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Home NATIONALAsylum seeking in Finland lesser than in EU
Fri, 16 Jan, 2015 02:39:58 AM
FTimes-STT Report, Jan 16
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The dramatic increase in the number of asylum seekers in Europe has not been witnessed in the country, the Finnish Immigration Service said on Thursday.
Last year, 3,651 people applied for asylum in the country. The number of asylum seekers in 2014 increased by four hundred from the previous year.
Riitta Koskela, head of Asylum Unit Section at the Finnish Immigration Service, said there was no massive rush similar to what had been witnessed at the European level.
Koskela revealed that the number of asylum seekers in the European Union last year rose exceptionally. At the end of November 2014, about 600,000 people had applied for asylum.
The increase has been immense, since 435,000 asylum applications were made in 2013. 
“In Germany the number of applicants has risen to 200,000 and over 80,000 in Sweden. In other countries the figures have doubled. Our increase was about 13 per cent,” said Koskela.
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The largest number of asylum seekers in Finland comes from Iraq, Somalia, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Russia.
“We have certain hotspots which the majority of applicants come from. Last year the largest new source was Ukraine, with 300 applicants arriving from the country,” said Koskela.
Last year, the country received slightly less than 500 quota refugees from Syria. However, the number of asylum seekers from Syria to the country has not increased. 
The reason for the low number of applications is not known.
“Last year, 147 applications from Syrians were received, which is the same number as in 2013. Compared to Sweden, Syrians were the largest group of asylum seekers with 30,000 applications,” said Koskela.
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