Mayors of some of Lithuania's biggest cities fear the government's plans to move refugees directly to municipalities from April and bypass the stopover in the Rukla Refugee Reception Centre, Lietuvos Žinios daily said on Wednesday.
Panevėžys
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Panevėžys Vice-Mayor Petras Luomanas said the news came as the biggest shock to the city's residents lined up for social housing: "I can reassure the people – the refugees definitely won't be moved in social housing, the only thing we can offer refugees is a two-roomed apartment the municipality owns."

Although Klaipėda Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas said he was in support of the government's idea, he noted the port city would want a more detailed explanation of the new system. Meanwhile, Alytus Mayor Vytautas Grigaravičius said the city was totally unprepared to receive refugees and had "neither accommodation for refugees, nor integration plans needed for their integration into the society."

Lithuania has lately been the leader in terms of the numbers of refugees relocated under the European Union (EU) program. In over a year, 254 refugees were moved to Lithuania, including 142 who have already left the country and went to other EU states. All in all, Lithuania has committed itself to receiving 1,105 refugees.

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