BBC: True Finns leader Timo Soini explains his party ethos

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Here is an interesting short BBC video on the “obscure euroskeptic” True Finns party. The reporter tries to find out who are the “True Finns.”

The 7:23-minute video gets more critical at the end.

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In April Finnish nationalist party True Finns, which is anti-immigration and staunchly Euro-sceptic, saw a dramatic surge in support in the country’s general election. The party quadrupled its share of the vote to win 39 seats in the 200-member parliament.

Newsnight’s David Grossman went to meet the group’s leader Timo Soini to find out more about them and what they represent.

Click to watch video.

Broadcast on Tuesday 10 May 2011.

  1. Mark

    Should have had Jeremy Paxman interviewing him – it wouldn’t have been so cosy then. Questions like – if you ever leave the Euro for real, you know that the run on the banks would kill your ‘new’ currency stone dead and lead to the worst recession ever seen in a European country? Come on, Timo, who are you kidding by talking about Norway – everyone knows they are already outside the Eurozone and have a stable currency backed by hydrocarbon assets. Finland’s economy would be roasted, wouldn’t it, Timo? And so, Timo are you going to condemn these more extremist elements or not, or do you have them in your party because behind the happy jovial facade, you actually agree with them? I mean, it is your party, isn’t it Timo, you did after all start it with your pals in the sauna one day? How do you feel about it being hijacked by a bunch of fascists who admire the writings of famous Nazis? Come on, Timo, you don’t really expect us to believe that Finland has always been one of the healthy economies in Europe, less than a decade ago, it was Finland going to the international community looking for bailouts during it’s recession. Surely you are not saying that loans are okay for Finland when it’s in a jam, but not for anyone else in Europe? I mean, many would say Finland was very foolish to rely almost solely on it’s trade with a disintegrating Soviet block, no?

    • Enrique

      Hi Mark, I totally agree. At the end a picture starts to emerge of who the PS are. Don’t worry, the tragic-comic play will bring us more surprises along the way.

    • Enrique

      Norway is not an example because it is the Saudi Arabia of Europe.

  2. Sassu

    I must say that I sense some kind of hostility this year in Finland’s politics (to all directions) and that’s why it quite nice that Finland sent him to represent Finland this year to Eurovision 😛

    • Enrique

      Hi Sassu, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for the nice video clip. Let’s see how he does on Saturday. Reaching the finals is already an achievement.

  3. Mark

    PO lives not far from me and my Finnish wife is in love with him! But then again, she was in love with Alexander Rybek, too, for days and weeks playing his God damn videos!

    I’m telling myself she’ll get over this one like she did the last one! 😉 Oh well, I guess that leaves me free to be in love with Lena Meyer-Landrut; nice to see her back – you don’t see many people defending their Eurovision crown. Really pleased for PO though. And going first on Saturday!!!!!

    And, rest assured that Soini and his cronies will almost certainly not be watching…lol!

  4. Allan

    JD – what would come and bite? The truth? The truth is that Greece cooked the books to get to the Euro and it wasnt the only country to do so.

    • Enrique

      –The truth is that Greece cooked the books to get to the Euro and it wasnt the only country to do so.

      Fair enough, Allan. But what do you suggest? Let loose a financial crisis that would sink the euro and the EU? Like some PS MPs immigration is an obsession. Anti-EU sentiment is Soini’s.

  5. Allan

    It is the same dilemma as with a fully functioning welfare state, you need to have everyone working towards the same goal. You cannot afford “multiculturalism”.

    Being anti-EU is after all “multicultural”, you have EU-culture and anti-EU culture. 😉

    To get it to work you have to work it like the Legion. It is diverse, but the only “culture” is “legio patria nostra”.

    And for the EU – maybe in a 100 years if it stays without collapsing, too fast too soon.

  6. Johanna

    Mark, I agree that was a bit too cosy. By the end I half expected them to go on a fishing trip together and then start picking out curtains. And I find it hard to believe they didn’t get any vox pops about the PS or about Soini apart from that unfortunate beard on the steps of parliament.

    Disappointing – my Finnish is still under development so I was hoping for an English-language primer, but that was a bit… guh. I feel slightly dirty now.

  7. Mikko

    Enrique, what do you think will happen to True Finns now? Do you think their popularity will decrease because they are avoiding their responsibilities or will it increase because they stand behind their words?

  8. Mark

    Mikko

    I take it that is an open question to anyone who reads this blog. I’d say it’s a strategic decision to build up their popularity. They are calculating that they can act as an effective ‘opposition’ and build on the existing sense of disatisfaction.

    • Enrique

      Mikko, welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for the good question:

      –Do you think their popularity will decrease because they are avoiding their responsibilities or will it increase because they stand behind their words?

      A lot depends on what is going to happen in Europe. If things blow over this will not be a good matter for the PS, which will see its popularity decrease. If Europe suffers many financial hiccups this will benefit PS. However, whichever way Europe goes, the EU must survive as well as EMU.

      At the end of the day it’s the economy. If the economic situation worsens with the new government, voters are going to be pretty angry. However, even if the PS gets more votes, do they have an answer to some of the biggest issues facing Finland? These are: economic growth, jobs, financing the welfare state, decreasing poverty… In these challenges the EU plays a crucial role. Undermining the EU or hoping that it will dissolve is not a good prospect for Finland. If Europe sinks so does Finland.

      Nationalism and xenophobia offered by some PS members will not solve problems but worsen them.

      Did you notice that I did not put immigration-refugees as a pressing national issue? The problem will be attracting skilled workers to Finland as our population ages. Can a party like the PS lure such people? I doubt it.

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