq and one man from Yemen, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior said.

The five-member Syrian family has three preschool-age children. The father has studied to be a car mechanic and the mother has worked in the medical field. The three-member Syrian family has one school-age child. Both parents speak English and have studied at a university, but did not finish it. The woman has been a volunteer teacher and the man was a shopkeeper. The Yemeni man speaks English and has studied at a university. He has worked as a coordinator in a civil society organization. The three-member Iraqi family has one school-age child and the father is an electrician.

Spokespeople for the ministry said that officials of the Police and Border Guard Board, the Internal Security Service and the Ministry of Social Affairs have all conducted interviews with the refugees and Estonia has authorized accepting them into the country.

«By now the people to be relocated have confirmed their wish to lie in Estonia, and in the final stage they will go through a health check and will be transported to Estonia,» deputy secretary general of the Interior Ministry for law enforcement and migration policy Raivo Kuut said.

According to deputy secretary general for social affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Rait Kuuse, the refugees would be settled in Tallinn, Tartu and Haapsalu. He added that the ministry has talked it over with the local municipalities.

«The settling in of the seven refugees who arrived in Estonia in March as well as their first month in Estonia has gone very quietly and as planned. The most important thing is to give people who arrive from difficult circumstances a chance to cope with their new life and offer them support for that. We also hope that they will soon find jobs since they have the abilities to manage on the labor market,» Kuuse said.

Estonia has so far accepted seven people from Greece under the European Union's migrant relocation program.

In March Greece sent the files of 15 people to Estonia. One three-member family backed out of relocating. In April Greece sent Estonia the files of another 15 people.

By March 20 EU member states had relocated 1,195 refugees, including 646 from Greece and 549 from Italy.