An insult to over a million Finns

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

The racial and cultural “theories” peddled by some members of parties like the True Finns are not only an example of their ignorance of the subject but a rude slap in the face to over a million Finns who live abroad. Many of us are that multicultural “nightmare” that some in this country want to avoid at all costs.

Too often when some Finnish politicians speak out against refugees and immigrants as if we were a plague, that person usually ends up insulting hundreds of thousands that emigrated from this country to other lands.

Finland’s debate on immigration and multiculturalism has deep flaws. For one, it has a lot of racist overtones since some believe that being an immigrant or having a multicultural background is a disadvantage. Finns are “white, Lutheran and represent a monoculture,” they argue.

With so many Finns living abroad in so many countries  how can anyone make such a ludicrous claim in a globalized world?

When anti-immigration groups in this country  insult refugees as “welfare shoppers” they throw dirt on those refugees and immigrants that left Finland in the past centuries.

Expatriate Finns must take part in the ongoing debate in Finland on immigration and refugees because we are the fruit that has budded in foreign lands thanks to our ancestors’ restless yearning and ambition.

I for one am especially proud of my Finnish and multicultural background.

  1. JusticeDemon

    Immigrants are generally disadvantaged in certain respects and to varying degrees. Adult immigrants in Finland usually face challenges of acculturation and language learning, and they often lack ready-made social and kinship networks. This affects everything from finding a babysitter to securing job opportunities. Ignorance of social and administrative systems or a lack of confidence in their reliability are also a handicap, often making the immigrant a soft victim for dishonest traders, unscrupulous employers and lazy officials.

    Intercultural individuals, on the other hand, enjoy substantial social and commercial advantages, especially in a globalising world. Such individuals are often prized in business for their mastery of social and communication skills. Bilingualism in particular, and an intercultural background in general, provides substantial educational advantages.

    Although these benefits are not gained without effort, a person with an intercultural background will normally begin to make this effort much earlier and experience the rewards of success much more profoundly than is possible through a formal educational process alone.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, you are right and you have most likely seen this in your children. The advantages can be clearly seen in my children as well. Since we are individuals, each person adapts at a different pace.
      What is worrying is that some think it is ok to dictate what is culturally good and whom we should marry.
      Maybe I should join the “immigration critics” and start bashing an ethnic group. That would probably elevate me to the “expert” level. If anyone sues me, I will demand my freedom of speech rights. That’s how some become an “expert” on immigration in Finland.

  2. Juan

    In the long run, Finland will only end up isolating itself. Already Finland is having a hard time attracting top level executives due to its harsh climate, difficult language, excessive taxation, inability for spouses to find work, etc. This will then affect the decision of many large corporations to set up operations in Finland in the first place. Now a Somali or Iraqi refugee will have no choice but to stomach the insults and discrimination that comes his way. A highly educated and highly paid top executive in the software and information technology industry will just plant roots somewhere else. This is the bigger picture that the politicians do not see. They believe Finland can close its doors to the world and survive in isolation. Look what is happening to Nokia. In ten years time the only place you will find the words “Nokia” will be on your car tires or rubber boots.

    Wake up True Finns, Finland needs the world more than the world needs Finland. (Unless Finns learn to subsist on pine cones)

  3. JL

    When anti-immigration groups in this country insult refugees as “welfare shoppers” they throw dirt on those refugees and immigrants that left Finland in the past centuries.

    No, they do not, because Finns have never moved abroad in any significant numbers just in order to benefit from welfare services. On the contrary, Finns have a reputation as reliable workers, if not workaholics. The same cannot be said of certain new minorities in Finland and other European countries.

    —–

    Look, Juan, I know you hate Finns and think we cannot accomplish anything without foreigners. The facts, however, do not support your case. As a case in point, Nokia was developed into the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world by these selfsame Finns that you find so useless. Thereafter, Nokia does not seem to have had much problems attracting highly educated foreign professionals to work in Finland, too.

    In any case, we can be perfectly certain that whatever it is that foreign professionals think is wrong with Finland, it is not Finlands’ relative dearth of unruly, uneducated Third World immigrant communities.

    • Enrique

      –No, they do not, because Finns have never moved abroad in any significant numbers just in order to benefit from welfare services.

      Social welfare is guaranteed by the constitution of Finland. It is a right granted to all people that live legally in this country. What you are stating is that some groups have more rights than others.

      Some people in Finland speak of refugees as a bad word never mind immigrants. These two words, in my opinion, are something to be proud of. So please don’t throw dirt on them because you are throwing dirt at the hundreds of thousands of Finns that left this country in the past two centuries.

      From your view, ALL immigrants are on welfare in Finland. As you know, that is totally false.

  4. Klay_Immigrant

    JUAN

    Have you ever asked yourself why immigration debates are largely focused on refugees and asylum seekers even though they don’t make up the majority of immigrants living in Finland? Because they are the ones that cause the most problems relative to their small population in most measures whether it’s crime, education attainment, unemployment, integration, or welfare dependancy.

    You give the false impression that the True Finns are against ANY immigrants coming to Finland. In their own mainfesto they say immigrants are welcome if the have a POSITIVE OR NEUTRAL effect on the country and are not reliant on the state to live and stay. In other words if they can afford to house and feed themselves and their dependents then the door is open. So ‘top level executives ‘ fall into this category.

    People including you seem to think that mass immigration and trade are synonymous where one cannot exist without the other. The movement of goods and the movement of people cannot be treated the same. One would only need to look at the Far-East with China now and Japan before it to realise this.

    Also according to PISA Finalnd has consistently been one of if not the best performers for education and has the highest level of graduates proportionately in the World so unlike other countries they are not desperate for educated immigrants to fill in vacancies in the job sector.

    Let’s be honest Finland isn’t the most attractive country for high flying immigrants to work in and no matter what the immigration policy is it will never be, as certain characteristics such as weather, location and language will not change.

    • Enrique

      –Because they are the ones that cause the most problems relative to their small population in most measures whether it’s crime, education attainment, unemployment, integration, or welfare dependancy.

      The “problem” is caused by people as yourself that see such people with suspicion. But let’s be honest about the True Finns: There are two groups that are going at each others throat at this moment – the former SMPs and Halla-aho’s followers. What is going to happen soon after the election is that these two groups are going to split, causing an implosion within the True Finns. The latter group are the far-right Islamophobists that belong to Suomen Sisu and still read Alfred Rosenberg and David Duke. The former was a Nazi pseudo philosopher that argued that for the Aryans to become a master race they would have to kick out the Jews out of Germany. The latter is a former head of the the Ku Klux Klan.

      One of the problems with the True Finns’ agenda we do not know what will be the role of the xenophobic Nuiva plan that asks to tighten immigration policy in the same spirit as the DPP of Denmark. The vice president of the True Finns, Vesa-Matti Saarakkala, belongs to the Halla-aho camp.

      Can Timo Soini contain the far-right wing of his party? Some think he will have a tough time. Result: implosion.

  5. Klay_Immigrant

    Enrique it seems you are more wishing than expecting for this to happen. Only a few months ago you said the True Finns were a taxi party going nowhere in the upcoming elections. You forget that parties implode when their popularity is falling as changes need to be made and there is nothing to lose with the electorate not when they are riding in their highest position ever in the polls.

    • Enrique

      Klay, you should know the issues: The True Finns are split into two groups: the former SMPs and the far-right group led by Halla-aho. Eight MPs can fit inside a London taxi cab. The True Finns have eight MPs.

    • Enrique

      Klay, what has happened in Japan may be a boost to the Green parties across Europe. That’s always bad news for the far-right.

      I visited the English Defense League site and guess what? I was surprised by how many slogans some like Tony had used from this group.

  6. JL

    Social welfare is guaranteed by the constitution of Finland. It is a right granted to all people that live legally in this country. What you are stating is that some groups have more rights than others.

    Everyone in the world does not have a right to settle in Finland. Those who have a residence permit are entitled to benefits, which means that in order to minimize the number of freeloaders we must be careful about who gets a permit. Unless you think that everybody in the world has a right to live in Finland, there is no discrimination whatsoever between groups — all are to be judged by the same standards.

    So please don’t throw dirt on them because you are throwing dirt at the hundreds of thousands of Finns that left this country in the past two centuries.

    It’s you who are throwing dirt on Finnish emigrants, who usually worked their asses off just to get by, by equating them to people who, lacking any skills needed in a modern economy, move to sponge on other people’s labor, abusing the refugee system in the process.

    From your view, ALL immigrants are on welfare in Finland. As you know, that is totally false.

    Please stop smoking crack when reading my comments, Enrique. I have never said anything of the sort. The same goes for your comments about the True Finns. Get real. How about reading some of the True Finns’ candidates voluminous writings available online if you want to know what they plan for Finland. FYI: If there’s someone who agrees with Soini on everything, it is Saarakkala, who has been his personal assistant for years.

    The “problem” is caused by people as yourself that see such people with suspicion.

    Yes, the main problem for illiterate people from pre-modern tribal cultures in adapting to Finland is Finns who voice their suspicions about immigration on the Internet. Sure. Keep smoking that crack.

    • Enrique

      –Everyone in the world does not have a right to settle in Finland.

      Hey, ever figured out how many have? Try about 150,000. That is a far cry from “everyone in the world.”

      So you will decide who are the freeloaders. Better include Finns there as well.

      –It’s you who are throwing dirt on Finnish emigrants, who usually worked their asses off just to get by, by equating them to people who, lacking any skills needed in a modern economy, move to sponge on other people’s labor, abusing the refugee system in the process.

      Oh so now only Finnish immigrants “work their asses off.” Funny logic that shows you have no idea what makes immigrants tick. Immigrants are normally hard-working people, ambitious, they are tough and bring new blood. In other words they have guts and the willingness to sacrifice all to begin anew. Saarakkala belongs to the Nuiva camp.

      –Yes, the main problem for illiterate people from pre-modern tribal cultures in adapting to Finland is Finns who voice their suspicions about immigration on the Internet. Sure. Keep smoking that crack.

      How many illiterate immigrants are there in Finland? Answer that question and let’s weigh your claim after that.

  7. JusticeDemon

    JL

    Would you name and shame even one refugee or asylum seeker who came to Finland with the express intention of living on social welfare benefits? I can think of a few who have spent many years looking for work with varying degrees of success, but these are certainly not the people you are describing.

    Alternatively, could you provide statistics on the number of decisions taken pursuant to section 10 of the Income Support Act (1412/97) to reduce the benefits paid to a refugee or asylum seeker due to refusal of work or training? How do these figures compare with the national average?

    Well?

    Without information of this kind, your observations on the work ethic of refugees and asylum seekers in Finland are simply unsubstantiated hate-mongering.

    The highest unemployment rates in Finland are found in the eastern part of the country. This is also the region with the lowest immigrant population. Why have all of these Finns chosen to live on welfare benefits? Why do they sponge on other people’s labour?

  8. JL

    So you will decide who are the freeloaders. Better include Finns there as well.

    Well of course. We have more than enough freeloaders among native Finns, so there’s no reason to import more of them.

    Saarakkala belongs to the Nuiva camp.

    Saarakkala is Soini’s Mini-Me. It’s amusing how he seems to have intentionally adopted the speech patterns and mannerisms of his mentor. Soini has endorsed the Nuiva manifesto IIRC.

    How many illiterate immigrants are there in Finland? Answer that question and let’s weigh your claim after that.

