Finland will continue to welcome asylum seekers, but it must do more to verify that they are genuinely in need of international protection, says Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).
“Finland must continue to help people in need, people and families ravaged by conflict and persecution. We’ll remain committed to helping people in crisis areas, mediating for peace, and welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in spite of our difficult economic situation,” he stated to the heads of the consular and diplomatic missions of Finland in Helsinki on Monday.
“But at the same time we must do whatever we can to ensure the people arriving in Finland are from truly needy conditions. And if that’s not the case, we must have the means to remove those who have come here on false grounds. We must be able to identify those who abuse the system sooner than before.”
He pointed out that his government placed great emphasis on security issues in its mid-term session and recognised as early as two years ago that the intelligence legislation must be reformed in the face of contemporary security challenges.
“We can’t go on receiving information from abroad about individuals who may pose a danger to our citizens while being unable to look thoroughly into the individuals in a timely manner,” told Sipilä.
He stated that the much-discussed reform would simply align the legislation with most other EU member states.
Sipilä also estimated that in light of the recent events in Turku, South-west Finland, it should be “obvious from a constitutional standpoint” that the right to life is a more precious fundamental right than the right to privacy.
“We must now work together to implement the legislation as quickly as possible. I hope all parliamentary parties agree with that,” he said.
Timo Soini (NA), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, similarly drew attention to the significance of intelligence gathering for preventing terror attacks.
Finland, he added, must not allow people who have been denied asylum to remain in the country indefinitely.
“People who have been denied asylum must be removed from the country. That approach has worked relatively work. It has been a bit of a challenge to carry out forced returns to certain countries,” Soini said in his speech to the heads of consular and diplomatic missions on Monday.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi