Finland election: A message that goes much deeper

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

After the election victory of the True Finns on Sunday, sensible Finns are asking Timo Soini’s party to bite the bullet and leave behind the rhetoric and racism that has tainted his party. This may be easier said than done.

Nobody is denying the True Finns their victory but there is great concern that the rise of such a party will fuel hatred, racism, division in society and social inequality.

Such an argument is not out-of-place nor is it alarmist. What kind of Finland do you expect to create if you start attacking the Swedish-speakers, minorities,  immigrants, refugees and all those who do not fit under the “good-fatherland” category?

When a Jussi Halla-aho openly praises the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party and its policies, he is not speaking only about restricting a certain group of immigrants from a country but changing our values as a nation. Such a message poisons the atmosphere stressing differences between people.

What is tragic is that its victims are not the future immigrants and refugees that want to come here but those who have embraced Finland as their home. They are the ones who contribute to this society, work hard and pay taxes.

If you spread the message of hatred and suspicion of other cultures it spills over to the whole immigrant community and, worse, tells their children that Finland is not their home and then claim that people don’t integrate rapidly enough. What kind of society will you build when you instil hostility, racism and exclusion? The answer is obvious.

Such a populist-xenophobic message is also an insult to the over million Finns that live abroad who still have bonds to this nation. The message is a slap in their faces with a rude message: This is our country, not yours.

Is this the type of Finland we want to build in this century? Is it what our grandparents and great grandparents fought for? Didn’t they sacrifice their lives in the Winter War to spare Finland from becoming a totalitarian nation where everyone looks and thinks alike?

The rise of nationalism and racism is like pissing in one pants in the freezing winter. At first the warmth feels fine but then a terrible sensation sets in when the urine cools. You blame others for your shortsightedness and predicament.

  1. Europe

    As you mentioned the Danish peoples party should the issue be not just about within Finland but beyond its borders and into Europe?.On a asylum issue Finland over the last few years has seen a increase of asylum seekers due the fact that other countries have tightened their asylum laws which made Finland’s asylum rules more liberal, because of this Finland have had to tighten their asylum laws, and even without the presence of PS it has already been said that one of the governments first priority is to tighten is family renunciation laws to bring it in line with the rest of Europe. The asylum issue in Europe is now in a situation, that no one country which would have a economic pull for asylum seekers can afford to have a weaker asylum system than another. So technically if the new government rejects the PS polices on asylum it will not have a issue of accepting another’s which came from a party which has a anti immigration rhetoric, it could not afford the crisis which would come to Finland from this . The numbers of migrnats from north Africa coming into Europe has forced many shengen countries to think about returning for a period of time to border checks. So will this also apply to Finland if other countries close to home take the descion to re introduce borders checks?. Thinking that PS are the only political party which can take Finland into a negative field when it comes to immigration over the next government term is not seeing the bigger picture . Because other political parties which are not Finnish political parties do seem to have a influence. So to talk about the how ” Finnish Populist” parties will change Finland over the next few years, I do not think you can do that without bringing the DPP or others into the debate because unless Finland has a ultra liberal government they are going to follow the same path as the DPP maybe not 100 % but enough which shows they are following their line

  2. Juan

    What will happen is that the better off migrants, meaning to say those who have the financial means and the educational qualifications will move elsewhere. These migrants will find options in the UK, Canada, Australia, USA, New Zealand, etc. Who wants to pay taxes in a country when your tax euros fund the likes of the True Finns?

    Next, Finns with foreign spouses might consider leaving. The atmosphere of xenophobia will certainly spill over to schoolyard. Their children who have foreign features and names might face more targeted bullying. Teachers with sympathies to the True Finns might just look the other way or tell them that they are being bullied because they must conform.

    Pretty soon some nutjob will see this as an imprimatur to pick up a pistol at his favorite asekauppa and send a few “mammus” to Jumalla on the eastbound metro.

    By the way, what is the stand of the True Finns on gun ownership?

    • Enrique

      –What will happen is that the better off migrants, meaning to say those who have the financial means and the educational qualifications will move elsewhere.

      This is a good question, Juan. If we want skilled immigrants to move here we need a new approach. It is a bit wishful thinking that there are hordes of professionals out there screaming to get in the country. Finland competes for labor with others like England, Germany, Sweden and others.

