Finland’s has a long and rich migrant history, and this should help guide us to build an inclusive and just country as our society becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse during this century.
After the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party imploded on June 13 into two factions, there’s been a lot of finger-pointing from members of the old and new PS. This is nothing new coming from a party that has a long track record in scapegoating migrants and minorities.
Blue Reform* (formerly Perussuomalaiset) Minister of Labor Jari Lindström’s special aide Sakari Puisto aimed to slash financial aid to migrant associations by 348,000 euros from 750,000 euros, reports Helsingin Sanomat. A ministry official was “shocked” when he heard such plans by Puisto in January.
Is there such a thing as a “new” and “old” Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party? If you ask Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Minister Petteri Orpo there is. But if you are a migrant, asylum seeker or minority in Finland, it’s doubtful that you would make such a difference.
President Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and the deputy head of the Finnish Immigration Service, Raimo Pyysalo, have one thing in common: They believe that the ongoing debate about asylum seekers, immigration and our ever-growing culturally diverse society is dominated by two extremes.
The picture below isn’t from Gaza or some war-torn region but of the playground of the Konnunsuo immigration removal center in Joutseno, Finland, a country that claims to be proud of its social achievements and respect for human rights. The view is the one that a family with seven children had for over a month…
What kind of message does the appointment of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group leader Sampo Terho to minster of culture, sport and European issues send? Does it strengthen our Nordic welfare state values or does it drive a wedge between us? We are naming a person who is hostile to cultural diversity and sees the EU as a threat as minister.
When publishing anti-immigration rhetoric by politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ville Tavio, it’s very important to lead with the following paragraph: “MP Talk gives members of parliament the opportunity to share their views on Finnish society with an international audience. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.”
The ongoing debate about the perceived threat of dual nationals in Finland and the proximity of municipal elections should raise some serious questions. Why are we having this discussion now and which party is fueling it?
A parliamentary committee, which is deciding on the future of the Finnish Broadcast Company (YLE), on important issues like how much state funding it should get and its role. If Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen had his way, it cut YLE’s budget and thereby downsize the broadcaster’s Swedish-language service.