Portugal’s first Yazidi refugees arrive next week

After months of bureaucratic delays and confusion, the first group of Christian Yazidi refugees is due to arrive in Portugal next week.

The plan, spearheaded by Euro MP Ana Gomes, seeks to settle up to 470 Yazidis in this country – trying as much as possible to keep them ‘together’ as a community.

Back in October, Gomes described the delays in the process as “Kafkaesque” (click here) – even this week there were apparent problems, with Greece calling Portugal’s interest ‘favouritism’ for one ethnic minority over others – but now as the flow of migrants into Greece has slowed, this particular placement programme is finally starting to happen.

Deputy minister Eduardo Cabrita said the first arrivals will be in their ‘tens’ (around 30) while another 100 should arrive by the end of March.

The Yazidis will be placed in Lisbon and Guimarães, he said, adding that Portugal is also forging ahead with “a specific programme to receive unaccompanied minors”.

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