    Note that I am speaking of the so-called humanitarian immigrants, not all immigrants. The largest of these groups in Finland is the Somalis. According to Jorma Vuorio, the director general of Migri, 90 percent of Somali asylum seekers in Finland are illiterate. Most of these people, when granted residence permits, have little to no chance of ever being gainfully employed in Finland. Even if these people are willing to work, there’s no use for their labor, because they do not possess skills needed in an economy like that of Finland.

    • Enrique

      –Jorma Vuorio, the director general of Migri, 90 percent of Somali asylum seekers in Finland are illiterate.

      I vaguely recall he meant those that are applying for family reunification in Ethiopia NOT those that live here. Please track this story again. Did you know that the majority of Italian immigrants that went to the Americas were at the beginning of the last century and late-nineteenth century illiterate.

      Maybe you could enlighten us and tell us what is your take on the SMP-Nuiva divide and how it will form greater cracks among the True Finns. I personally don’t like the True Finns but what I consider very alarming is the entry of those that adhere to far-right ideology in the same way as the Sweden Democrats and DPP.

    • Enrique

      JL, I know some Somalis and my first friend from that country was in the early 1990s. Do you know any?

  9. JL

    Would you name and shame even one refugee or asylum seeker who came to Finland with the express intention of living on social welfare benefits?

    No problem. Take a look at this 2009 Supreme Administrative Court ruling. It concerned a 2-year-old Somali boy who was sent to Finland with the purpose of getting a residence permit for him and then initiating family reunification procedures to get his (illiterate) parents and three siblings, who were living in Ethiopia at that time, to Finland, too. In an interview with Finnish authorities, the boy’s father (“B”) said the following about why he wanted to move to Finland with his family:

    B on ilmoittanut, että he eivät voi viettää perhe-elämää Etiopiassa, koska hänellä ei ole työtä siellä. Suomessa se B:n mukaan on mahdollista, koska elämä siellä on ilmaista.

    So, the reason why he wanted to move to Finland was that he was unemployed in Ethiopia and that in Finland he and his family could live for free. I think that fits your “asylum seeker who came to Finland with the express intention of living on social welfare benefits” criterion.

    In this particular case the parents and siblings were not granted residence permits in Finland because they had committed fraud and for other reasons (e.g. it was not even clear if the claimed family relationships were genuine).

    Naturally, most fraudulent asylum seekers are not as stupid as to admit to authorities that they want to move to Finland in order to sponge off Finns, not least because it could constitute a crime in many cases. But there’s the example you wanted.

    ? I can think of a few who have spent many years looking for work with varying degrees of success, but these are certainly not the people you are describing.

    As I said before, it does not really matter whether or not these people want to work or not if they do not have any relevant skills. I’ll also note that the unemployment rates for many non-refugee African communities in Finland are in the single digits, so racism has nothing to do with it. Selection is the key to a successful immigration policy.

    The highest unemployment rates in Finland are found in the eastern part of the country.

    They are still much lower than those of the refugee populations, even though the latter generally live in big urban centers. Moreover, I am not interested just in the first generation of immigrants, but also their offspring. Studies in other European countries generally suggest that the second generation of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East is even less integrated, with higher unemployment rates, than their parents.

    Why have all of these Finns chosen to live on welfare benefits? Why do they sponge on other people’s labour?

    Many of them lack relevant skills, are lazy, or have skills that could be used in, say, the Helsinki region, but cannot afford to live there.

    • Enrique

      –So, the reason why he wanted to move to Finland was that he was unemployed in Ethiopia and that in Finland he and his family could live for free.

      This is one case out of how many? I think what you are trying to do here is invalidate one group (Somalis) in order to justify that none should collect social welfare. We are a Nordic welfare country where we help other people who are in need. The generosity of our society should be commended. So is your view that we should create a society that is no longer a welfare state? Or are you suggesting an inquisition where we bust and make people who live off welfare feel ashamed?

      –They are still much lower than those of the refugee populations, even though the latter generally live in big urban centers.

      The unemployment problem is a serious one in the country. Immigrants and refugees have shown the weaknesses in the system. How do you explain that after we had near-20% unemployment in the early 1990s we have not been able to bring it down despite robust economic growth? Is it due to social welfare? Laziness? Labor markets? Or all of the above. This is not an easy question that can be answered in a black-and-white fashion. There are a lot of factors at play. If you ask my personal opinion, a person would rather make something out of himself than live off welfare. Immigrants and refugees do not come from so far to call their families in their home countries to tell them that they are unemployed and live off benefits.

  10. JL

    Here’s a source for the 90 percent illiteracy figure: http://www.savonsanomat.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/turvapaikanhakijoiden-vy%C3%B6ry-tulossa/336256. I interpret it as saying that 90 percent of those Somalis who have been granted asylum (or some other residence permit) are illiterate.

    This is one case out of how many? I think what you are trying to do here is invalidate one group (Somalis) in order to justify that none should collect social welfare.

    JusticeDemon asked for one example, and I provided it. I’m not saying it’s true of everybody in some group; obviously it isn’t. And again: from the fiscal point of view, it’s irrelevant if they are unemployed because they are bums or because they lack (even basic) skills.

    We are a Nordic welfare country where we help other people who are in need. The generosity of our society should be commended. So is your view that we should create a society that is no longer a welfare state?

    I support the welfare state but it cannot be maintained for long if there’s lots of immigration and a high unemployment. The welfare state will be undermined by both fiscal problems due to unemployment, and by the unwillingness of the tax-payers to subsidize the burgeoning underclass. Racial diversity as such also seems to be a factor that makes people less inclined towards social democracy.

    The unemployment problem is a serious one in the country. Immigrants and refugees have shown the weaknesses in the system. How do you explain that after we had near-20% unemployment in the early 1990s we have not been able to bring it down despite robust economic growth?