      The question is if Finland is a receptive, immigrant-friendly country? If it’s not, then it is going to have a problem attracting people. Apart from work and salary, quality of life is important. Are there international schools in Finland? Will my children be accepted? Is there discrimination? Racism? If you were a Finnish professional going to work in a country, the first thing you would want to find out if you are welcome. Does all this Halla-aho stuff do us any good? Will we attract the people we want if we turn into a Denmark?

      The figures speak for themselves. I would not waste my time and move to a country where immigrants are more welcome.

    • Enrique

      Juan, in the US we had a tv series called “To tell the truth.” All three of the guests had the same name and the panel had to figure out who was not the imposter. This is a bit like the True Finns: Who are they and what kind of a Finland do they want? Conservative, xenophobic or one that furthers social justice and equality for ALL? Will the real True Finn ideology please stand up?

  3. Paavo

    Juan, if I understood correctly, True Finns wants the old gun law back or at least change it not to be as strict :/
    http://www.perussuomalaiset.fi/ajankohtaista/?issue=619

    Btw, what makes True Finns xenophobic or racist? Even though I do support immigration, I don’t think it is racist if we can hear positive and negative sides of the immigration. We have heard only the positive side of the story from the old government, so maybe it is time for some criticism? It doesn’t help immigrants or Finns if we just ignore the problems… it will only increase the racism. If we know the problems and discuss about them openly, then we might be able to fix them, don’t you agree?

    • Enrique

      Hi Paavo, let’s discuss the problems. I don’t think anyone is avoiding them. What specific ones would you like to elaborate on?

  4. Europe

    I do not think skilled immigrants would have a problem working in Finland , If Finland where to have tighter immigration laws concerning illegal immigration.If anything most skilled immigrants would agree with Finland stance on this matter and see it as a sensible measure.

    I do not think there was a poll taken about the numbers of immigrants who live in Finland who support PS which I think there should have been. Even though there would not be a high number there would be enough to show that the argument is not just “Us” and “Them” and would open the debate up more . Instead of is seeing it as a two sided view.

    • Enrique

      Hi Europe and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

      –I do not think skilled immigrants would have a problem working in Finland , If Finland where to have tighter immigration laws concerning illegal immigration.If anything most skilled immigrants would agree with Finland stance on this matter and see it as a sensible measure.

      What specifically do you think should be changed in the law? You mentioned earlier that Finland asylum-laws are more liberal than elsewhere in Europe. This is why the number of asylum-seekers is rising in Finland, according to you. I think it is the other way around. We had a higher number in 2009 but then it dropped dramatically in 2010. Compared to other European countries, the amount of asylum-seekers is small in Finland.

      Here are the latest Eurostat figures:
      http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-29032011-AP/EN/3-29032011-AP-EN.PDF

      My whole point with respect to tightening immigration is the atmosphere it creates. I do think we have a pretty strict immigration policy but what do we want to do? Tighten just for the sake of tigthening it? How many MPs candidates have read the current immigration law? I doubt many. Much of this talk is a fad. It is in vogue to be tough on immigrants and immigration. When you do that it spills over to the rest of the immigrants in Finland. You would have to be naive not to see that.

  5. Europe

    “We had a higher number in 2009 but then it dropped dramatically in 2010”

    Thats because Finland passed laws to bring them in line with other countries in Europe before this from lets say 2009- 2010 a cold backwater in the northern part of Europe had more open asylum policy than many other countries. Now theses laws are fairly the same so its fair to see where asylum seekers would rather claim asylum.
    Of course Finland does have tough asylum laws but other countries in Europe have more tougher laws than Finland. That is the motivation for asylum laws in Finland its based on what other countries in Europe are doing .

    “I do think we have a pretty strict immigration policy but what do we want to do? Tighten just for the sake of tigthening it?”

    But that is what Europe is doing now, if one country starts then another will follow. The Schengen debate at the moment could be a example of this, first it was France in a few weeks time is could be all states. Asylum is maybe one of the few issues that if a government takes a tougher line then is no loss to that country for doing so.

