August 31, 2017 / 12:47 PM / in 10 months

Finland to review terrorism laws, increase security funding after knife attack

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland on Thursday said it would review terrorism laws and provide extra funding for security after two women were killed in a knife attack this month.

FILE PHOTO: People attend a moment of silence to commemorate the victims of Friday's stabbings at the Turku Market Square in Turku, Finland August 20, 2017. Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen via REUTERS

Eight people were wounded in the attack on Aug. 18 in the southwestern city of Turku. The main suspect, a 22-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker, has told a court he was responsible for the attack but denied his motive was terrorism.

The center-right government, in two days of budget talks, agreed to provide an additional 12 million euros to the police and Security Intelligence Service. Including previous funds, the two organizations will receive 50 million euros more than this year.

The government said it would ask security officers to conduct threat assessments of all asylum seekers whose applications are turned down and to detain them if necessary.

The main suspect in the Turku stabbings lived in a reception center and was denied asylum before the attack.

The government said it also planned to pass a law to allow it to cancel the Finnish citizenship of all dual-citizens found to have engaged in terrorist acts.

An opinion poll showed an increasing number of Finns want the government to get tougher on immigration following the stabbings.

The 2018 budget was 55.7 billion euros ($66 billion) with a budget deficit target of 2.96 billion euros.

The deficit goal is lower than the 3.4 billion proposed earlier by the Finance Ministry and down from 5.4 billion this year.

Finland, a euro zone member, is returning to growth after years of stagnation due to problems including rigid labor markets, the decline of Nokia’s former phone business and recession in neighboring Russia.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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