Of all the features I wrote for the Financial Times as Helsinki correspondent (1989-91), I am particularly proud of one that I co-authored with Christian Tyler. The last wall in Europe, which was published on January 26-27, 1991, was a long feature that attempted to shed light on Europe’s last wall, the Finnish-Soviet border, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
While history provides a good answer why Finland as a nation has shown a clear manifest unease of foreigners and outside investment, it still does not provide us with an all-encompassing answer as to why. Are we still resentful of newcomers because our language rights were granted in 1862? Is it due to the Russification period, when the Russian Empire attempted to impose the Russian language and culture on us at the cost of our precious autonomy?