    • Enrique

      Europe, I think we are losing sight of the issue: Why do we give asylum to people? Because they are fleeing from war and persecution. If your objective is to create strong laws so you don’t give asylum to people who really need it, then that is a moral issue as well. What is our responsibility? Remember, one day things can change. We may have to flee Finland or Europe for a certain reason. It has happened before. Would you like then for politicians to use you in that country as political fodder and call you “welfare shopper” as some in in Finland when you need asylum?

  6. Europe

    The issue of Asylum from a moral viewpoint is not seen by many countries as the foundation to base there asylum policies around. Before the election there was mention that only a few percentage of the population in Finland are immigrants and that only around 30% are asylum seekers and that asylum claims are only a fraction of those in other countries, which is correct but they are not seeing the bigger picture to this story about what is happing in Europe . No country in the EU or Western Europe would dare to have a liberal view on asylum anymore when so many are not.

    How would Finland’s asylum laws be if PS where not going to play a role in the new government? the answer is not really much different. It would just be longer for them to reach the same conclusion as what PS are saying now.

    • Enrique

      Europe, one matter we have to look at is the big picture. Why do people seek asylum in Europe? What have we done to reduce strife, improve living standards and the like these places? It’s like the revolutions spreading in the Arab world. We conveniently thought that by supporting repressive regimes these dictators would keep people from migrating to Europe. Now we are paying a very big price for such a policy. It is only natural that people will flee war and failed states. Millions of Europeans did that in the nineteenth and part of the twentieth century. So, the question is a policy that takes a more outside-Europe perspective.

      –How would Finland’s asylum laws be if PS where not going to play a role in the new government? the answer is not really much different. It would just be longer for them to reach the same conclusion as what PS are saying now.

      What specifically in the law is different what the PS is asking and say the last government? If you look at the big parties, all of them have had a pretty careful stance on immigration. The PS policy on immigration-refugees is a ditto of the government’s. The difference is that the PS has far-right Suomen Sisu members among its ranks. Granted, Kokoomus has Wille Rydman and the SDP Kari Rajamäki but none of these parties have so many as the PS.

      When you speak of Halla-aho or James Hirvisaari and others, you bring up eerier things to the argument like “racial hygiene.” In other words, they are not bringing anything constructive to the debate but an extremist view that is supported by racism. If this is their view of other cultures, what do you believe they think about Finnish culture?

      For this reason it is important that Timo Soini, if he is sensible and willing to take the role of a statesman, must distance himself from these types of far-right ideologies. Unfortunately, he has used Islamophobia to further his political ambitions by keeping these Suomen Sisu members under his wing and protection.

  7. Europe

    Of course asylum laws are being changed because of events outside of Europe, but Finland was not the first country in Europe to change theses laws How many immigration laws have been brought into force in Finland over the last few years because the actions of other countries in Europe ? . If Europe keeps tightening immigration laws and if there still is a will in Finland to follow suit nuiva could easily be the immigration manifesto for various parties in the next election. The immigration debate in Finland will be about legal immigration, but when it comes to illegal immigration even if we did not have PS the nuivan asylum policies would still be put into place by most government parties

    • Enrique

      Europe, could you tell us what in particular in the Nuiva proclamation you think other parties should follow. You have to look at who drafted that document. Most of them are far-right Suomen Sisu members who have their own view of “race.” I doubt that it would be adopted because it isn’t inclusive and does not conform with our Constitution and Equality Act. Their main case is assimilation and that Finland should not tolerate any other cultures. Is that what other political parties should follow? I doubt it.

      By the way, there was an interesting analysis in the Financial Times on the election. It states that the True Finns’ election victory “detonated the biggest bomb in Finnish politics since the nation’s declaration of independence in 1917.” Wasn’t a similar bomb detonated in the 1970s with SMP’s victory?

      The FT takes note of the True Finns’ anti-immigration sentiment and their hostility to Swedish-speakers: “Like similar parties in the Nordic region, as well as Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the True Finns also play the anti-immigrant card. Foreigners make up just 2.5 per cent (It should read 2.9%) of Finland’s 5.3m inhabitants, much less than in other European countries. But the True Finns have not hesitated to label immigrants as “gang rapists” and “parasites on taxpayers’ money”. In a uniquely Finnish twist, they are especially hostile to Finland’s native Swedish minority, which accounts for 5.6 per cent of the population.”

  8. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘In a uniquely Finnish twist, they are especially hostile to Finland’s native Swedish minority, which accounts for 5.6 per cent of the population.’

    As usual the press has been misinforming the public of PS views on this topic. They don’t want to ban the teaching of Swedish language in schools but just merely not make it compulsary allowing children a choice on which language to study instead. Finnish children nearly always choose English as their foreign language and with mandatory Swedish that means they have to study a fourth language in order to learn a language different to the near entire age group of the country. There’s no question of doubt that languages such as Spanish, French, German or even Russian are more useful than Swedish so surely by diversifying the languages learnt by the youth of Finland that is advantageous and positive for the country?

    • Enrique

      Yes, Klay, the FT is “manipulating and misinforming” the poor gullable public. In the first place you live in England so it is difficult for you to grasp what is going on in Finland. Here is a small history lesson: Finland is officially a bilingual country. This means that Finnish and Swedish are taught at schools are part of the curriculum. One can study other langauges along with those two. Most people with gray matter in Finland speak three or more langauges. In my home all of use speak 3-4 langauges fluently. No big deal.

      Just like asking to tighten immigration policy, asking to do away with mandatory Swedish goes much deeper. It is a long-range plan by some to weaken the Swedish-speaking minority. I am particularly proud that a country like Finland had the vision when it gained independence to adopt two official langauges.

  9. Europe

    “Europe, could you tell us what in particular in the Nuiva proclamation you think other parties should follow”

    Its other political parties you should be asking if the front national or Danish Peoples Party implement polices which you find in Nuiva . If it then has a negative knock on effect to Finland then the Finnish parliament would have have no other choice to do the same. As the government has already talked about changing family reunification this this shows that they are thinking the same way as the True Finns and as Nuiva on illegal immigration .

    • Enrique

      –Its other political parties you should be asking if the front national or Danish Peoples Party implement polices which you find in Nuiva .

      Europe you are the one supporting this document. As I mentioned the people who drafted it are on the far-right in their political beliefs (Suomen Sisu), they are reticent to cultural diversity and have an ethnocentric view of their culture.

      In places where I have given talks I have said that any integration plan that works is fine. Assimilation, which is heavily supported in Nuiva, doesn’t work. You don’t integrate people into a society by creating a tottem pole where you are on top and the others are on bottom; let’s be honest, some of the concepts in it are straight from the nineteenth century. That document if implemented would cause a lot of social problems. It’s their view and expectation of how immigrants should adapt to this country. It is one-way integration, maassa maan tavalla, which means I seat on my behind and you do the adapting. Poor choice.

    • Enrique

      –From which party and who do you think will be the next minster of immigration when the new cabinet is formed?

      I want all the ministers in the next cabinet to be qualified, have political experience and be fair.

  10. Paavo

    – Hi Paavo, let’s discuss the problems. I don’t think anyone is avoiding them. What specific ones would you like to elaborate on?

    I think there are several questions what might be in people’s head. Do refugees really get better social benefits than unemployed Finnish citizen in Finland? How could we improve their integration to Finnish society? How could we avoid the same problems as other European countries with immigration? And so on… it would be important to hear all sides of the immigration… from Finnish citizen, from refugees/immigrants, from PS etc. And most important: not to put all foreigners in one group!

    – I am particularly proud that a country like Finland had the vision when it gained independence to adopt two official langauges.

    Maybe you, but all polls shows that even 80% supports making mandatory Swedish voluntary. Shouldn’t we listen majority like in good democratic countries? Or maybe even let people vote?

