Let's keep Finland a good country to live in

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

When I grew up in Finland during part of my childhood and adolescence one matter became clear: I wanted to move here permanently when I became an adult. How did I succeed at making a living in Finland back in the 1980s and beyond? 

Adapting to a country like Finland felt sometimes like sojourning on a long and winding path. Despite the many curves and uncertainties, the right people appeared at the right time. Without them, I would be most likely writing this blog entry from California.

When I moved back to Finland in December 1978, one of the matters that struck me wasn’t the freezing temperatures but how few foreigners lived in the country. At the time there were under 10,000. Many of them weren’t what we’d call “real” foreigners since they were native Finns who had become naturalized citizens of another country.

I had many personal reasons for moving back. One of these was to live in a country that was at peace with itself and wasn’t waging war against other nations. My country of birth, Argentina, wasn’t a very promising prospect to build a home and family since it was ruled at the time by a ruthless military regime that had no respect for human rights. Probably the most important reason of all for moving back here was those wonderful summers I spent in Eastern Finland with my grandparents.

Those two-and-a-half months I spent with my grandparents were like entering a totally different world compared with the mad rush of Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. In summertime near Mikkeli, time nearly stopped amid those dreamy lazy summertime landscapes.

While I could not place my finger on it, there was something that bothered and concerned me about my new home. Many years later I figured out what it was.  It was the near-total disregard by some Finns, the authorities and laws for my fragmented Finnish ancestry. The law determined that only the children of Finnish fathers had citizenship rights.

You could have probably guessed that my first big disappointment took place at the Finnish Immigration Service, which was then called the Aliens’ Office. A cantankerous official snapped back at me for asking her why I had to go through so much red tape to get a residence permit if my mother was Finnish.

“In our opinion, you are not a Finn,” she said with all the weight of the law. “We are not interested if you are engaged to a Finnish woman. What counts is your mother, who is a Finnish citizen.”

It was a devastating knock-out blow by the official that not only left me in pieces but raised questions about my Finnish identity. Was I a Finn?

Even if things have changed for the better, there are some important questions that remain unanswered:  Are those critical pathways to acceptance that encourage integration closing or widening today?

Compared with the past, immigrants, Finns with international backgrounds and most importantly common Finns have shown through Facebook sites like My Finland is International that they are a growing force to be reckoned with.

Finland is a good country to live in but we must defend our good country every day. Despite much of the rhetoric and fear-mongering out there, what threatens our society does not come from abroad but from within.

We must strive to build and most importantly defend a society based on mutual acceptance, respect and equal opportunities for all those that live here.

 

  1. Camilla Ingerström

    Very familiar situation. Me and my Dominican husband are facing exactely that struggle right now, and our situation “should” be a very obvious one (so we thought, very naively). We are married, pregnant with twins (due in april), NOT looking to benefit on any social care; my husband would love to be a happy hard-working tax-payer, we have all the necessary papers-work,we feel it’s very important to keep everything legal and STILL, we are being pushed here and there, asked to wait, you name it. We have been waiting now since september (wich meens we had to leave the country after three months, since he is only here on “tourist visa” now). In december, we were told “we call you for the next step within one month”. Nobody called us, so I called them and asked if we have a meeting booked. The reply; Nooo, the woman who does the interviews is on vacation and won’t be back until the 31.1. Once again, different information and valuable time lost. It is for me totally impossible to comprehend, how you leave a position like that unmanned. After all, for the people waiting, life goes on every day, and much is depending on this. Necessary to add to the discussion is also that before we decided to move here full-time, we partially lived in Spain where my husband had a recidence- and workpermit for the last four years (and a full-time job that he gave up to be able to come here). Clearly, not even this fact made the transfer any easier or smoother.

    All facts aside, we try to stay patient, focus on the good things in life and stay happy and not feel like criminals on trial. Nevertheless, the bureacracy is a very trying one. Still, in this day and age.

    And in all this, my husband speaks nothing but good about Finland to his countrymen and other friends. I can only hope and wait, that my country also, at some point, starts to treat people from abroad with the same empathy and welcoming respect that he shows us.

    • Enrique

      Hi Camila and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you so much for sharing your real story with us. As you know, Finland has in force from September 1, 2010 a new integration law that requires the municipalities/city councils to draft an integration plan for immigrant residents.

      All I can say is not to lose hope. I have been in tight spots during my life in Finland and there has always been some special person or situation that has helped me pull through.

      We had another blogger called Steve who wrote about the challenges he was having about moving to Finland from England.

      Just like silence against racism is another way of supporting such anti-social behavior, immigrants and Finns should raise their voices to further acceptance and challenge problems like the ones you are having with the authorities.

      We hope to hear more of you on Migrant Tales. Thank you for dropping by!

