Seeking asylum in Finland is futile, Slovak authorities warn

APPLICATIONS from Slovak citizens for political asylum in Finland have no chance of success. They are only a waste of time, Slovak Ambassador to Finland Emil Kuchár told the news wire TASR.

Finnish authorities process the applications in a fast-track procedure and the applications are deemed invalid within a week.

Since the beginning of 2004, the Finnish immigration authorities have received about 250 asylum applications.

Finland is considering the introduction a new processing system that will enable applications to be assessed in 24 hours, Kuchár said in a telephone interview.

The precise number of asylum seekers from Slovakia, almost entirely members of the Roma minority, cannot be specified at the moment because the figure varies.

According to Kuchár, the Finnish authorities are well prepared for the arrival of Slovak asylum seekers.

"The applicants are interviewed immediately at the airport. The Finnish side is interested in turning down these applicants as quickly as possible and deporting them back to Slovakia," the Ambassador said.

He added that all asylum-seekers had been rejected so far and the same would also apply in the future. "After all these years no one believes the stories of the Slovak citizens who come to apply for political asylum," Kuchár noted.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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