    • Enrique

      Hi Paavo, I’ll try to answer your questions the best I can.
      –I think there are several questions what might be in people’s head. Do refugees really get better social benefits than unemployed Finnish citizen in Finland?
      The issue here is what an appropriate amount is taking into account matters like cost-of-living. A person who gets unemployment can apply for different types of support. I doubt that a country like Finland, which has decades of experience in managing a social welfare state and has qualified civil servants would give special allowances to refugees. This is a myth and a stereotype. Living off social welfare does not lead to a life of riches no matter who you are. Certainly some immigrant families may have more children than Finnish ones, don’t have expensive habits like drinking alcohol and may know how to live frugally. There is a lot of jealousy among some Finns and immigrants (politicians exploit this). An example in my home town were the South Sudanese who were accused of “living off the fat of social welfare” when each family bought a car. Do you know how they did it? Every month all the members of the South Sudanese community loaned a certain amount of money to one of their members so he could buy a car. They rotated until all of them were able to purchase a car. Apart from not having expensive habits and living frugally, some refugees know how to manage their money effectively like in the South Sudanese case.
      Check out the well-informed comments of JusticeDemon.
      –How could we improve their integration to Finnish society?
      What do you mean by “integration?” When is a person integrated into our society? Does it mean that he speaks Finnish but is unemployed or speaks little Finnish and is employed? If Finland has over 8% of the economically active population unemployed, does it mean that they are all maladapted? Or are there only maladapted immigrants and refugees because they are unemployed and come from other countries? By integration we could mean that the person is content with himself in the community.
      Let me give you what happened to my father when we moved the United States. He was never “adapted” to the United States because he did not like the language, lifestyle and the country’s foreign policy. Even so, he was employed, spoke broken English with a heavy accent. Despite these matters, he made a lot of money and a career for himself. He even studied on the side and got his masters degree while working and being a father. Was my father adapted? What benchmarks are you using to answer that question?
      Integration, or adaption as I like to call it, is a two-way process. Both sides have to make the effort. And if we live in a culturally diverse society based on liberal Western democratic laws, it requires a lot from us – mainly acceptance of others as the first big step. Even so, we have the right to make choices in our society. We don’t have a culture police breathing down our necks.
      –How can we avoid the same problems of other European countries?
      Who says that we aren’t already? Albeit small (2.9% of the population), we do have immigrants and minorities living in this country. One of the biggest issues when speaking of immigration in Europe is inclusion. In most countries, like Germany, the idea is that immigrants went to work and then RETURNED to their home countries. There was no acceptance of immigrants as equal members of society. In England you can be a Brit but never an Englishman/woman if you are from another country. France is a good example of the latter as well never mind the Eastern European countries where they still have not solved minority issues like with the Roma. The whole issue boils down to acceptance, inclusion and equal opportunities. If you exclude with hatred you will create a social problem.
      Some Finns place a lot of emphasis on language. It is important, but they naively think that after you learn Finnish well, you are accepted and “integrated.” However, we have examples of countries like Spain with large Latin American communities that speak Spanish as their mother tongue, form part of the same religion (Catholic) and have a good knowledge of Spanish culture because their countries were former colonies.
      Moreover, our history in Europe is strongly linked to nationalism and war. As our armies developed so did the financial sector to finance such campaigns. Look at eugenics before the horrors of WW2. The whole idea of eugenics was to justify murder and war on a grand scale on the basis of ethnicity. When Europe conquered most of Africa and part of Asia, it tried to justify this type of exploitation by “proving” that it was more advanced than these societies; ie they had a right to exploit these people’s resources because they were “smarter” and “civilized.” As you know, the horrors of WW1 ended that type of romantic view of the European, who was quite barbarian if we use that war as a benchmark.
      So, I actually think that our social policy and our laws (values) in Finland can lead to better success than in other countries in Europe. Why? Because one of the noblest values we cherish is social equality for all. That “all” includes newcomers that move here.

    • Enrique

      Hi Mark, I could not agree more with you: you reap what you sow. To base a campaign on bashing minorities and blaming them for our problems is stooping very low. Doesn’t say much about the character of some of the True Finns. The FT speaks of an “ice cream vendor” who got elected on the PS ticket. Do you or anyone know who he/she is? Kaj Turunen, possibly, from Savonlinna?

    • Enrique

      –Maybe you, but all polls shows that even 80% supports making mandatory Swedish voluntary. Shouldn’t we listen majority like in good democratic countries? Or maybe even let people vote?

      We don’t govern by polls. Undermining the role of Swedish in our country, an official language equal to Finnish, would have a negative impact on our society.You know as well as I do that that would be the first nail on the Swedish language coffin in this country. When you attack immigrants and refugees in a hostile fashion, it also spills over to other minorities. This is a fine example. This debate going on in Finland is due to growing xenophobia.

