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HBL: Finnish municipalities reluctant to accept refugees

Finland’s main Swedish-language daily reports on Sunday that many local authorities are reluctant to accept refugees. They regard the payments central government makes to cover their costs as too small.

Syyrialainen perhe teltassa pakolaisleirissä Turkissa.
Syyriasta paennut perhe odotti pääsyä pakolaisleirille Syyrian ja Turkin välisellä rajalla syyskuussa. Image: Tolga Bozoglu / EPA

Each year Finland takes in 750 refugees who have had their status officially approved by the UNHCR. The system relies on local authorities to volunteer to have the refugees in their communities, but there is currently a severe shortage.

Just a quarter of Finnish local councils have made an agreement to accept refugees, reports Hufvudstadsbladet. That means 72 out of 320 councils have agreed to take in refugees.

Just 36 quota refugees have arrived in Finland this year, with 300 waiting for a place in Finland in refugee camps abroad.

HBL reports that one reason for municipalities’ reluctance is that the payments offered by central government are regarded as too small.

Next year Finland hopes to bring some 1050 refugees to the country, an increase in the normal quota to help deal with the situation in Syria.

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