  2. Allan

    Yes Enrique, why don’t you then go live in the “mad rush” where you want to live and stop trying to change “the different world”? You are wishhing to destroy it – if you can’t live in the “different world” then nobody can.

    “Was I a Finn?”
    This blog proves you are not.

  3. gunilla

    I think it is proper to discuss improvements of administration. We all need to share experiences good and bad in order to get changes for the better. Why otherwise bother to change anything…. It is a bit too simple to state “my way or the highway”

  4. MaryMekko

    Allan is right. What Enrique describes in 1978 is exactly what I loved about Finland. If the policies he advocates come true – in ever-increasing numbers as here in California – then LA or Buenas Aires is heading your way, complete with violence, fear, overcrowding, and endless misunderstandings between groups based on languages, religions, gender stereotypes from the 3rd world, you name it.

    Come to California and experience the thrill of it all!

    Or move to Finland and rest easy that Finland will remain Finland, peaceful.

    Is Enrique a Finn? Based on Judaic law, yes, since the mother is. Based on many European laws, he’s not, since the father isn’t, nor is he born in Finland.

    Enrique has managed to stay, perhaps through the wife’s power or the grandparents. But Finland will no longer be Finland if a LOT of Enriques decide to stay.

    Camilla Engerstroem above, as a Finn, knew how the laws were before she married a Dominican. As a female, her right to bring in for settlement a foreigner is much weaker than vice-versa.

    Marriage in Italy, for example, for a foreign man to an Italian woman does NOT give her citizenship. Vice versa,it does.

    Twins on the way! I hope CAmilla can somehow get a paycheck of her own. She might have a long row to hoe in the husband finding work in Finland; he may have to work elsewhere. If she divorces him and becomes a single Mom, then she’ll qualify for all kinds of tax-money.

    • Enrique

      MaryMekko, maybe a good place for you to move to is Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen or South Sandwich Islands.

  5. vincebel

    http://omakaupunki.hs.fi/paakaupunkiseutu/uutiset/uimahalli_hankki_uimarit_peittavat_verhot/?ref=tf_iOKboksi_news_p1

    hi all. I didnt know where to post this but i really think that this is far to be a good solution, especially in those days of economical recession.

    I think there are other ways to integrate immigrants than to isolate them in an own time schedule. If i understand well it says that immigrants have not been able to participate in swimming activities because there are open places.

    First thats how we do here, second nobody forbid them to join. Im aware of religious or cultural difficulties that some could face in Finland concerning that matter, especially in Finland where being naked is not a big deal. This process is, I think, actually going against integration. Moreover it wil just give some more reasons to vote for the far right.

    Im myself an immigrant but integration is unfortunately a process that is mostly acceptance of the new host culture.

    In Belgium, being naked in a public sauna is illegal, except when its a naked time organised by the establishment where people with towels or swimming suits are also welcome.

    In the case of the swimming pool my concern is that it is targetted only towards immigrants (and im pretty sure towards a certain group). I dont think canadian or spanish or estonian people are concerned with this directive.

    To end i just want to add that i start to be a bit pissed off that all non finnish and or non white people have the same label: immigrants. i dont feel concerned by this swimming pool problem or red meat in my handburger or that we sing xmas songs at school or that my wife goes out sometimes to have fun with her friends. So please finns try to not put everything that is non finnish in the same bag.

    Im not racist neither homophobic neither against any culture or religion or belief but i do agree with some finnish people on the forum. In rome do as the romans do

  6. Allan

    “MaryMekko, maybe a good place for you to move to is Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen or South Sandwich Islands.”

    Enrique, a good island for you would be Lampedusa. 🙂

  7. justicedemon

    Camilla Ingerström

    We have been waiting now since september (which means we had to leave the country after three months, since he is only here on “tourist visa” now).

    My understanding is that your husband has a residence permit application pending. There is no requirement to leave Finland under such circumstances. If this advice came from a public official, then you should file a formal complaint.

  8. Allan

    JD – If he has a RP in Spain, what exactly would he gain sitting twiddling his thumbs in Finland? In Spain he can work and get benefits.

    The official complaint no doubt would speed up the process and get him a job?

  9. Allan

    Now unlike JD, I actually can give Camilla some feasible advice. There is this wonderful thing called EU and its “free movement”. As a Finn living in Finland you are a 2nd class citizen in your own country, to get rid of this handicap you must become a foreigner to enjoy the privileges. What you need to do, is move to Spain and become a resident. Of course as Finland is the only country with immigration rules you can do it easily. Then when you are a resident of Spain, you and the husband move to Finland as ” EU free movement” and you get totally different rules.

