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Home NATIONALFinland to control refugee entry from Sweden
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Tue, 15 Sep, 2015 12:22:03 AM
FTimes-STT Report, Sep 15
Refugees at Kemi train station in north-western Finland on Monday, September 14, 2015. Photo Lehtikuva
Finland is going to control its border with Sweden in the northern area from Friday due to a huge influx of refugees from the northern part of Sweden.
Interior Minister Petteri Orpo at a meeting in Brussels on Monday said the government is planning the border control as the situation has turned difficult.
He also said that a reception centre for registering asylum seekers is planned as the next step for northern Finland.
“In northern Finland, the situation is very difficult. Asylum seekers to Finland via Sweden are already in the hundreds per day. It is clear that these large numbers mean that the authorities are no longer able to accept all entrants,” said the minister.
Refugees at Tornio and Haparanda bus station in Sweden-Finnish border on Monday, September 14, 2015. Photo Lehtikuva.
According to Orpo, it’s already clear that people will travel from the borders of northern Sweden to southern Finland without registration. 
Orpo said the case will be brought to the government for discussion on Thursday. The reception centre for registering asylum seekers could start operations as early as Friday.
The location has not yet been nailed down, but most likely it will be in the Oulu region, or somewhere more northerly.
Enhanced surveillance in the border areas would mean closer cooperation with the police, border authorities, the immigration agency, and possibly customs.
The aim is to focus the official control measures along the border, in order to control registration.
Interior Minister Petteri Orpo. File Photo Lehtikuva.
The government will also seek closer cooperation with Sweden in this regard.
According to Orpo, the first phase of the reception centre could be set up also in Sweden in Haparanda.
Orpo said Finland is also prepared to implement internal borders in the Schengen area like Germany has introduced along its border with Austria. So far, this need has not been felt in Finland.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Timo Soini said the introduction of border controls is possible in the near future.
“Finland does not have to stick their neck out first, because Germany has already initiated [the border controls],” Soini said during his visit to Brussels.
Roughly 300 asylum seekers cross over from Sweden to Tornio a day, according to estimates.
The number was about 500 on Sunday.
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