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Finland's PM offers his home to migrants amid crisis


Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila said on Saturday he would offer his home to refugees.

As EU leaders struggle to agree policies to cope with a huge influx of migrants, many fleeing war in Syria, Sipila said his home in Kempele, northern Finland, was little used at the moment and would house asylum seekers from the start of next year.

"We should all take a look in the mirror and ask how we can help," Sipila told national broadcaster YLE, according to a Reuters report.

He said an EU plan to distribute 120,000 refugees arriving in Greece, Italy and Hungary to countries around the European Union should be voluntary and hoped Finland could show an example.

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Finland's government yesterday doubled its estimate for the number of asylum seekers in the country this year to up to 30,000.

Meanwhile, Poland's Prime Minister Kopacz reiterated on Friday that accepting 2,000 migrants was sufficient considering the country's capabilities. Poland had agreed in July to accept that number of people from Syria and North Africa by 2017, Reuters reported.

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Speaking after a specially convened meeting regarding the migrant issue, Kopacz said: "The number of 2,000 can be deemed enough. We are ready to take care of such a group."

"We are committed to solidarity, but it has to be a responsible solidarity. We do not expect solidarity beyond measure and we think that our responsible solidarity should be adequate to the country's capabilities, without destabilising it."

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And Dow Jones reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had told Funke Mediengruppe newspapers published on Saturday that Germany would not need to raise taxes to deal with the influx of refugees entering the country. The newswire noted that Germany expected about 800,000 migrants and refugees this year, four times more than in 2014.

"We will not increase taxes," Merkel said. "And we still aim to establish a balanced budget without taking on new debt."

The government's comfortable budgetary position was making it easier to master such "unexpected tasks," Merkel said, adding that the refugee crisis was the government's priority now.

Dow Jones reported that Germany was the European Union's biggest recipient of people fleeing war in the Middle East and economic migrants from southeastern Europe, given its relatively liberal asylum laws and generous benefits.