  10. justicedemon

    Allan

    The main purpose of a formal complaint is to stop the offending official from repeating the mistake and to call attention to the correct administrative procedure.

    Otherwise I responded to the situation as described, and to the writer’s evidently mistaken belief that the expiry of a visitor’s visa implies a duty to leave in that situation.

    From the reference to an interview, I surmised (perhaps too hastily) that this is a Chapter 4 case and not a Chapter 10 case. This would in turn imply that the couple did not live together in Spain for long enough to be able to invoke subsection 4 of section 153. It is also possible that the purpose of the interview is simply to investigate whether this subsection can be invoked.

    You seem to be referring to this possibility with your remark, but owing to your usual incoherence there is no way to tell for sure. If you are recommending that this couple establishes residence in another Member State for the sole purpose of securing residence in Finland, then you are proposing an unlawful procedure that falls foul of section 172a. It would be more intelligent and practical under the circumstances to recommend the Chapter 4 route.

  11. Method

    “Finland is a good country to live in but we must defend our good country every day. Despite much of the rhetoric and fear-mongering out there, what threatens our society does not come from abroad but from within.”

    No it’s not. It’s actually a cold peace of land, that has nothing if does not have money. I’ve said (at least hinted) it before, and I said it again. We’re not talking about Finland here, not really. We’re talking about money. It’s all about money. The anti-immigration rhetoric is about money at it’s core. So every counter-argument is about money. Our money, their money, how much money, who pays.

    Finland wouldn’t interest anyone, if there weren’t money to spread around here. So let’s not fool ourselves and talk like there’s something else of worth here. You said it yourself. The people are horrible (except the ones that agree with you), the system is racist and socially ill. It’s a free world to go wherever you like. You make it sound like just being here is self abusing and masochistic. Who does that? Why?

    That’s right. Money. €.

    • Enrique

      That too, Method. Money is important but even more important are the values that hold society together, giving it its raison d’être, or reason for being. Certainly immigrants move around go to where the grass is greener. That’s a normal human thing to search for greener pastures. Is there anything wrong with that?

      When did I say the people are “horrible” in Finland? Come on, Method…

    • Enrique

      Going back to Sunday’s election, there is a story on the Huffington Post citing an AP wire story about the result: The [election] result means Finns will have two pro-European candidates to choose from in the second round, contrasting with the surge in euroskeptic sentiment in last year’s parliamentary election. “Pro-Europe policies and supporting the euro have received strong support from the people,” Niinisto said.

      Here is another story on Bloomberg News gives its take on the impact of the result: “Criticism against the euro didn’t catch on” among voters, Niinistoe, 63, said in an interview. “The anti-euro candidates didn’t get unexpectedly high votes today.”

      According to CNN, Soini blamed the poor showing on the following reason: “The True Finns demanded that Finland stop supporting the eurozone bailouts, but its presidential candidate, Timo Soini, was running fourth in Sunday’s balloting. He told Finnish public broadcaster YLE that his weak support was an indication that his party wants him to remain as party leader, rather than president.”

      If Soini ever leaves politics, I am certain he’d have a good future as a novelist! The comment shows more his leadership style than anything else. Voters communicate telepathically, hmm. Sure thing, Soini! When they are about to give their vote, they tell themselves and communicate telepathically: “Gee! I cannot bring myself to vote for Soini because the PS would deflate if he became president. I must vote for somebody else (Väyrynen?).”

      Come on… Soini lost because people did not buy his anti-EU rhetoric as in the April election. What is more important is that his party has been riddled by scandals. Some bad-cop PS MPs and members have shown their true ideological colors as well: fascism/neo-Nazism, ultra-conservatism, ignorance, political inexperience, racism, xenophobia and homophobic views.

      The latter revelations must have shocked especially conservative voters who expected more from the PS.

  12. Camilla Ingerström

    Correctly understood Justicedemon; my husband has a residence permit pending and YES we were told by a public official he had to leave the country in three months. So thank you very much for telling us differently, appreciate it! The reason for the interview is, as also correctly understood above, that we haven’t lived in the same household full-time long enough. We have been travelling between countries to see eachother since 2009, but that didn’t qualify since we haven’t had the same street-adress.

    And to everybody who think moving to Finland is all about money; you could not be more wrong. We decided to move here for one reason and one reason only and that is so our twins on the way will have the possibility to grow up near my family. Family is what is important. Like I said before, we are not looking to benefit on any social wellfare, and my husband gave up the job he had in order for us to make a life here, close to my family. And now, the only thing he wants, is to start working here. Likewise, with the education and job I have, I can work anywhere in the world. The tax-payers in Finland need not worry, we have been living on one salary now since September.

    To everybody giving support and good advice, thank you!

