Marin: New reception centers are being opened all over Finland

is preparing to receive more refugees from Ukraine, Prime Minister Marin (SDP) said in an interview with in on Saturday night. He spoke after discussing the crisis with local residents on a provincial trip to Finnish Lapland.

According to Marin, it is important that the EU has agreed that those who have left Ukraine will be allowed to work and have access to school or day care.

"We strive to provide the most normal everyday conditions for those who have fled the war," he said.

According to Marin, ’ awareness of the crisis and desire to help are high. To date, the majority of Ukrainian refugees have settled in neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania and .

"Refugees have also come to Finland, but still to a relatively small extent." said Marin. Exact figures are not available, as Ukrainians do not have to submit papers for at least three months after arriving in Finland.

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said on Friday that in addition to the usual reception centers, private accommodation service points can be set up all over Finland. They would provide reception services, such as social and health services, as well as financial support for displaced persons who have provided their own accommodation.

For the time being, a large proportion of those who have fled Ukraine to Finland live in private housing.

Some of these new service points would be branches of existing reception centers. Migr’s own reception centers are located in , Lappeenranta and Oulu. Other reception centers are run by NGOs, municipalities and companies.

New support packages are being considered

Marin pointed out that rising energy prices are a problem across Europe. This is evident not only in households and motorists but also in industry and food production.

The prime minister said the was considering how the situation could be alleviated here "very exceptional" situation.

"We have already made some decisions to alleviate the situation, but there is certainly room for further decisions," said Marin.

The Prime Minister recalled the government’s decision last week to support agricultural production with a EUR 300 million crisis package and a comprehensive package of measures related to rising energy prices agreed in February.

The government has also recently decided to increase the tax cut for commuters to compensate for increased travel expenses.

"The government is assessing how we can help citizens, homes and motorists – especially in the region [parts of] Finland, where distances are long," he added.

“Expensive energy affects almost everyone”

According to Marin, the EU is also considering how the difficult situation could be alleviated together.

"Some kind of temporary energy price caps have even been discussed," he said. "The high price of energy affects almost everyone. This is reflected not only in the gas pump but also in agriculture and thus on store shelves and in industry."

Marin also said that Finland must prepare for an increase in hybrid and cyber operations. He added that all border crossing points in Eastern Finland can be closed if necessary.

Marin apparently referred to the border crisis in Belarus last autumn, when tens of thousands of migrants were pushed into the EU. Poland, and Latvia described the crisis as a hybrid war and a secret in Belarus.

Source: The Nordic Page

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