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Finland Rejects Nearly All Slovak Asylum-Seekers

Euobserver.com, Mar. 19

Nearly all Slovak asylum-seekers have had their applications refused in Finland so far this year, reports the Helsingin Sanomat.

This year over 200 members of Slovakia’s Roma or Gipsy minority have applied for political asylum in Finland.

According to Matti Heinonen of the Directorate of Immigration, nearly all applications have so far been denied.

Many of these asylum-seekers have applied for asylum in Finland before and 40 percent of them have applied in one other EU member state as well.

Yesterday (18 March), another 50 asylum-seekers were expected to arrive in Finland. Finnish police were preparing in advance how to send them back the least expensive way, writes the Finnish daily.

The idea is to send them back as soon as possible, in order to discourage others to make groundless asylum applications, said Jaakko Heinilä of the Helsinki Police Department.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the gap of the living standard is so big, that the money the asylum-seekers have been paid by Finland’s refugee reception centers is a “considerable economic boost when the rejected asylum-seekers return home”.

Asylum-seekers very often live in the same area or villages, they often travel by bus to Prague and fly from there to Finland.

A total of 3184 persons sought asylum in Finland in 2003.

According to Finnish Directorate of Immigration 2443 applicants received a negative decision on their application. They were granted neither asylum nor a residence permit.

Written by Marit Ruuda