  13. justicedemon

    Camilla

    The relevant statute in the Aliens Act is subsection 3 of section 40: Ulkomaalainen saa laillisesti oleskella maassa hakemuksen käsittelyn ajan, kunnes asia on lainvoimaisesti ratkaistu tai on tehty täytäntöönpanokelpoinen päätös ulkomaalaisen maasta poistamiseksi.
    /
    En utlänning får lagligen vistas i landet under den tid ansökan behandlas tills ärendet har avgjorts genom ett beslut som vunnit laga kraft eller ett verkställbart beslut har fattats om att utlänningen skall avlägsnas ur landet.

    I am guessing that you are dealing with a provincial police station. The least you can do is call their attention to this point in the hope that they don’t continue giving outdated advice.

    Aside from the waiting period, your main problem with the immigration system is the risk that your husband will be classed initially as a temporary migrant (residence permit type B). It is worthwhile getting this changed as soon as the concrete circumstances allow. Your husband is always free to file a new application at any time: there is no need to wait for the current permit to expire. However, to avoid wasting the processing fee and the time of the officials involved, it is a good idea to check with a specialist that the new application has good prospects of success.

    Your husband can also begin job hunting immediately. If he finds work, then it is often possible to accelerate the permit application considerably (the prospective employer should complete a TM0.54 form specifying details of the job offer). An applicant is free to provide new additional grounds for the application at any time until the decision is made.

  14. Camilla Ingerström

    Correct again Justicedemon, provincial police station. And thank you again for completely opposite information than we have been getting. We did spend the autumn very optimistically looking for jobs (and even found one place that told us to get back to them when everything is in order), but were more or less told by the woman dealing with our case that “one thing at a time”, without the permit no reason to look for job. No information about forms to give to employer, nothing about speeding up the process. And don’t misunderstand now, we are always taking our own responsibility and reading, looking for information, trying to find facts and solutions…but whatever facts we present to the authorities they tell us differently. The woman actually told me one time I talk too much and that my husband doesn’t understand what he is getting himself into….a comment like that is reason enough to file a complaint. But we won’t. Not at this point.

    So right now we are waiting for replies to emails sent and phonecalls promised. But we will definitely go back to jobhunting immmediately this afternoon and give the authorities some more papers to dwell on. 😉

    • Enrique

      Camilla, JusticeDemon knows a lot about immigration laws. I really happy that he could help you. He has given many others good advice.

  15. Joe

    Hi, I would like to comment on the question put forward by Enrique that remains unanswered.

    Before this, it is worth mentioning that yes, my background is not Finish, but yes I consider myself as much a Finn than one born here from Finnish parents. I will defend my new country as much, as if was an original Finn.

    I have been living here for almost 40 years, I came here at the time when migrating to Finland was made as difficult as traveling to the mars!! At that time all foreigners were treated as aliens with no rights whatsoever, there was no protection for the biased decisions made by the “Alien affairs office”, hence my analogy about traveling to mars. My citizenship application was signed by President Kekkonen, so I’m an old timer on these matters and I have seen ups and downs on issues concerning fascism/neo-Nazism, ultra-conservatism, ignorance, political inexperience, racism, xenophobia and homophobic views.

    I’m very pleased to see that the situation has changed for those that decide to move here for whatever reasons they may have. I’m glad, that they no longer have to go through the shameful and dreading ordeal one was exposed to for even considering taking residence in Finland. Sure there still remains, within official entities that mentality, especially in provincial areas and it will take further generations for this to change, since officials with the government are not doing enough to change this for fear of losing political ground. It will be up to the younger generations, educated with the principle of acceptance and tolerance, to make the necessary mental changes.

    I do not understand the cope-out answers given by “Allen, Method and MariMeko” your attitude and answers just reflect your ignorance and upbringing. It is for sure, that within every society there exists a group of people whose sole purpose is to criticize all their shortcomings and issues on others, especially on the weakest, those that do not know better. Your answers are insulting. They imply that yes, when we needed help; it was fine for countries to accept our immigrants, because we were in dire need. Please bear in mind that there is more immigrants moved from Finland to the US, Canada and Australia than the number of foreigners living here. Bear in mind also that there is a lot Finns living in Spain benefiting from the same benefits that one would expect you should get here.
    I have many times heard that if you don’t like it here, just leave. I have also heard that “when in Rome do as romans do”, I do agree with this just as long as it is based on mutual understanding, tolerance and acceptance. These are not offered by you, Instead you offer your simple minded answers that are just based on your biased background.

    Yes I agree on the fact that everything is about money now days, because that is simple fact, as money to spread out on social-welfare become scarce, the instances and issues that will get less money will affect us all. However, we forget that Finland has decided to have a role within the Global World, even joining the Security Council. This in turn implies that we have to have a socio-economical responsibility and not just say “Don’t’ Call me, I’ll call you” attitude. We have had to raise the quota of immigrants because that is the social role we have decided to take. We can’t just close our borders and accept migration outwards but not inwards. Not even in a selective way as suggested by a certain political party.

