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Municipalities take fewer quota refugees in 2015

Finnish municipalities are taking fewer quota refugees this year, after 2014, when the Syrian crisis and state funding incentives encouraged intake of record numbers.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Some 35 municipalities are committing to taking quota refugees this year, while many are still deliberating the matter. Around 900 refugees now have places, with Tampere and Kuopio receiving the biggest number.

While the state raised its refugee quota to over one thousand for the second year in a row, eight regions have decreased their numbers from last year - while Satakunta and southern Ostrobothnia are not accepting a single person this year.

In countries like Denmark all municipalities are obliged to take refugees. Now Sweden is also considering making this mandatory for municipalities. In Finland many local authorities only make the final decision to accept refugees once the Finnish Immigration Service offers them a group, say, from Syria, Afghanistan or Congo.

In Finland, the Congolese are the most hard-pressed to find a new home, as municipalities here are least likely to accept refugees from this strife-torn African nation.

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Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) said on Sunday that his government plans tougher penalties and other means to ensure that gang-related crime in Finland does not explode as it has in Sweden.