Paula Risikko (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, has expressed her confidence that the number of asylum seekers arriving annually in Finland will regress to the levels preceding the migrant crisis in Europe in 2015.
“We’ve moved steadily closer to what it was before 2015, which is roughly 5,000–8,000 [per year]. And it may even drop below that,” she said in an interview on YLE Radio Suomi on Thursday.
Risikko also reiterated her assessment that the annual refugee quota should be raised by 40 per cent from 750 to 1,050 in order to enable the country to determine who are entering the country and who should be granted asylum. Refugees, she underscored, are people in the absolute most vulnerable position.
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“Whenever there’s an uncontrolled wave [of immigration] or whenever a person steps over the border, we can’t immediately be sure whether that person needs asylum. We’ll have to see to all of the processes, appeals procedures and conditions at reception centres. But when a person already has refugee status, it has been pre-determined that that person needs asylum,” explained Risikko.
She made the same proposal in April, provoking arguments both for and against. Among the policy makers opposing the proposal was the now former chairperson of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group and current Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, Sampo Terho (NA).
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
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