    I do agree that some members of groups that have migrated to Finland have had difficulties in adapting themselves to the local customs and responsibilities as citizens. But the solution is not to separate them from the rest of society or even criticize or label the whole group. We have far too long criticized and labeled the Romani people when the truth of the matter is that there are always bad apples within every society or group of people.

    Now to answer Enrique’s question.
    I do believe that that a lot is being done within schools to encourage acceptance. I also believe that there is a lot work done within several entities to work with issues of integration of minorities to the Finnish society. However, I do not believe that the government and political parties have taken the strong position because of the mere fact, that the fear losing further political ground. We need stronger politicians who have stamina to take an even stronger stance. We need the system to condone and give stronger sentences for racist motivated hate crimes.

    • Enrique

      Hi Joe and great to see you on Migrant Tales! Thank you for your very insightful thread. When I read I could see myself in many of the sentences.

      One of the lessons we could learn from the past is to never take that road again. For me, as a Finn who happened to have a Finnish mother but not a father, was treated like any foreigner. Like you said: migrating to Finland was more difficult than living on Mars. After they accept you they shut other doors in your face.

      That is why I think your story is very important and must be told not once, but over and over again.

      It’s like you wrote: “We need stronger politicians who have stamina to take an even stronger stance. We need the system to condone and give stronger sentences for racist motivated hate crimes.”

      I am afraid that those “stronger politicians” are going to have to come from our community. If we wait for someone else to fight for our rights, we might as well wait for generations. We must act, now. Demonstrate, start up a blog, write a letter to the editor and lead by example! That’s one way to stir things up and start a social movement.

  16. Allan

    “Please bear in mind that there is more immigrants moved from Finland to the US, Canada and Australia”

    And these Finns sat on the sofa and money came from the magic wall?

  17. justicedemon

    Allan

    That was certainly the racially distorted perception of local Allans wherever the Finns went.

    It is clear from tabloid headlines, for example, that an uncontrolled flood of Finnish immigrants caused a huge crime wave in Sweden in the 1960s and 70s. These generally low and unskilled immigrants didn’t even support local industry by drinking the local brännvin, instead fuelling their antisocial behaviour with imported Koskenkorva rot gut to such a degree that a special export version of this product was launched in 1960.

    New expressions were coined in the Swedish language to facilitate discussion of this blight on decent civil society.

    You are not even original in your racism, Allan. It’s all been done before.

  18. Method

    “That too, Method. Money is important but even more important are the values that hold society together, giving it its raison d’être, or reason for being. Certainly immigrants move around go to where the grass is greener. That’s a normal human thing to search for greener pastures. Is there anything wrong with that?”

    No, there’s nothing wrong with that. But money is the value that holds this society together. If it’s gone, the society as it is now, is no more. Let’s just talk about things with their real name, not some fake values, that only exist while money exists. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m sure we’ll see in near future.

    Your texts have a common theme that Finland is a bad bad place with bad bad people and it’s almost impossible to live here. And very often when reading them I think to myself, why all the suffering, when world is huge and full of options. I wouldn’t live here a day if everyone hated me so much. This place is cold and far away from what’s happening. A retirement home for old people, unless you’re old in the next 30-40 years. Then you better have some kids too, because it seems your pensions are none existent. The pull of Finland is money and the fact that it’s spread around. The safe net of money. Our social and health systems are already failing though. And it does not seem to get any better. The spread around days are soon over. If you’re young educated go getter there’s a million better places in the world you can be in.

    “And to everybody who think moving to Finland is all about money; you could not be more wrong. We decided to move here for one reason and one reason only and that is so our twins on the way will have the possibility to grow up near my family.”

    Sorry, but I have a hard time believing you. You’d be here if Finlad was a 3rd world piss poor country? To be near your family? I don’t know you, but being realistic, the answer would be no.

    “there exists a group of people whose sole purpose is to criticize all their shortcomings and issues on others, especially on the weakest, those that do not know better. Your answers are insulting. They imply that yes, when we needed help; it was fine “

    You know me, old man, do you? My shortcomings? No. To me it seems, there’s a double standard. If I were to say (which I’m honestly not) that this country and it’s money belongs to me, it’s my heritage, you would definitely deny that and call me ignorant and small minded. But then you don’t have any trouble telling me, that my “people” have been helped themselves in the past, so I owe it to the world to help others like they were help. Do I inherit them or don’t I? Which is it? I think not, they can go eat a dick in whatever afterlife they’re in. Yes the war vets too. I don’t owe them anything. I don’t owe you anything. You’re not my friend, not my relative, pet or something I own, nor are we in this together. We just have to deal with eachother.

