The government fuels two matters: loss of credibility and polarization of society.
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government, considered the most right wing since the 1930s, faced a storm of controversy on its first day not because of its austerity program, which will hit the most vulnerable sectors of society, but because of its embarrassing links to neo-Nazis and racism.
Headlined Euronews: “Racism and rape fantasies: The PR headache facing Finland’s new right-wing government.” Madrid-based El País writes: “The far-right will control seven key ministries in the Finnish government.”
The Times of Israel doesn’t beat round the bush either: “[Minister of Economic Affairs] Vilhelm Junnila says previous [neo-Nazi] behavior was ‘foolish and immature’; another key figure in new government, House Speaker Jussi Halla-aho, also has history of racist remarks.”
Apart from taking part in a rally organized by far-right groups, Junnila congratulated in 2019 a PS candidate for receiving the 88 election number. “First of all, congratulations on an excellent election number,” he was quoted as saying in The Times of Israel. “I know it’s a winning card.”
As everyone knows, 88 is code used by neo-Nazis to mean “Heil Hitler,” or “HH.”
It is odd why Junnila now apologizes for such inappropriate behavior.
Minister Junnila, who claims to not house any extremist views, now apologizes for his “88” comment: “Those who know me, know that I am a moderate. I do not belong to any nationalist organisations [sic], nor do I plan joining any.” Source: Twitter
Junnila and former MP Veikko Vallin, givng the thumbs up with their MAGA caps. Source: Facebook
You can read Halla-aho’s problematic postings on Scripta through his website. Source: Jussi Halla-aho
So what did Finland’s new speaker of the house write about? Below are some of the many repugnant quotes:
- Regarding the homosexual at Tehtaanpuisto park I briefly considered getting my gun from the upstairs and shooting him in the head. Would the gratification from it exceed the annoyance of serving time in jail? Violence is these days a very undervalued method of solving problems. Scripta Katuhäirinnästä, October 17, 2003
- All muslims are not terrorist, but in an European perspective this is irrelevant. What is relevant is that all terrorists are muslim. Scripta Islamin yleisestä ja erityisestä suvaitsevaisuudesta, September 21, 2006
- [The] amount of rapes are increasing. Because therefore more and more women will be raped, my earnest wish is that right women will be raped by predators choosing their victims randomly. Green-left-winger reformers and their voters. Rather them than others. Nothing else will work for them, but multiculture that hits their own ankle. http://www.halla-aho.com/scripta/monikulttuurisuus_ja_nainen.html, December 20, 2006
- An Afro who gets dragged into Helsinki from an African savannah pollutes no less with his conspicuous consumption than an ethnic Finn. He will probably pollute more because moving from the stone age directly into the modern world deprives him of ecological conscience typical of a western human being. Scripta Hyvää kesää!, June 21, 2007
- It is justified to consider the Nuremberg trials a farce. Guilt was decided in advance, and the justifications for the sentences were absurd. For an example Alber Speer (an architect) got a long sentence since he knew about the holocaust but didn’t try to prevent it. As if a person living in a dictatorship should fight against the dictatorship even if it costs his life. Hommaforum, November 16, 2010.
If the first steps of Orpo’s government are an indication of the problems that it will have, the life of Finland’s most right-wing government since the 1930s may see an early and tragic end.
If it happens, it will be the government’s making.