HS.fi: Soini sai puolustella omiaan Pietarissakin

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: One of the surprising matters about the ongoing debate in Finland on immigrants, immigration and refugees is that politicians forget that their comments have a much wider audience than they think. This is especially true of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, which has poured on with gusto its anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric up to the April election.

This time Russian journalists in St. Petersburg had the opportunity to quiz PS chairman Timo Soini about his party’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Russian sentiment.

Soini told the journalists that for him Norway was a model country that he’d want Finland to emulate. In his usual populist style, Soini forgot to mention that Finland does not have such a luxury because it isn’t the Saudi Arabia of Europe like Norway.

A question by a Russian journalist caught Soini by surprise when he asked the PS leader if a Breivik-type killer would emerge in Finland if we followed in Norway’s footsteps.

Soini disagreed because he said that there was no relation between the two matters.

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Perussuomalaiset ja Timo Soini kiinnostivat pietarilaistoimittajia tiistaina enemmän kuin kaupungissa vieraileva eduskunnan ulkoasiainvaliokunta. Venäläistoimittajat tenttasivat valiokunnan puheenjohtajaa Soinia etenkin perussuomalaisten viileästä suhtautumisesta Euroopan unioniin ja maahanmuuttoon, mukaan lukien venäläisiin.

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  1. JusticeDemon

    Finland’s situation on joining the European Union more closely resembled that of Iceland at present, insofar as the country was seeking an export-driven recovery from an extremely severe recession. The EU was already Finland’s largest export market, and so harmonisation with Community standards was already inevitable. The only serious question was whether Finland would have a seat at the table when those standards were decided.

    It’s worth pointing out that Polish plumbers and comparable EU migrants have the same right to migrate to Norway as to any European Union Member State. Norway is also bound by the terms and conditions of the Turkey-EU association agreement, which grants immigration privileges to Turkish citizens.

    If Norway disagrees with any EU policy proposal (e.g. concerning food standards or heavy goods vehicle dimensions), then in practice its only channel of significant influence is via the three Nordic countries that are EU Member States. In other words, the route to Brussels runs via Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki. Norway will not be asked whether it approves of full EU membership for Turkey or other candidate countries, but it will be bound by the Community law consequences of any such expansion all the same.

    Soini’s observation about the relationship between his party and Breivik invites the famous response of Mandy Rice-Davies. It’s quite clear which party a Finnish counterpart of Breivik would support, and it’s equally clear which party would not instantly and instinctively ostracise a person with such views. Indeed you can see the same rhetoric coming from Finnish members and supporters of that party on hommaforum and elsewhere.

  2. BlandaUpp

    Soini is clearly not in touch with reality on too many levels. If he tried the Norway approach here, we would reach Greek debt levels within 5 years.

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