    • Enrique

      –But money is the value that holds this society together. If it’s gone, the society as it is now, is no more. Let’s just talk about things with their real name, not some fake values, that only exist while money exists. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m sure we’ll see in near future.

      Method, even if I agree somewhat with you, humankind needs more than money to be content. But if you mean that different groups compete for resources then that is another story…

      However, I still believe that values are super important. Money is one but not the only one. Others include equality, fairness and justice to name a few.

  19. justicedemon

    Method

    Just to clarify: you began by responding to Ricky, then shifted to something that Camilla wrote, and ended by commenting on Joe’s contribution.

    Might I suggest that you try a little attribution in future?

  20. Mark

    Method

    Sorry, but I have a hard time believing you. You’d be here if Finlad was a 3rd world piss poor country? To be near your family? I don’t know you, but being realistic, the answer would be no.

    Why on earth do you not believe the poster wants to be near their family by moving to Finland? That’s really quite a vicious cynicism you are displaying. I know a great many Finnish women and to a lesser extent men who travel and work abroad but have it clearly in their minds that when they start a family, they will return to Finland. That’s exactly how it happened with my arrival in Finland. Come on… that’s a rather vicious attack on this poster’s integrity.

    Your texts have a common theme that Finland is a bad bad place with bad bad people and it’s almost impossible to live here.

    Isn’t it funny how someone who has come to Finland, lived here 40 years, integrated quite adequately I assume, but then tells you how difficult it was, though stressing it is easier nowadays, and yet still you manage to take offence. What this man is saying is no surprise. They sometimes joke about that Finland got it’s work ethic from the Germans and their bureaucracy from the Russians. There certainly seems to be some truth in that. And as foreigner who came here nearly ten years ago, I faced my share of it.

    When I first came, I’m an EU citizen, British born, but with a passport from one of the British Islands. The relationship of that Island to the EU is not one of full EU citizen rights. However, my British citizenship comes through my birth in the UK to UK parents. Now rather than take that information on the passport about my citizenship, the immigration office decided that I was in fact not an EU citizen. They then demanded that I also provide a written explanation for why I had entered Finland without an appropriate visa. I made the point of explaining my legal position, but it was only when the British embassy staff intervened and pointed out the relevant issue in regard to my place of birth that the authorities here relented. If I hadn’t have pushed it, they would have classified me as a non-EU citizen, without any of the legal rights I was entitled to. Not only that, but getting information out of the authorities was a nightmare. I was about to take an interview not long after one meeting with an immigration official and I asked whether I could accept the job. Silence. She just sat there staring at me. I asked it again, and then asked my partner to say it in Finnish, just in case she didn’t understand me. Again, silence. I looked at her and chuckled and said, ‘you are not going to answer are you?’. She smiled at me, in that ‘yes’ kind of way. She was so afraid of saying the ‘wrong’ thing thing that the safest thing she felt was to say nothing at all. So much for getting information about your own status. This was all compounded by the fact that I entered Finland during July, and many weeks went by without any progress because everyone was on summer holiday. Six weeks, with no activity on my case. 🙂 Method, many thinks work like clockwork in Finland, such as the buses, snow gritters, health care, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas of Finnish society that would make a saint’s blood boil. You and I both know that the intransigence of Kela in telling people their appropriate rights and benefits is legendary. Many elements of Kela actually push reasonably stable families into poverty, simply because the system is set up to only support those below the poverty line. If you weren’t on or below the poverty line when you first needed to make use of the Kela safety net, then there’s a bloody chance that you will be by the time you’ve got anything out of them. This infuriates many of my Finnish friends.

    Finland isn’t all bad. But there are some things here, including the racism and hostility towards certain kinds of foreigners that really is shocking when you first come up against. I knew someone working at a company I served who opposed Somali immigrants, calling the males ‘cowards’ because they didn’t go home and fight. It was a shocking ignorance of what living in a war-torn country really is. I’ve heard some pretty distorted views when it comes to foreigners and immigrants, but that really took the biscuit. This guy was a good friend, a smart man, educated, in an excellent job, working as a manager. And yet his attitude to immigrants was like something out of Nazi Germany. His attitudes were full of ignorance. Needless to say, I spent some time educating him about the real conditions in Somali, the tensions, the history of being a colonial football between the French and British colonial regimes, the military coup in 1969, 20 years of communist/military rule, the breakdown of government institutions and civil war, the effects of the conflict, the victims etc. I’m happy to say that his opinions softened. I’m happy to say that his opinions were also challenged directly by other Finnish colleagues. He didn’t know anything at all about that stuff. His only sentiment had been, ‘we don’t want them in Finland’.

