Finnish media on Tuesday dives into the government’s decision on Monday evening to repatriate Finnish children from the Al Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria “as soon as possible.”
Just for kids
While PM Sanna Marin’s government on Monday said the state had a responsibility to help Finnish children leave Al Hol, it had no obligation to aid adults who had voluntarily travelled to the area, reports national daily Helsingin Sanomat.
Marin said it was up to the appropriate authorities to determine who will be brought to Finland and when.
Emerging from a four-hour meeting on Monday, Marin’s cabinet came up with a ten-point plan on how to deal with Finns in the refugee camp. The new administration had been under pressure to produce guidelines on how to handle Finnish women and children in the camp ahead of a parliamentary interpellation on Tuesday, which will be followed by the new government’s first confidence vote on Wednesday.
Marin’s administration said it will also explore whether Finland’s terrorism laws should be updated. “I believe the Justice Minster will take a firm lead on this,” the PM added.
Rental black market
A new black rental housing market is emerging in Finland, writes HS, as rejected asylum seekers struggle to find accommodation. In Helsinki, people in the country illegally pay 200-300 euros a month to sleep on a floor mattress or sofa.
The paper estimates that Helsinki is home to hundreds of these black market flats, with up to 20 people spending the night in one apartment.
Asylum seekers whose applications are rejected by Immigration Service Migri are forced to leave reception centres.
The number of people seeking asylum in Finland peaked at around 32,000 in 2015. The following year saw a drastic reduction to 5,600 asylum seekers, and by October of this year some 3,800 people had sought refuge in the country.
Whooping cough outbreak
Hufvudstadsbladet reports that whooping cough has broken out at Nyland brigade in Raasepori, which is also the country's only defence unit where the language of instruction is Swedish.
Despite being vaccinated, 13 conscripts have contracted the infection also known as pertussis. Officials have also determined several other cases at schools in Raasepori and Tammisaari.
Tove Wide, the Raasepori's chief physician, told HBL that people who have been immunised can still get whooping cough as protection decreases over time.
Some 400 cases of whooping cough are reported in Finland annually. The respiratory tract infection is most dangerous for unvaccinated infants under 12 months as they have the highest risk for severe complications.