    I think it’s mainly due to globalization, but it’s not a problem just in Finland, and it certainly cannot be cured by importing more low-skilled labor.

    • Enrique

      –Here’s a source for the 90 percent illiteracy figure: http://www.savonsanomat.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/turvapaikanhakijoiden-vy%C3%B6ry-tulossa/336256. I interpret it as saying that 90 percent of those Somalis who have been granted asylum (or some other residence permit) are illiterate.

      I still think that you have misread this. It doesn’t mean that 90% of those that live in Finland are illiterate. Jorma Vuorio tells us but he does not mention how he got his information. Sorry, but I see this as another trick by Migri to ensure that Somalis don’t come to Finland. But mark my word: It is not possible that 90% of Somalis in Finland are illiterate. You should know better than to fall for such a statement.

  11. JusticeDemon

    JL

    Your alleged counterexample is no such thing. I remember that case quite clearly.

    B on ilmoittanut, että he eivät voi viettää perhe-elämää Etiopiassa, koska hänellä ei ole työtä siellä. Suomessa se B:n mukaan on mahdollista, koska elämä siellä on ilmaista.

    This obviously indicates willingness to work.

    I should add that “elämä on ilmainen” looks very much like an inaccurate serial translation via English, which is par for the course in Finnish embassies abroad. The clear context of the first sentence is that Somalis in Ethiopia are confined to refugee camps and are not free to work or study, as the applicant’s rejoinder and other sources make clear.

    This interpretation is also borne out by the Appeal Court summary: Suomesta B ei ole tiennyt haastattelussa mitään muuta kuin, että Suomessa elämä on ilmaista ja voi opiskella. The appellant’s rejoinder also refers to the circumstances of the family in Ethiopia by saying that it has subsisted on a minimal remittance from Finland and vähäpätöinen työ. There is nothing substantial here to suggest work-shyness. Quite the opposite.

    it does not really matter whether or not these people want to work or not if they do not have any relevant skills.

    It does matter if you intend to characterise them as work-shy. Above you referred to people who have “moved abroad in … significant numbers just in order to benefit from welfare services”. Will you now admit that this is gratuitously offensive to a population group?

    You could offer no response on the point that work-shyness is grounds for reducing income support, but I can tell you that such decisions are extremely rare.

    In many years of working close to the front line with immigrants I have never encountered a single case in which a refugee or former asylum-seeker suffered a cut in benefit based on section 10 of the Income Support Act. I saw one case of this kind many years ago involving a US citizen whose residence in Finland was based on returnee status claimed through a Finnish grandmother, but I have seen no cases at all concerning refugees or former asylum-seekers. It’s unheard of, and coming from you it’s simply an effort to perpetuate an unsubstantiated myth in the same old way.

    • Enrique

      –Will you now admit that this is gratuitously offensive to a population group?

      JL, you always walk on thin ice when you start to generalize and say offensive things. This is a good example. One of your sources, Savon Sanomat, is not reliable and based on hearsay. Just think for a moment how tough it is for a group to live in Finland if some Finns think of them like you: 90% are illiterate (sic!), welfare bums, etc…

      From my personal experience, and I am sure JusticeDemon can confirm the following, Somalis in Finland are just as hard working as any other group of immigrants despite the hostility they face here. They have to persevere because failing would mean falling into a pit of further hostility and abuse.

      The perceptions of some groups in Finland is very similar to what some white thought about blacks before the civil rights movement. It is the same attitude that those in developing countries find a cheap answer to why there is poverty: People want to be poor!

      Do you think there is anything wrong with that hostility? Could we be critical of it, for example, as a first step in dealing with the problem?

  12. JL

    Enrique, you are free to invent conspiracy theories about Migri and claim that a high-ranking civil servant like Vuorio is a liar (although that might constitute illegal defamation), but the fact that Vuorio is an expert on these matters unlike you and is subject to official liability means that I’ll take his word over yours any day. Savon Sanomat is a respected newspaper and there’s no reason to suspect that they would misreport Vuorio’s words.

    There’s no reason to suspect that Vuorio is wrong when he says that the Somalis who come to Finland are overwhelmingly illiterate. Some may learn to read and write in Finland (the children naturally do), but it is very difficult for illiterate foreign adults to become literate in Finnish.

    • Enrique

      The question is a very simple one, JL: Is Savon-Sanomat stating that 90% of Somalis in Finland are illiterate? The answer is no.

      I am not calling anyone a liar. I am just being critical and questioning statements taken out of a hat. That is what we do in democracies, especially the media.

      I know Savon Sanomat very well because I have published columns in that paper.

  13. JL

    This is what the paper said:

    Oman haasteensa tuovat muun muassa turvapaikan saaneiden koulutuksen ja asumisen järjestely. Esimerkiksi Somaliasta tulevista 90 prosenttia on luku- ja kirjoitustaidottomia.

    It says that 90 percent of Somalis coming to Finland are illiterate. If you have data to counter this, please present it. Otherwise, just accept it.

    • Enrique

      –Esimerkiksi Somaliasta tulevista 90 prosenttia on luku- ja kirjoitustaidottomia.

      I am happy that you have corrected the mistake. 90% of Somalis living in Finland are NOT illiterate. And if you want to add something to the statment, the Migri official is referring to family reunification and those Somalis in Addis Ababa.

      If I wanted to fuel hostility and the passions of some Finns, I would make such an estimate from my hat. My statement would reinforce stereotypes, hatred, prejudice and racism of Somalis by some Finns.

  14. JusticeDemon

    The CIA World Factbook gives an average literacy rate of 37.8 per cent in Somalia (49.7% of males, 25.8 % of females). This is the percentage of citizens over 15 years of age who can read and write. Obviously there are substantial problems involved in estimating these figures.

    Spontaneous migrants of all kinds tend to be self-starters of above average educational attainment, so something very odd is going on if only ten per cent of Somalis aged over 15 years who arrive in Finland can read and write.