  11. Allan

    I dont think the opposition to the obligatory Swedish language can be said to be “xenophobia” as its not anything alien as its been around hundreds of years, and nothing people are afraid of either. The official status of Swedish was retained in the 1920’s when the demographics and political power situations were totally different. This “pakkoruotsi” or obligatory Swedish in schools was an idea put forth in the 1970’s when the peruskoulu replaced the two-path system in education. It has nothing to do with official bilingualism per se. Fact is the Swedish language might one day be a smaller language than some other minority language in Finland. Sami languages for example are official but they do not have any obligatory pakkosaame learning for the Finnish-speakers in Lapland. Why would it be objectionable to adapting a minority languages law as they do have in Sweden?

    • Enrique

      –I dont think the opposition to the obligatory Swedish language can be said to be “xenophobia” as its not anything alien as its been around hundreds of years, and nothing people are afraid of either.

      Certainly it is, Alan. It is the consequence of the xenophobia that has grown in this society. And I suspect you use these arguments because your not a Swedish speaker to begin with.

    • Enrique

      –That is about as lame as if I said how can you talk about womens rights if you are not a woman?

      No it isn’t. In a democratic society you ask other people’s opinion and take them into consideration. One matter that has amazed me when speaking about immigrants are the generous quantity of white Finns telling us what they think is right for the immigrant and their children. You only do that because immigrants and their children do not form any important political group like women. I think this whole debate and the hosility at Swedish speakers is shameful and unjustified. It’s the blame culture of the populists. Sounds familiar, no?

  12. Mark

    Allan

    lol. I did laugh when I read that comment Allan, about being able to talk about women’s rights if you are not a woman, because that is quite a big deal in the women’s movement. Lots of men have wanted to comment on women’s rights, even from a profeminist point of view, but women’s groups are very clear in saying that women must speak for women, and that the era of men somehow taking on the right to talk about ‘life is a woman’ is just not on. Of course, there are issues that cross gender boundaries, and we are entitled as men to our opinions about issues that exclusively effect women, but at the end of the day, the whole point of the women’s movement has been to move out of the shadow of ‘men speaking on behalf of women’. In the same way, it is important with minorities to respect their voice and to recognise that the majority will never truly appreciate what it means to live a life as part of a minority! A brief experience is not the same as a lifetime’s experience!

    So, Allan, maybe it’s time you broadened your understanding, on the basis of an acceptance that your own ‘voice’ doesn’t speak all truth, and the hearing the voice of other people with different experiences is an important part of making up for your lack of ‘voice’ on issues that don’t really affect you!

    • Enrique

      Mark that was spot on as the Brits say. That is the whole problem with the debate on immigration, immigrants and minorities in Finland. You have laymen who have little if no idea about an issue; PS ice-cream vendors giving their “expert” opinions on immigration policy. Their answers are like the populist parties throughout Europe: simplistic solutions to a complex issue. Certainly they can make all the comments they want but once you criticize them back they are quick to point out how “misinformed” you are or, worse, that you don’t understand “their reality.” That “understanding of their reality” is nothing more than outright censorship.

    • Enrique

      Hi xyz, great to see you on this blog. I read the article in HS about the USAmerican looking for work in Finland. Sad case.

  13. Juan

    That case is quite typical. You may have a degree from Harvard but the Employment office will still send you to some ammattikoulu!

  14. Niko

    The immigrant xyz mentioned is quite “dream immigrant”. However, you should all remember that we have also thousands of Finns with high education (and some even with several years of experience), but without jobs. It doesn’t matter if the person is a Finns or foreigner without job – both of the cases are sad. And also we have many immigrants with jobs (at least in IT-industry where I work).

    We can also consider this: if there are two candidates for the job with same level of education, same among experience, good social skills etc. but the other can speak more languages than the other. Which one would you pick?

  15. xyz

    Niko: Would you pick somebody who never got his ass up and lived his whole life in Finland?
    If this country is so great, why are there so many immigrants who leave this country after 2 or 3 years? Most of my friends left already.

    For example I have a friend from Italy, it took her 2.5 years to find a job as an assistant in a logistics company. Then she left to Germany and got a job as a Sales Manager after 10 days even so she was not fluent in German.

