HELSINKI – ‘Stop them at the border’

In the midst of the evolving situation on the Turkish-Greek border, the populist Finns Party called on Tuesday (3 March) for reintroducing border controls within the European Union. 

Special attention should be paid to the border between Finland and Sweden, as it is the only land border Finland has with another EU member state and refugees trying to enter from Sweden are to be stopped at the border, according to the party. 

“Their asylum applications must be rejected as obviously groundless. And those who cannot be turned away or deported should be placed so that they have no access to the society around them. The decision-makers and authorities must be prepared to halt refugees on our borders – not to accommodate them,” Finns Party chairperson Jussi Halla-aho and vice-chair Riikka Purra said in a joint statement.

In 2015, some 30,000 refugees came to Finland.

Since then, the country has tried to improve the legal status of immigrants and has helped the unification of families torn apart. The populist Finns Party considers that such measures send the wrong message and make Finland even more attractive as a destination than it was five years ago.

The Finns Party not only proposes to reinstate border checks within the EU but is also calling for the planned quota system, whether temporary or permanent, to be abandoned for good.

“The EU and its individual members should, for their own sake, help Greece stop the influx of refugees and with quick actions to prevent uncontrolled secondary immigration to the rest of Europe. In this situation, Europe cannot wait for structural reforms,” said Mr Halla-aho.

In recent polls, the Finns have come out on top with around 22% popularity.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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