Yle poll: Majority of Finns oppose work-based immigration

Three quarters of respondents in a new Yle online survey say they're against Finland increasing work-based immigration. About it portal Yle News reports.

 The result comes days after the election success of the Finns Party - who also propose a tough line on newcomers. Yet there are growing warnings that the fast-ageing population means Finland desperately needs to import workers, or risk a dangerous hole in the country's finances.

A new report by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) recommends doubling current levels of immigration in order to meet future labour demands.

Researcher Pekka Myrskylä, who compiled the Confederation's study, estimates that at least 10,000 employees exit the domestic market annually owing to an ageing population.

Yet an overwhelming 3 out of 4 respondents to Yle's web poll on whether or not Finland should embrace work-based immigration oppose the idea.

The poll was an open online poll, meaning the respondents are not a representative sample of the whole population.

This follows the recent election that saw the Finns Party receive more than 18 percent of the vote on a platform which calls for large-scale tightening up of Finland's immigration policy.

Opinions in Helsinki on work-based immigration are divided.

Ola Saarinoro opposes the idea. "Not until the unemployed in Finland are employed,"  he says.

Harri Kaasinen holds a different view and says: "Work-based immigration should definitely be increased as there's jobs that need filling and a dwindling domestic labour pool."

When asked which countries work-based immigration should come from five countries topped the list: Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Great Britain and the US.

But in these Western societies the population is ageing at the same rate as in Finland, says Myrskylä: "Eighty percent of people who come to Finland from these countries usually leave within five years."

According to Myrskylä there would be more potential for immigration from countries such as Iran where the birthrate is high and salary levels are lower than in Finland.



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