Finnish politicians scurry to toss cold water on sane statements from Finnish FM…
Finland’s position on asylum seekers has occupied politicians’ minds this spring, as one government party split largely over the question of immigration policy. So it’s no surprise to see most papers carrying a report on Foreign Minister Timo Soini’s trip to Brussels this week, during which he insisted to his EU counterparts that Finland won’t take any more transfers of asylum seekers from other EU countries.
Soini’s position is that the old agreements on transferring asylum seekers must be enacted, with 160,000 applicants currently in Greece and Italy distributed throughout the union. That is unlikely to happen as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have refused to accept any transfers.
Other government ministers have suggested that it’s possible Finland could both accept new transfers in the autumn, if requested, and raise the quota of UN-recognised refugees it accepts each year. There may yet be some back and forth between the National Coalition and Centre parties on the one hand, and the newly-minted Blue Reform/New Alternative faction on the other.