Finland takes EU migrant quota, still objects compulsion

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's center-right government on Friday said it was ready to accept its proposed two percent EU quota in relocating further 120,000 asylum seekers, but added that the system must not be mandatory in the future.

The EU migrant crisis poses a political as well as a financial challenge for the newly-appointed coalition amid rising unemployment in the recession-hit Finnish economy.

"We can go forward (with the EU quota) on the voluntary basis, but not by compulsion," foreign minister Timo Soini, whose EU-sceptic party has campaigned for tighter controls of immigration, told a news conference.

"Increasing EU authority in this issue would not be good, it wouldn't work.... If we can't find solutions with international and EU cooperation, we have a million people moving across the borders without any coordination."

Interior minister Petteri Orpo added that he believed several EU states had similar thoughts on the quota policy.

The European Commission proposed earlier this week the relocation of a further 120,000 asylum seekers from Hungary, Greece and Italy to other EU states under mandatory quotas.

The total number of asylum seekers coming to Finland is expected to rise to up to 30,000 this year, compared with just 3,600 last year.

The government is planning to increase capital gains tax and income tax on high earners to help pay for higher immigration costs.

(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Toby Chopra)