    What seems far more likely is that the figure of 90 per cent includes children under 15 years of age who are automatically assumed to be illiterate. Family reunificiation programmes for persons displaced from war zones tend to include a very high proportion of children (well over 50 per cent).

    It is not the function of Migri to test or otherwise assess the literacy rates of immigrants entering Finland through the family reunification programme, nor does literacy as such serve as a factor affecting decisions on this subject. It follows from this that Migri is not an expert on these matters and that no official liability attaches to views on this topic expressed by any official at Migri.

    Jorma Vuorio is an official of the Finnish Immigration Service, which is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. He is free to announce that the sun is shining outside his office, but expertise and official liability in such matters belong to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

    Literacy rates fall within the purview of the Ministry of Education and the National Board of Education.

    This link also provides some context to the claim in question, which arose during a panel discussion. Vuorio begins by explicitly disclaiming any expertise in this area.

    Within the field of his own expertise, on the other hand, Vuorio gives some very cogent responses. For example:

    ”Siellä Etelä- ja Keski-Somaliassa on täys sotatila käynnissä, joten ketään ei voida sinne palauttaa, joten silloin jää ainoaks mahdollisuudeks myöntää tietysti oleskelulupa täällä Suomessa … aika monet somalialaisista, lähes kaikki tulevat Etiopian kautta tänne Suomeen, mutta he eivät ole Etiopian kansalaisia, joten Etiopian viranomaisilla ei tietysti ole velvollisuuttakaan heitä ottaa vastaan ja käytännössä heitä ei sinnekään voida palauttaa”.

    and

    ”Suomen ulkomaalaislain periaate on, että ketään ei jätetä tyhjän päälle, elikkä viime kädessä myönnetään sitten tilapäinen oleskelulupa, jos tää maasta poistaminen estyy”.

  15. JL

    I am happy that you have corrected the mistake. 90% of Somalis living in Finland are NOT illiterate.

    I have not claimed that 90 percent of Somalis living in Finland are illiterate. The figure refers to Somalis who sought asylum in Finland (in 2008, apparently); I don’t think he’s talking about those in Addis Abeba, but that hardly matters. Those who have lived in Finland for longer may have learned to read and write (small kids and those born here naturally have), and perhaps illiteracy was less widespread in earlier waves of Somalis coming to Finland (the first to come in the early 1990s certainly were much more educated).

    • Enrique

      JL, JusticeDemon is a tough cookie and you better have your facts right when debating with him. Thanks to his comments, we have gotten great insight into the legal and philosophical question of Finland’s immigration policy.If you make a statement that ethnic cleansing was ok for briging peace to Europe after WW2, you have to admit that it is eerie.

      –Note that I am speaking of the so-called humanitarian immigrants, not all immigrants. The largest of these groups in Finland is the Somalis. According to Jorma Vuorio, the director general of Migri, 90 percent of Somali asylum seekers in Finland are illiterate.

      If you consider that the vast majority of Somalis that have entered Finland have been or are refugees, you are suggesting that 90% are illeterate. Maybe the point here is to be extra careful how you phrase a “fact.” Vuori’s statement is an opinion, estimate, taken from a hat and published in the Finnish media.

  16. Juan

    Some questions to ponder on:

    1.) What country does Nokia’s current CEO come from?
    2.) Where are the majority of Nokia handsets manufactured today?
    3.) What country is Nokia’s largest market?
    4.) What language is the primary medium of communication at Nokia offices, Espoo included?
    5.) What company makes the chipset found in every Nokia phone?
    6.) What company will make the operating system for Nokia phones?

    Nokia achieved what it had achieved because it internationalized, it globalized. This was achieved because Olilla had the vision to imagine a Nokia that went beyond the baltic, beyond Scandinavia, and beyond Europe. Sad to say in such a fast paced industry, they did not globalize and internationalize fast enough. A lot of Finns still prefer to see Nokia as a Finnish company rather than a global one. The image of Apple as a global company is one without any national undertones. Nobody thinks of Apple as an “American” phone.

    I used a product such as a cellphone to illustrate the nature of the world we live in. It is international, global, multicultural. That is also the nature of the global workplace. In a global world you cannot expect everyone in your workplace to be named Pekka, Hannu, Timo, Satu, Saara, etc. You cannot expect everyone to have fair skin and light hair. You cannot expect everyone to eat the same food and drink the same coffee as you. Sooner or later there will be somebody at work who will have a different sounding name. He or she might have dark hair and dark skin. He might pack a different lunch than you. All of that should not matter. The only thing that matters is that her or she can do the job. Sweeping statements about migrants not having the necessary education or skills are simply a form of protectionism wherein the native is favored over the migrant.

    In order to attract the right kind of immigrants, you have to make the country receptive to all migrants. Its that simple. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would have been for the Nokia recruitment panel to be asked by Stephen Elop about Timo Soini?

    And by the way, speaking of education, Finland does not have a single university in the Top 100 business schools worldwide. One reason for that is the lack of internationalization of its universities.

    Again, a message to Timo Soini: Finland needs the world more than the world needs Finland.

  17. Klay_Immigrant

    The real ‘insult to over a million Finns’ is to compare them to certain immigrant groups in Finland.

    The emigrant waves from the Nordic countries to North America roughly took place between 1840 and 1910, culmination around 1870-1880. You cannot compare those emigrants with today’s Muslims who flock to Europe.

    The Nordics came to a virtually empty land and had to clear forests, build log cabins, homesteading, building their own villages and communities from the ground up. In short they built part of the country they came to whilst today’s immigrants to Europe come to a highly developed continent providing them with housing, education, social security, medical and dental services, all provided free of charge.

    Care to see the difference?

    • Enrique

      Klay, here is a good clip from Norway speaking out against racism. Warning: It uses strong langauge.

