A rebuttal by Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Riikka Puura to a recent Helsingin Sanomat editorial reveals arrogance and desperation. If the PS’ favorite talking points about immigrants are challenged forcibly as today, matters do not bode well for the party that has based its election fuel on spreading xenophobia.
Helsingin Sanomat rebuked PS’ anti-immigration rhetoric: “When the PS refuses to accept [hard] facts, it no longer makes sense, even from a purely selfish point of view. And when the party suggests that Finland should learn from Japan’s population policy, it sounds downright desperate.
Purra does not mention the sources the party uses to spread its xenophobia.
Has Purra and her party ever asked why unemployment among newcomers is higher than the national average? Not a word or hint that discrimination and institutional racism in the labor market may be at play.
The fact that Finland has a large party that wants to turn our society into a gerontocracy that feeds off ethnocentric nationalism and social exclusion of Others reveals the size of the problem facing the country.
It is not an understatement to claim that the PS’ policies threaten our future and society’s well-being.
More institutions and politicians have spoken against the racist tropes spread by Purra and her radical-right party. It is a positive sign that the country is looking at solutions and ways to move forward.
Finland is at a crossroads today. The direction it will take depends on April’s parliamentary election.
Will about 18% of the voters fall for PS’ rhetoric, or will they send it back to the minor political leagues?