Many of us have read about recent events at the Kolari asylum reception center in northern Finland. Considering that the far-flung reception center is located in the middle of nowhere 80km north of the Arctic Circle, one could ask what is more important: the well-being of its asylum seekers, or regional policy to keep Finland populated?
Everyone knows that the populist anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a member of the government with the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP). The latter two parties permit the PS to steal their thunder on anti-immigration rhetoric and policy for support of their austerity policies.
Some 120 asylum seekers participated in a peaceful demonstration Wednesday. Read full story here.
The immigration policy of the PS can be described as xenophobic. The party sees most migrants in Finland with suspicion and hasn’t hidden its contempt for them.
Read the PS’ immigration policy here.
You don’t need to be an expert on immigration to understand that placing people in the middle of nowhere, like at the Kolari reception center, is going to bring problems sooner or later. How rapidly problems will surface hinges on the management.
What happened at Kolari was expected.
Forcing people to live in faraway and isolated places because it serves regional policy and the whims of the PS is not only bad policy but inhumane.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”