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Home NATIONALPM urges EU to channel funds to refugee camps
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Mon, 21 Sep, 2015 12:07:05 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Sep 21
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. FilePhoto – Lehtikuva.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Sunday called on the European Union to channel funds to refugee camps from its budget.
Speaking during national broadcaster Yle’s Prime Minister’s Interview Hour programme, Sipilä said the conditions in the refugee camps must be improved so that asylum seekers are able to wait for decisions while living in them.
Sipilä said the conditions would be better controlled, if asylum seekers came directly from the camps to Europe.
“Also in this way people who are truly needy can get asylum,” observed the prime minister.
Sipilä also believes the human trafficking problem would be minimised if conditions in the camps improved.
The premier also criticised the European Union’s handling of the refugee crisis. According to Sipilä, the EU should have acted faster.
Besides improving the refugee camps’ conditions, the prime minister urged the EU to maintain order at its external borders. Currently, the borders are leaking.
“The hotspots must be kept in order, so that people’s documents and status can be checked there. The measures at the borders are currently helplessly small,” observed Sipilä.
The interior ministry on Saturday announced that it will begin inspections at the border-crossing points in Tornio. The refugees will no longer be able to continue to other cities in Finland without first registering as an asylum seeker in Tornio. 
A general view shows the UN-run Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees, north east of the Jordanian capital Amman, on September 19, 2015. UN Humanitarian Chief Stephen O'Brien visited the Zaatari camp for talks with Jordanian officials on the refugee crisis. Photo – AFP / Lehtikuva.
The ministry also said inspections at other border-crossing points will intensify from Tuesday. In practice, this means people crossing the borders will be inspected for travelling documents randomly.
According to the prime minister, the goal is to ensure that everyone in the country either has legal papers or has registered as an asylum seeker.
“We must not end up in a situation where we have unregistered people or have people who are in the country illegally,” Sipilä said.
He said the government will start preparing a report on asylum seekers’ support level. According to the premier, the support should not be such that they attract asylum seekers.
“We will make a practical and pragmatic report whether the Finnish social security level has attractiveness factors. If people are in distress, obviously they will be assisted, but we should not have such kind of attractiveness factors,” Sipilä maintained.
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