Number of asylum seekers to Finland may decline

Interior Minister Petteri Orpo says that Sweden’s decision to start temporary border checks on Thursday at 1 pm is a positive thing from Finland’s point of view.

“We will better be able to control traffic flows (of people) in the North and through that improve the situation here in Finland,” said Orpo late on Wednesday night.

 “We were anticipating (a move like) this from Sweden, as we have a very close working relationship with our Nordic colleagues and they had intimated that this was in the works,” said Orpo. According to Orpo, Sweden’s decision will directly impact the number of refugees coming to Finland.

“New asylum seekers to Sweden won’t, in practice, be able to move through Sweden without registering. It will automatically decrease the number (of refugees heading from Sweden to Finland),” said Orpo.

According to Orpo, the end goal for Finland’s Tornio refugee registration and reception centre (near the Finnish-Swedish border) is to duplicate Sweden’s border crackdown.

“We have been able direct those entering the country illegally and asylum seeker registration to Tornio so that everyone can be processed,” said Orpo.

Almost 28,000 displaced people have entered Finland and registered as asylum seekers this year.

Orpo emphasised that there is still an unknown number of asylum seekers in Sweden, who have not registered and may be en route to Finland.

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