It never ends….
Finland has so far managed to fulfill its commitment to taking in its share of the 160,000 asylum seekers that EU states have agreed to distribute across the region, says Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. However attitudes to asylum seekers and deportation policies have proven divisive for Siipilä’s coalition government.
In spite of the strains the asylum seeker situation have put on the administration, Sipilä said that Finland could use the quota refugee system to shoulder a greater share of the asylum seeker burden.
“I would personally be prepared to temporarily increase Finland’s quota to 2,000 refugees,” he told Yle’s Haloo Eurooppa podcast programme, which was released on Monday.
In the recently-agreed state budget for 2018, Sipilä’s Centre Party agreed with its National Coalition and Blue Reform partners to accept just 750 quota refugees in 2018. The Blue Reform group in particular has been opposed to increasing the quota.
Finland’s standing quota for refugees has been 750 per year, but in 2014 and 2015, the government raised the number to 1,050 due to the worsening situation in Syria. Sipilä noted that EU aid provided for the crisis has not relieved the situation quickly enough. Additionally, the number of refugees who have no immediate prospects of returning home is too high.