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President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the media at his official residence in Helsinki on 20 August, 2017, two days after what is believed to have been the first terror attack against the nation.
President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the media at his official residence in Helsinki on 20 August, 2017, two days after what is believed to have been the first terror attack against Finland.

 

President Sauli Niinistö has praised the efforts of police officers and emergency personnel in the wake of the stabbings that left two dead and eight injured in Turku on Friday.

“The Finnish police got to the bottom of the issue quickly. Their work and the work of emergency personnel had a key role in restoring our sense of security. We can have confidence in the actions of our authorities,” he stated in a press conference at his official residence in Helsinki on Sunday.

Niinistö also called attention to the importance of the much-discussed new intelligence laws for preventing further terror attacks in Finland.

“It has been said repeatedly that the kind of incidents where an individual or a small group commits an act of violence are especially difficult to prevent. We must do everything we can. We’ve talked about our intelligence legislation, among other things. It isn’t a new idea; I’ve talked about it with three governments. We must take swift action in this respect,” he said.

Colonel Martti J. Kari, who has been part of the lawmaking project since 2013, reminded earlier that the objective of the new piece of legislation is to provide the central administration with an operational picture and early warnings of certain types of threats.

“I’d be surprised if anyone denied the urgency of the intelligence legislation, if become clear that the perpetrator in Turku has communicated with someone abroad. It’ll never be possible to prevent every single attack, but we must give authorities the opportunity and capability to protect us,” he commented.

Niinistö also reiterated his concern about the asylum system in Europe, urging all EU member states to take joint rather than unilateral action to alleviate the mounting pressure on the reception capacity of Europe.

“The EU must tackle this issue. If every member state started to make their own decisions, it’d lead to no good,” he said.

“The more controlled immigration is, the more we’ll be able to focus on refugees in refugee camps.”

Finland, he added, should expedite the removal process for unsuccessful applicants, as a less painstaking process would also be in the best interests of the applicant.

Niinistö also estimated that one unfortunate characteristic of the public debate around immigration is that people are more inclined to misunderstand than understand the opinions and statements of others. “We should reverse this and try to understand other Finns. We don’t have to agree, [but understanding] is the key in all debates,” he told.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Linda Manner – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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