    There are as good as no career perspectives here…except you want to be a cleaner or bus driver. Also employers know exactly in which situation an immigrant is in Finland. They can do whatever they want with this person.

    And I am quite tired of the story…”we have so many unemployed Finns, how can we hire a foreigner…” bla bla. Lets send also those 1.000.000 Finns from other countries home to Finland who take jobs away from other countries…1.000.000 Finns in exchange of 150.000 immigrants. That would be a great deal.

  16. Niko

    xyz: Sorry, but did I hurt your feelings or something? I never said that a person “who never got his ass up” should be hired instead of more experienced candidate. I just said that if there are two equally good candidates, you would hire the person with something extra… for example, in this case the knowledge of local language.

    I have several foreigner friends who studied and are now working in Finland. And not as cleaners or bus drivers. And no, they don’t even look like Finns if you are going to show the racism card. Even I worked my ass off to just get the first job.

  17. xyz

    Maybe would make more sense to get somebody into the parliament who has some knowledge how to deal with economic problems rather than putting the wheel into the hands of some anti-immigrants…

  18. xyz

    Niko, of course I agree that if 2 people are equally qualified then the guy who has more skills will get the job. I just want to say that if you dont speak fluent Finnish (thats the reason for rejections I always get since 3 years) then you will stick with jobs nobody else want to do. I think it is not reasonable to think that everybody is able to speak fluent Finnish as soon as they arrive in Finland. Also I am not sure if every immigrant want to study a couple of years Finnish until he/she is able to enter the job market. Not that you have been out of your profession for a couple of years, you also need to finance it. Further, I don’t see the point to require fluent Finnish skills if everybody in the company is able to speak English and the job does not really require any Finnish skills.

  19. Niko

    May I ask in which field are you working in? Our company (capital area) is looking for new professionals all the time and maybe 40% of our employees are foreigner. Of course if you have no experience, then it is very, very difficult to find a job. Doesn’t matter if you are Finn or foreigner.

  20. Niko

    Then it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a job (if you have experience). Of course if you are picky with the salary or job description, then it is always harder. Let’s say you want to do programming? How about applying first to some junior tester job? Symbio, HiQ, Accenture etc. are at least hiring that kind of people. But if you have been without job for three years then it might hurt your changes…

  21. xyz

    Accenture, HiQ require Finnish since their clients want Finnish speakers. Have contacted them already several times.

    Have worked in Ireland last year since there was no job in Finland…now I am looking for a job since January here in Finland again.

  22. Allan

    Enrique – I think a lot of the hostility is actually directed at the SFP rather than individuals. I see a lot of polarisation on this liberal-conservative axis and the SFP and Greens are definitely on the liberal side, as is the Left Alliance and National Coalition secretariats as well, though what that small Obama-wannabe-photoshop NC youth leaders statements were that would not be possible in any of the others. Or maybe the old union wing of the Left, they are pretty conservative in their values as well. And there were some old ecofascists leaving the Greens but SFP has no internal opposition. What little I gathered from all that voting campaigning I might have missed something, but it seemed there was a definite young-old difference in some parties.

    Mark – I do agree, I find it quite annoying here, being a minority of one, there are some people going around demanding this and that in the name of immigrants. They never asked me anything.

  23. Allan

    “now I am looking for a job since January here in Finland again.”

    The IT job situation in Finland is not looking that good with all those Nokia layoffs. Today they announced Tieto CEO got sacked, last time they changed CEO there were a lot of layoffs.

    Funny thing I got a job offer from Ireland – because I spoke Finnish. Pay was dismal though, even for a helpdesk. The economic situation is not that good anywhere really.

  24. Niko

    xyz, don’t give up. If you have at least that one year experience from Ireland in IT industry, then you have better change to find a job . I was actually working abroad myself one year, before got the job in Finland…. helped me a lot. You should try the same companies you tried before (Accenture, HiQ etc.) even they have many Finnish required projects, they have also projects which requires only English.

  25. xyz

    Thanks Niko. I can contact those companies again. However, my past experience with them was always that they require fluent Finnish. Especially with those 1400 layoffs in Finland I suppose there will be not many jobs available. Most likely the only solution is to work in a different field or move to another country. I think that Finland should do more in order to get foreign investors/businesses to Finland. Not sure how achievable this is however…

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