The Afghanistan crisis is fanning the embers of populist and nationalist movements, including in Finland, where Finns Party leader Riikka Purra recently called for abolishing Finland's refugee quota.
"Afghanistan has revived debate on migration. Politicians are causing bad blood by talking about 'adverse immigration' and 'lifestyle surfing,'" Aki Kangasharju, head of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla), told tabloid Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun).
He noted that statistics and international studies show that highly educated foreigners not only save the Finnish state money by being educated elsewhere but also don't compete for the same jobs as the native population. The think-tank head also pointed to the persistent problem of Finnish debate on migration grouping asylum seekers and immigrants in the same discussion.
Eurostat figures show that newcomers with low educational levels are more likely to be working than their Finnish counterparts.
"They require fewer social benefits than Finns with similar backgrounds," he explained, adding that refugees in Finland make up just 0.4 percent of the population.
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Cash for countryside
Finland is exploring a student loan forgiveness programme to attract young adults to rural areas, reports Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun).
People moving to rural areas could see their student debts slashed by ten percent annually. The proposal, heavily backed by the agrarian-minded Centre Party, is based on a similar Norwegian programme aiming to revitalise the country's northernmost areas.
HS notes that 68 percent of Finland is classified as sparsely populated countryside.
Last days of summer
Finland says goodbye to summer this week.
Much of the country will see summer-like conditions on Monday and Tuesday, but the conditions will turn autumnal after Tuesday, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun).
Cool winds will start flowing in from the north on Wednesday, and a fall storm will wash over Finland on Friday.
"It's a very powerful low-pressure area bringing storm winds and heavy downpours," Foreca meteorologist Kristian Roine told HBL, adding that there were "no signs indicating a return of summer warmth any time soon."