    The simple fact is that Finland has benefited from being part of the modern world. And for what they have got, they must give back. You cannot take, take, take and have no responsibilities whatsoever to go with them. And indeed, Finnish politicians and activists have worked hard in the area of human rights in the last 30-40 years, and slowly but surely, Finland emerged as a leader in human rights. The only problem is that a good proportion of the populace enjoyed the benefit of the welfare state and the modern institutions, but didn’t realise that with that would have to come some kind of interaction with the rest of the world, meaning also an influx of new immigrants, including refugees. On the whole, Finns are tolerant of other Westerners, but are notoriously prejudiced when it comes to anyone from other continents. Maybe other countries in Europe, that have seen far more immigration at a much earlier stages, due to their colonial empires, and that has at least given them a head start.

    But when people from Britain come to Finland, unless they are importing their racism with them, then there is an element of shock at just how ‘behind the times’ Finland seems to be in some respects. Times have changed, and many within the younger generations have seized on a new, cosmopolitan Finnish identity. But there are also many stubborn and themselves disadvantaged individuals who are suspicious of foreigners and prefer to keep Finland introvert and isolated from wider Europe and certainly from anything or anyone that comes from further afield. It’s clearly a minority. How much so, I guess we’ll know better after the next general election.

  21. Allan

    “Finland isn’t all bad. But there are some things here, including the racism and hostility towards certain kinds of foreigners that really is shocking when you first come up against.”

    So what is it in your interest of having the country fill up with “certain kinds of immigrants” who do not fit into the society?

    “the tensions, the history of being a colonial football between the French and British colonial regimes, the military coup in 1969, 20 years of communist/military rule, the breakdown of government institutions and civil war, the effects of the conflict, the victims etc. ”

    OK, so where does Finland come in with all this? Are you confusing us with Italy? Where exactly were Finns involved in making the country a shithole? Who lives there? Who ruled the country from 1969… which people? OK, so who made the country into a shithole? The people themselves? So why do we then want people who made their own country a shithole come here refusing to integrate and wanting to separate themselves from the rest of the society? Do they want to make Finland a shithole? I know you do.

    ” His only sentiment had been, ‘we don’t want them in Finland’. ”
    Why would we? You can adopt pets, but having people around just because they are exotic feels a bit like Belgians putting pygmies in a zoo.

  22. Joe

    Hey Allan and Method,

    Quite true, I don’t know you and you don’t know me, therefore, I don’t understand why you have to attack without any real objectivity! You are taking everything out of context because that is what suits you. You don’t believe what others are saying because sometimes it hard to admit and face the facts.

    As I said before “…., but yes I consider myself as much a Finn as one born here from Finnish parents. I will defend my new country as much, as if was an original Finn.” By those words, (and by also paying high taxes, that will be part of the common pot) they give me the right to also criticize, to objectively tell you my opinion or are you also going to impose your views without real and sensible discussion just because of my background.

    Your comments by far, are quite unfair because you are not considering objectively others point views and as I expected here comes again “if you don’t like it here leave” between the lines.

    You call me old man, yes I’m proud of my age and the life experiences I have had. If you found offence in that, it just means, that you cannot by far compare yourself to me. I probably know more of “my” country Finland, than you could ever imagine. I can also proudly say that I have had my share of building “my” country to what it is. So before you make assumptions, or classify “everyone” as you are doing, consider this.

    I agree with many of things you said, but the solution as I said, is not to close “our” borders or have selective immigration. “We” need new influx of people that will help pay for the pension funds, do the jobs that “we” do not want to do because of our education and skills, make things easy for others who select to come here for whatever reasons they maybe. When “we” have such a low birth rate and high rate of people retiring within the near future, this is the only solution, if we want to keep still “our” country at the level we have grown accustomed to.

    “Our” country Finland is a beautiful country, not very nice in the winter; however, having the 4 seasons, clearly makes it an extraordinary place. Too bad, that a “small” group of xenophobes are giving it a bad reputation.

  23. justicedemon

    Allan

    You are off on your incoherent Gish Gallop again. Each one of your points has been individually and thoroughly debunked in other threads on this blog. Spewing out all of them in a single posting does not make them true.

  24. Allan

    Joe, if “We” need new influx of people that will help pay for the pension funds, do the jobs that “we” do not want to do because of our education and skills, then what we exactly need is selective immigration! “We” do not need more people dipping into the pot without contributing to it! And what “we” first and foremost need is industry! “We” need to have production – if there is no production, where does the money originate for all these people “we” need doing all these “jobs”?

