While Europe's leaders struggle to deal with the growing refugee crisis—wrestling with questions like whether to set quotas for how many asylum seekers each country takes in—one of those leaders is putting out the welcome mat. At his personal home, at least.
Over the weekend, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila told the national broadcaster YLE, according to Reuters, that he would offer his home in Kempele, in northern Finland, to house asylum seekers as of the beginning of next year. "We should all take a look in the mirror and ask how we can help," he reportedly said, adding that a plan to distribute refugees should be voluntary, though he hoped his country could set an example.
Of course, it's a little easier to offer up your home when you have another one to go to. Sipila, a millionaire who has founded and led telecommunications and bioenergy companies, now spends most of his time in Helsinki after being elected as prime minister earlier this year on a campaign to help revive the country's economy, which has been in a recession. (He's also adapted his car to run on wood gas.)
"I ask everybody to stop all hate speech and concentrate on taking care of people that are fleeing from war zone, so that they feel safe and welcome here in Finland," Sipila said in a television interview. He also said the asylum seekers deserve "a human treatment and genuine welcome greeting from us Finns."
The Finnish government has said it will greatly expand the number of migrants it takes in, from 3,600 last year to as many as 30,000 this year. And yet the population in Finland is reportedly less supportive of accepting migrants than the population in Sweden has been—that country has taken in more refugees per capita than any other European country.