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Home NATIONALRovaniemi parish offers shelter, grants to refugees
Mon, 28 Sep, 2015 12:01:07 AM
FTimes Report, Sep 28
FTimes Photo.
The Rovaniemi parish has offered its facilities as emergency accommodation of asylum seekers, local media reported. 
The Church Council held a debate on September 22 on the role of the church in the context of the asylum crisis and granted 5,000 euros through the Finn Church Aid to alleviate the refugee situation, particularly in the countries of origin.
The Church Council also awarded a grant of 3,400 euros, if necessary, to be used locally to help the asylum seekers in Rovaniemi, according to Finnish language newspaper Lapin Kansa.
The Church Council also informed the Parish Council that it would confirm its tax rate at 1.25 percent. The tax rate thus remains unchanged. The Rovaniemi parish has the lowest tax rate in the diocese of Oulu.
FTimes Photo.
The continuation of the tax rate at 1.25 percent is justified by planned annual budget cuts of 500, 000 euros in 2015-2017. 
In 2016, two person-years will be cut from the budget, and the leasing of external clubs and public spaces will be terminated, with all activities being moved to the church’s own premises.
While visited two refugees’ centres at Pöykkölä and Rova-motelli on Sunday afternoon Finland Times correspondent found that the asylum seekers mostly from Iraq took shelter in the centres and shared their present situation in there.
Most of them expressed satisfaction over the move of Finnish authorities while few pointed out some problems during their stay in the centres.
 “I have come from Basra in Iraq and took shelter here along with some of my family members and friends,” Khallf Almozane who is residing in Rova motel reception centre along with his elder brother told Finland Times.
FTimes Photo.
Another person who is living in Pöykkölä refugee centre said that they are getting necessary supports from the authority and happy with the food, accommodation and medication facilities.
The influx of refugees in the country has increased significantly in the recent period and on an average 500 refugees have arrivedin Finland a day from Sweden across the Tornio border in the last week.
Immigration services sources said about 15,000 refugees have arrived so far this year and the number may reach to 30,000 at the end of 2015.
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