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Home NATIONALGovt mulls military help in refugee crisis
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Fri, 26 Feb, 2016 12:04:25 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Feb 26
Afghan asylum seeker at Salla border station. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The government’s immigration committee has begun discussions on using armed conscripts and reservists to help the Border Guard, reported the Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat.
The discussion is based on the committee’s concern over the refugees arriving across the eastern border. 
The newspaper reported that the issue is still under discussion. 
Preparing the possible changes to the law is ultimately the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior.
The measure would require a change in the law, because under the current law, Finland’s defence forces cannot give armed assistance to the Border Guard during peacetime.
The current risk is that the eastern border would not be patrolled sufficiently by the Border Guard and police forces, if asylum seekers started entering along the entire length of the border.
“It requires amending the law. Our legislation has not kept up with the current situation,” an official source told the Helsingin Sanomat.
The immigration committee is chaired by Interior Minister Petteri Orpo.
The committee includes Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini, and Finance Minister Alexander Stubb.
Other members of the ministerial committee include Minister of Local Government and Public Reform Anu Vehviläinen, Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Juha Rehula, Economic Affairs Minister Olli Rehn, Social Affairs and Health Minister Hanna Mäntylä, Justice and Labour Minister Jari Lindström, and Education and Culture Minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.
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