12:31 GMT28 January 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Finland is set to schedule five special flights in order to fly Iraqi refugees who had previously entered seeking asylum back to their home country.

    According to Helsingin Sanomat, a single special flight to Iraq is estimated to cost Finland's budget up to 200,000 euros; the cost of five such flights will total a million euros.

    Additionally, Helsingin Sanomat notes with reference to Finland's police, that the country has already spent a total of 3 million euros returning approximately 3,100 refugees who were either denied asylum or had withdrawn their applications.

    Finland has since February 2016 carried out weekly flights to Baghdad for refugees who voluntarily renounced asylum in Finland. Until now, approximately 500 people have left the country, citing disappointment with Finland's icy reception and frozen climate.

    Following an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers to the countries of northern Europe, Finland chose to gradually "tighten the screws" for immigrants who were considered ineligible for asylum. In the fall of 2015, asylum rules were toughened for refugees fleeing Somalia and Iraq; officials argued that there wasn't any war going on in either of the countries, despite Daesh retaining control of northern Iraq. Many countries reject asylum seekers if parts of their native countries remain safe.

    File Photo: Asylum seekers arrive at a refugee reception centre in the northern town of Tornio, Finland September 25, 2015
    © REUTERS / Panu Pohjola/Lehtikuva
    The Finnish government's spending on immigration programs in the fiscal plan up to the year 2019 assumes that the number of asylum seekers entering the country will stabilize at 15,000 annually. Given this annual estimate, the government has budgeted 208 million euros for 2017, 280 million for 2018 and 316 million for 2019.

    Finland's economy has been shrinking for four years in a row due to weak demand from European and Russian markets and problems affecting its main export industries, including technology.

    Last year, Finland's government had to settle for a bill increasing capital gains tax and income tax on high earners to help pay for a 10-fold increase in refugees. According to Finland's Migration Board, a total of 32,476 refugees, representing 30 nationalities, were taken in last year.


    Finland Delighted That Asylum Seekers Have 'At Least' Basic Education
    About 100 People Left Finland to Fight Alongside Daesh
    Sweden Tires of 'Bearded Children' Amid Migrant Influx
    asylum policy, immigration policy, refugees, Iraq, Finland
    Community standardsDiscussion