Opposition parties are calling for enhanced border readiness

Opposition parties in parliament officially announced on Tuesday that they are demanding a motion of censure on the prime minister Sanna MarinThe SDP’s coalition government questions the country’s readiness to deal with hybrid threats.

The interpellation originated from the situation on the borders of Belarus with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, where thousands of migrants have gathered to enter the European Union. According to Finland and the EU, mass migration is a hybrid operation in Belarus against EU sanctions.

According to opposition parties, Finland is ill-prepared for the large-scale arrival of migrants. The parties are the Basic Finns, the Coalition Party, the Christian Democrats and the Movement Now Party. The parties raised the issue for the first time last week during a parliamentary question time.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the parties demanded that emergency clauses be added to the Aliens Act on how Finland could suspend the reception of asylum applications and how the country could temporarily close its borders.

"The answer that the asylum process must always be carried out is not enough. Many EU countries have emergency clauses and other options. These countries are parties to the same international agreements as Finland, so we must also have the opportunity to take asylum policy into our own hands." said Riikka Purra, Director of Basic Finns.

“Make sure Finland is prepared”

The parties’ proposal criticized ministers for contradictory statements about the hybrid threat and sought clarification of the government’s position.

Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Green) has said that if a situation similar to the one at the Polish or Lithuanian border arises at the Finnish border, Finland should keep only one border crossing point open for the processing of asylum applications.

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) has said that current legislation already allows Finland to close its borders due to hybrid threats.

The government has also highlighted the possibility of reforming the country’s emergency legislation to better respond to hybrid threats, but the opposition has said it wants to know what is really being done.

Chairman of the Opposition Party, Kai Mykkänen, said his party is participating in the interpellation to ensure that Finland is prepared.

"Interpellation is a tool that will allow us to ensure that the government reviews emergency legislation, as it promised last week. We demand implementation from the government [the legislation] to allow asylum applications to be suspended for a certain period in the event of a delay in the asylum application process; [people actually] apply for asylum to put pressure on Finland," Mykkänen said.

The government survived a vote of confidence in its immigration policy less than a month ago. In particular, this presentation referred to planned policy changes for the granting of asylum based on family reunification.

Source: The Nordic Page


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