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President Ilves in Germany: migrant quota has to take into account Soviet-era immigration

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who started a state visit to Germany on Monday, said after meeting with German President Joachim Gauck, that to understand the attitudes of Estonia towards immigration quota, one must also take into account the Soviet-era mass immigration, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports.

Ilves said at a press conference in response to a question by Estonian Public Broadcasting that it is unclear how the quotas were calculated, which is why besides the Baltic countries, France is also sceptical about the system. However, Ilves said that the issue of immigration must be addressed, and greater solidarity must be shown.

 The Estonian President noted that it is difficult for him to take any other attitude than that which he has, as a child of two boat refugees who went from Estonia to Sweden in 1944.

 "It is not necessarily the widespread view among my electorate. We in Estonia cannot hope for solidarity with our concerns, if we do not show solidarity with other countries and their concerns. I hope that the people in my country understand that we cannot just demand solidarity but we also need also to provide it," said the President.

 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves started on Monday a state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, accompanied by a 42-member business delegation and an official delegation that includes for example the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus; the Minister of Entrepreneurship, Urve Palo; the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Indrek Saar, the Commander of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras.

Source: The Baltic Course

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