  18. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    Your source of information on emigration from Finland in particular is what, exactly?

    Little House on the Prairie?

  19. Klay_Immigrant

    What’s the point of this? Where’s the facts? If you are going to show a clip of that nature least show real life events. Speaking from personal experiences I’ve been to Norway (Oslo and Stavanger) quite a few times and as a obvious visible foreigner I have never witnessed or come across such behaviour. In fact the people were very friendly. I would say the same with Finland. I havn’t been to Sweden or Denmark so can’t comment on them.

    The bottom line is if you are viewed as someone who has integrated and complies with the culture, attitude, and norms of that country then no matter what you look like you will experience very few problems even from those who oppose mass immigration. If you go out of your way to stand out culturally or relgiously then it’s only natural that people may treat you differently to a native. This happens in all walks of life. Go to an away stadium wearing the opposing team’s shirt, or get blind drunk in a bar in Italy and see how people react to you and it has nothing to do with race or nationality but becasue you are standing for something that is alien.

    • Enrique

      –The bottom line is if you are viewed as someone who has integrated and complies with the culture, attitude, and norms of that country then no matter what you look like you will experience very few problems even from those who oppose mass immigration.

      I think the issue is in between your head, Klay. You seem to have little knowledge about our values as Europeans never mind the spirit of the laws of our respective countries. You are asking immigrants to throw away their culture and adpot a new one. In my opinion that would be confining them to second-class status. Studies have shown that immigrants with a strong sense of themselves adapt better to another culture than those with low self-esteem. If you adpated this way that is fine. You have to respect those that prefer to do it in a different way. That is how our societies work.

  20. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘ You are asking immigrants to throw away their culture and adpot a new one.’

    So it’s ok to adopt a whole new nationality by gaining a passport by throwing away your own nationality but not to do the same culturally. Absolute nonsense and a complete lack of consistency in logic and values.

    • Enrique

      Klay, in my opinion culture does not work in the way you think it does. When a person comes from another country and moves to a new one, he takes on a new culture. Some call this hybrid culture. Moreover, I think it is impossible for people to live in a foreign country and be totally isolated and living like they did back home. For one, their urban enviornment is different to start with.

  21. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    You just defined and advocated the attitude of Uncle Tom. Don’t expect your children to respect you and say he was his own man. They will pity you for your supine character.

    Essentially you are buying into the idea that anyone who is not like you must be evil and untrustworthy, so in order to gain the respect and confidence of others you have to try to ape them, constantly trying to conform to an outside standard at the expense of personal integrity and authenticity. Uncle Tom.

    No, I don’t expect you to understand this. Stick to chemistry.

  22. Klay_Immigrant

    JusticeDemon would you call a White Spaniard an Uncle Tom for assimilating into Finnish society? No because it’s a racial slur to a black person who acts in a way that you disagree with so it’s no better than calling someone a censored. Yup I’m sure my children will respect me more if I FORCE my daughters to wear headscarfs and be bullied in school everyday and to BAN my sons eating at the school canteen with his friends beacuse the meat isn’t halal. I’m sure they will love me more by isolating them from their peers, never allowing them the chance to integrate and participate fully in society.

  23. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘Moreover, I think it is impossible for people to live in a foreign country and be totally apart and living like they did back home.’

    In Finland no, because the immigrant community isn’t large enough yet to create large scale ghettos. But go to parts of Urban Britain or France and you’ll be lucky to see a white native in sight where the main language spoken is foreign with shop and road signs in different text characters, and Islamic schools to educate the young. So it possible and it is happening now in some countries. This is not a hypothesis but reality.

    • Enrique

      Even so, Klay, your view of how people live in their cultures abroad doesn’t work in the way you think. They already live in a foreign country and that means some type of adption. Moreover, those countries offer them the right to express their religion, culture and identity.

  24. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    The contradiction in your response illustrates my point. You didn’t understand. Stick to chemistry.

    I guess you warned your children that Disney films contain dangerous liberal propaganda:

    -Part 1-
    [Ratcliffe]
    What can you expect
    From filthy little heathens?
    Their whole disgusting race is like a curse
    Their skin’s a hellish red
    They’re only good when dead
    They’re vermin, as I said
    And worse

    [English Settlers]
    They’re savages! Savages!

    [Ratcliffe]
    Barely even human

    [English Settlers]
    Savages! Savages!

    [Ratcliffe]
    Drive them from our shore!
    They’re not like you and me
    Which means they must be evil
    We must sound the drums of war!

    [Ratcliffe+English Settlers]
    They’re savages! Savages!
    Dirty redskin devils!
    Now we sound the drums of war!

    [Powhatan]
    This is what we feared
    The paleface is a demon
    The only thing they feel at all is greed

    [Kekata]
    Beneath that milky hide
    There’s emptiness inside

    [Native American]
    I wonder if they even bleed

    [Native Americans]
    They’re savages! Savages!
    Barely even human
    Savages! Savages!

    [Powhatan]
    Killers at the core

    [Kekata]
    They’re different from us
    Which means they can’t be trusted

    [Powhatan]
    We must sound the drums of war

    [Native Americans]
    They’re savages! Savages!
    First we deal with this one
    Then we sound the drums of war

    [English Settlers]
    Savages! Savages!

    [Ben]
    Let’s go kill a few, men!

    [Native Americans]
    Savages! Savages!

    [Ratcliffe]
    Now it’s up to you, men!

    [All]
    Savages! Savages!
    Barely even human!
    Now we sound the drums of war!

    -Part 2-
    [Pocahontas]
    Is there nothing I can do?
    Will this really be the end?
    Is it only death that waits
    Just around the riverbend?

    [Ratcliffe]
    This will be the day …
    (Let’s go men!)

