Resettled refugee family leaves Lithuania for Sweden

The Iraqi family came to Lithuania from Greece last December
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Lietuvos Ryto TV reports that the family family father, who was working at a furniture manufacturing plant, asked for a leave until July 11, but did not return to his job.

The family of two adults and two children were living in a summer house owned by Lithuanian liberal MEP Petras Auštrevičius who had volunteered to give them temporary accommodation near Vilnius.

“They told me they were going to visit their relatives,” Auštrevičius has told BNS, adding that the family left behind their personal belongings in his house.

“They sent me a text, saying they were OK and that we’d meet soon. I don’t know how it is going to be, I don’t want to engage in guesswork,” Auštrevičius says.

The family was resettled in Lithuania from a refugee camp in Greece under an EU programme and arrived in Vilnius last December.

The Iraqis were granted temporary legal protection in Lithuania, which falls short of refugee status, and unsuccessfully challenged the decision at court.

The family complained that they could not survive on the benefits paid by the Lithuanian state.

Ilma Skuodienė, foreigner integration coordinator at Caritas, says that the father of the family had a job as an auxiliary worker at a furniture factory and the mother took care of the children.

He told his employers he would come back by July 11, according to Skuodienė. Since he skipped work, he will be fired even if he returns, she says.

Moreover, the family will forgo benefits, €460 per month, after spending more than a month out of the country.

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