“This is a complete paradigm shift.”
Rantanen stated that Finland has approached immigration in a more relaxed way than the Nordic countries and claimed that this attitude would ultimately have caused the country to repeat the failures observed in Sweden.
“We have to react to what we have seen in Sweden. We strive to take measures to ensure that immigration does not cause economic or security threats to Finland, he emphasized.
“We will adopt stricter conditions for coming to Finland, being in Finland and being in Finland”, he said and emphasized that similar decisions have also been made in other Nordic countries.
One of the changes implemented by the newly sworn-in government is increasing the return of failed asylum seekers to their home countries. Rantanen claimed that the asylum seekers have taken advantage of Finland’s return regulations, which according to him have been relaxed even in the Nordic comparison.
“We have been too tolerant of those who have received a negative [asylum] decision. It has often been possible to stay here and prepare repeated applications, and removing people from the country is difficult. In fact, both returns and emigration have plummeted over the past four years, he noted.
The number of returns has decreased significantly since the 2015 refugee crisis, according to the public broadcasting company.
The government has made it its goal to “minimize” the number of asylum seekers arriving in Finland. The annual number of arrivals was around 3,000 between the refugee crisis and the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government has also decided to more than halve the annual refugee quota from 1,050 to 500. Rantanen told YLE that the decision was made based on the bad state of the economy, because “everyone” must participate in improving the economy.
“It would be very strange if we kept the refugee quota at the same level, because the fact is that anything extra – any effort to improve the world – is paid for with debt,” he said.
Rantanen saw that in the next few years, Finland should continue investing in helping refugees coming from nearby areas, namely Ukraine.
“The government program states that we try to focus on minorities who are persecuted specifically in their own country and minorities who are persecuted in refugee camps. We have to study who we expect to get in terms of quota, but they could include Christians and Yazidis, he commented.
“There are so many refugees. The moral stance of welcoming as many as possible is not very smart.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page