    [Powhatan]
    This will be the morning …
    (Bring out the prisoner)

    [English Settlers and Native Americans]
    We will see them dying in the dust

    [Pocahontas]
    I don’t know what I can do
    Still, I know I’ve got to try

    [English Settlers]
    Now we make ’em pay

    [Pocahontas]
    Eagle, help my feet to fly

    [Native Americans]
    Now without a warning …

    [Pocahontas]
    Mountain, help my heart be great

    [English Settlers and Native Americans]
    Now we leave ’em blood and bone and rust

    [Pocahontas]
    Spirits of the earth and sky …

    [English Settlers and Native Americans]
    It’s them or us

    [Pocahontas]
    Please don’t let it be to late …

    [English Settlers and Native Americans]
    They’re just a bunch of
    Filthy, stinking

    [English Settlers]
    Savages!

    [Native Americans]
    Savages!

    [English Settlers]
    Demons!

    [Native Americans]
    Devils!

    [Ratcliffe]
    Kill them!

    [Native Americans]
    Savages!

    [English Settlers]
    Savages!

    [Ratcliffe+English Settlers]
    What are we waiting for?

    [All]
    Destroy their evil race
    Until there’s not a trace left

    [Pocahontas]
    How loud are the drums of war

    [English Settlers and Native Americans]
    We will sound the drums of war
    (Savages! Savages!)
    Now, we sound the drums of war
    (Savages! Savages!)

    [Ratcliffe]
    Now we see what comes
    Of trying to be chums

    [Native Americans]
    Now we sound the drums … of … war!

    [English Settlers]
    Of course it means the drums … of … war!

    [Pocahontas]
    Is the death of all I love
    Carried in the drumming of war?

  25. Klay_Immigrant

    You forget JusticeDemon that in essence I agree with Finnish society, culture and norms so there is not too much need ‘to conform to an outside standard at the expense of personal integrity and authenticity’. I disagree with Arab culture on the whole so would I never assimilate into their society but that is I suppose irrelevant as I would never choose to live in a country as such no matter how good the offer is because I would not be willing to ‘to conform to an outside standard at the expense of personal integrity and authenticity’, something that you are accusing me of doing.

    • Enrique

      –no matter how good the offer is because I would not be willing to ‘to conform to an outside standard at the expense of personal integrity and authenticity’,

      Ever thought that some people who are not Europeans may feel the same way as you? The difference is that they have many choices, which you have.

  26. Klay_Immigrant

    Enrique if you’re going to quote me at least use the whole sentence, not an extract that could easily mislead what I was saying.

    -‘Ever thought that some people who are not Europeans may feel the same way as you?’

    Ofcourse, not everyone is going to agree with Western culture, and they are entitled to their opinion. But I say to these people is why move to Europe then if you are against what they stand for? Just as I’m against Islamic culture and would not live in an Arab culture for that very reason why can’t non-Europeans who feel the same about the Western culture act the same way as myself. It’s very simple and logical.

    • Enrique

      –But I say to these people is why move to Europe then if you are against what they stand for?

      Some people don’t have that luxury to stay in their home countries. They have to move elsewhere to survive.

  27. Klay_Immigrant

    The only outcome of disdain for your destination country is disharmony and conflict hence the rise of anti-immigration right-wing parties across Europe.

    • Enrique

      –The only outcome of disdain for your destination country is disharmony and conflict hence the rise of anti-immigration right-wing parties across Europe.

      As I mentioned, far-right parties should take part in integration progams. Many of them are lost and hold antiquated, nineteenth-century opinions of other cultures and they peddle their views in the twenty-first century. Sad and unfortuante.

  28. Klay_Immigrant

    Enrique you know just as well as I even though you won’t admit it, that people don’t have to move to Europe especially Finland from non-European countries in order to escape persecution and survive. Many of them are already safe in neighbouring countries before travelling to Europe.

  29. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    It’s frankly amusing to hear you describe how Finnish you think you are (what will happen when Finnish people don’t reciprocate, I wonder), but Ricky has made a perfectly good point about those who don’t have a choice as to where they live. Your formula for people in this situation is precisely to abandon elements of personal identity.

    What IS your reason for coming to Finland anyway and how much genuinely unfettered choice do you have about this? Following a spouse is not an unfettered choice. In some cases it is more reminiscent of how a puppydog behaves.

  30. Klay_Immigrant

    StupidDemon I have never viewed myself as Finnish and certainly don’t expect others to either. I realise and am not naive to think that even after living in Finland for decades this will change.

    During the start of my university life I realised that Britain wasn’t the place I wanted to live in and settle, so after countless hours of research and visiting of European countries (some numerous times) I had my heart set on Finland. This was years before I met my current girlfriend. In fact my knowledge of Finland and Finland related matters provided a foundation of conversation when we first met as she was obviously suprised and intrigued especially as I have no ties to Finland.

    So in other words wanting to live and work in Finland had no influences from being a puppydog of love as you so put it.

  31. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    Then welcome to the filth. Your motivation for coming to Finland is partly discontent with life somewhere else. That’s something that we both have in common with migrant workers and people displaced for humanitarian reasons.

    Time will tell whether the grass is any greener for you in Finland (I found it so, but I am very different from you). You have been warned that you will face prejudice that will very probably damage your career prospects. At some point it will no longer be possible to move out and you will be stuck. Whether you then consider yourself fortunate will largely depend on your character.

    I’d tell you to be careful how you build that character and to learn from the experience of others, but of course you won’t listen.

  32. Hannu

    Justicedemon “Would you name and shame even one refugee or asylum seeker who came to Finland with the express intention of living on social welfare benefits?”

    I can name or “name” as hes only acronym in legal decision. You red that too. http://www.kho.fi/paatokset/48162.htm “B on ilmoittanut, että he eivät voi viettää perhe-elämää Etiopiassa, koska hänellä ei ole työtä siellä. Suomessa se B:n mukaan on mahdollista, koska elämä siellä on ilmaista.”

    • Enrique

      –I can name or “name” as hes only acronym in legal decision.

      Great Hannu! Now you can use that example and pin it on billions of people.

  33. JusticeDemon

    Hannu

    I dealt with this alleged example in my response above (March 15, 2011). Please respond to the points that I made and we can discuss whether this really is an example of what you claim.

    Was “B” interviewed in Finnish? If not, then how did the word ilmainen turn up in that sentence? Is your interpretation consistent with the overall context?

    You can also explain why there seem to be no decisions at all in which benefits paid to an immigrant have been reduced on grounds of refusing work or training.

  34. Hannu

    “Was “B” interviewed in Finnish? If not, then how did the word ilmainen turn up in that sentence? Is your interpretation consistent with the overall context?”

    Well word “free” came up atleast twice and it was constant in way that living wont cost anything, there wastnt really any way to understand it to mean living freely without oppression.

    “You can also explain why there seem to be no decisions at all in which benefits paid to an immigrant have been reduced on grounds of refusing work or training.”

    Mind to eloborate, i dont get your question.

    Enrigue “Great Hannu! Now you can use that example and pin it on billions of people.”
    If i were one of those billions living under 2$ month i would withouth doubt do anything humanly possible to go where i get average year salary in month by just being, other thing is that should payers accept that. You forget that finnish “wellbeing” comes from hard work what my parents and grandparents did, it wasnt somekind of “gift from god”.

    You keep slandering that by telling how terrible it is that we cut and use our nature, do you know that was main bread to my father, grandfather and great grandfather if not further? Do you know that my grandmother and father actually were hungry on most of their childhood and looked war time on eye while they build better future to their childrens? Do you? Do you know that uncle of my granma used to eat anything what dropped in table? you know lick you finger and press over food…
    No, you dont care but we do and we keep doing B grade work (according to you) to keep us fed…
    In short you are an CENSORED telling us how to “understand” people while forgetting people who didnt understand us,

    • Enrique

      –In short you are an CENSORED telling us how to “understand” people while forgetting people who didnt understand us,

      Hannu, you sound like a soap opera!

  35. JusticeDemon

    Don’t give up your day job, Hannu.

    The first use of ilmainen in that judgement is in an extract from the decision of the Directorate of Immigration (17 October 2006). The immediate context is the entire paragraph:

    B on ilmoittanut haluavansa muuttaa Suomeen ainiaaksi, koska tuntuu olevan parempaa elää yhdessä Suomessa. Hän on täsmentänyt olettavansa asian olevan näin, koska hänen poikansa ja veljensä asuvat siellä. Suomesta B ei kertomansa mukaan tiedä mitään. B on ilmoittanut, että he eivät voi viettää perhe-elämää Etiopiassa, koska hänellä ei ole työtä siellä. Suomessa se B:n mukaan on mahdollista, koska elämä siellä on ilmaista. B on lisännyt sairastavansa diabetesta, käyneensä lääkärissä ja saaneensa lääkityksen ja ruokavalio-ohjeet.

    The second use of ilmainen is part of a summary made by the Administrative Court of Kouvola. Here the immediate context at least continues to the end of the sentence:

    Suomesta B ei ole tiennyt haastattelussa mitään muuta kuin, että Suomessa elämä on ilmaista ja voi opiskella.

    It is highly likely that the interview in Addis Ababa was conducted in Somali and translated first into English and then into Finnish. This makes it essential to check the context for internal consistency and conformity with our background knowledge of the situation.

    Further relevant context includes:

    B on perustellut oleskelulupahakemustaan osittain sillä, että hänellä ei ole työtä oleskelumaassaan.

    Perheenkokoajan setä on todennut B:n asuvan Etiopiassa, kuten kymmenet tuhannet muut somalialaiset, ilman oleskelulupaa.

    Suomessa asuva setä on työkyvyttömyyseläkkeellä, elää perheineen toimeentulotuen varassa eikä voi merkittävästi tukea veljensä perhettä Etiopiassa. Perhe on tällä tuella ja vähäpätöisellä työllään elättänyt itsensä.

    The last two points indicate that B has been working in Ethiopia illegally, and we must interpret the phrase hänellä ei ole työtä siellä in this light. It’s clear that B is not work shy, as B has actually been working, and the remark about “not having work” refers to not having the right to work. The associated remark about the right to education reinforces this interpretation. In other words, the entire discussion concerns the impact of Ethiopian legal restrictions on unregistered refugees. These restrictions do not apply in Finland, meaning that from B’s point of view “life in Finland is free”.

    Now read those two uses of “ilmainen” again and consider whether “at no cost” is a consistent way to understand them.

    As I always remind the fundamentalists, the Bible says “there is no God”.

    The specific questions before the court did not depend in any way on whether ilmainen is an accurate choice of adjective here, as opposed to e.g. vapaa, esteetön, laillinen or pakoton. Instead, the court ruled that the applications were based on a scheme to circumvent immigration regulations. In particular there is nothing in the judgment to suggest that applicant B was work shy. This judgement shows no such thing.

  36. JusticeDemon

    Hannu

    “You can also explain why there seem to be no decisions at all in which benefits paid to an immigrant have been reduced on grounds of refusing work or training.”
    Mind to eloborate, i dont get your question.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse, Hannu :-)

    Section 10 of the Income Support Act (1412/97) provides for a reduction in benefits if the claimant refuses of work or training.

    Now if immigrants are work shy and living on benefits, Hannu, how come we don’t have an epidemic of decisions to reduce their benefits?

    Stop playing dumb and answer the question.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, Hannu will not answer that question because it would imply a rethink of his ideas about immigrants. That’s dangerous. It could then spread to the whole TF camp and that would be a bad thing before the election.

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