    Finland used to have industry and also used to have occupations like maids and housekeepers, janitors and such. When the industries have left the country, all these jobs have disappeared. Where do you see a “janitor” in a house any more? Its some random guy coming to rake the puddles once a week. And what are you wanting to do – import slave labor to do this job on the cheap!? Look at the cucmber pickers in narpes or the Vietnamese metalworkers. Whats this “need for labour” all about? Its slave labor!

    Finland has absolutely no need for immigrants just for the sake of having them, Finland has a need for jobs. When there are jobs, the workers will come.

  25. Mark

    Allan

    So what is it in your interest of having the country fill up with “certain kinds of immigrants” who do not fit into the society?

    And what do you mean by ‘fill up’? Do you mean that you have to look at black faces on the tube or busses, or on the television? Or do you mean that you might one day have to live next to a black person? What do you mean by ‘fill up’, Allan? And what would make them not fit in? That pricks like you splutter in their coffee every time they see an immigrant?

    Your expectations are unrealistic. It will take some years for recent immigrants to integrate fully, and it might be that its the second generation that will be the most integrated. That’s not unusual. Immigration is a long-term project and needs a long-term perspective. As Joe points out, equally Finland will need an influx of new migrants to help cope with very serious changes the employment demographic. Yes, they need jobs. Interestingly, the more immigrants that come, the more jobs that will create for both Finns and immigrants, as processing them and helping them integrate requires manpower and investment. That investment brings jobs. We invest in our children in exactly the same way. In fact, we don’t expect children to be productive for 20 years or more. And there are far more children in Finland than there are immigrants. So, if we apply the same type of analysis elsewhere within Finnish society, we might ask parents to stop having children? it’s not really about dependency, though, is it Allan. It’s about skin colour and ethnicity. You just have this morbid fear of them.

    Where exactly were Finns involved in making the country a shithole? Who lives there? Who ruled the country from 1969… which people? OK, so who made the country into a shithole? The people themselves? So why do we then want people who made their own country a shithole come here refusing to integrate and wanting to separate themselves from the rest of the society? Do they want to make Finland a shithole? I know you do.

    Finland is not taking responsibility for the problems in Somalia. Finland is taking refugees from the conflict. As for who made it a shithole, then the answer is probably the army generals who seized power in 1969. And since when did Somalians refuse to integrate? What is this figment that you have created?

    Of the Somalis that have been in Finland for 15-20 years, half have a university degree, which they have completed in Finnish. Does that sound like a group of immigrants who don’t want to integrate? Does that sound like a group of people trying to turn Finland into a shithole?

    In August 2010, Pekka Haavisto chaired a 4-day seminar at the Sophia cultural centre in Vuosaari that brought representatives from the Somalia diaspora, including academics, business people, former Somali politicians, Islamists and UN and EU representatives, to look at peace initiatives that could take place within Somalia. The event produced a constructive dialogue. Is this the actions of people who do not want to see peace in their own country, who want to turn Finland into a shithole? Allan, you are way off base with these endless derogatory comments about immigrants.

  26. eyeopener

    The comic thing here is that some well-known non-Finns are poking up a “discussion”. Probably in their own countries they shout at a wall of resistance against their gutter mentality.

    Do you, Allan and MaryMekko, really think you will make a difference here??

    You can make a horse laugh, a pig piss and a sheep feels like a carrousel. Enough examples of your really boring, out-of-reality world and clique world perspective??

    Maybe you joint your “brother-in-arms” Laputis with you.

    Like the French use to say: You are just “clapotis”. Just put the word in Google translation.

  27. Allan

    “Interestingly, the more immigrants that come, the more jobs that will create for both Finns and immigrants, as processing them and helping them integrate requires manpower and investment. That investment brings jobs.”

    That is not “creating jobs”, thas creating expenses. Setting up a factory that makes export goods is “creating jobs”, that creates income. Where does your “investment” come? Taxes and government borrowing. Not from profit.

  28. Allan

    “And since when did Somalians refuse to integrate?”

    If you call going about clad so they’re scaring children and demanding all the time special treatment “integrating”, yesh, about as integrated as the Finnish gypsies. We already had an unintegrating minority, now we have two. How multicultural.

  29. justicedemon

    Allan

    If you call going about clad so they’re scaring children…

    What you really want Somalis to do is hide their heritage so that we never have to know about it.

    Is that what you do in Britain? Have you been working to lose that weird accent, to stop saying “the other and the other” or “I can five languages”, or to conceal your origins in other ways? Have you changed your name yet? What else have you done to satisfy the local Allans and stop them telling you to piss off back to Poland?

    And how much more do you think it will take before they are satisfied that you have integrated?

    Thanks to a court order, you can now demonstrate your cultural capitulation by joining the BNP…

  30. Allan

    Well, JD, On the other hand I am glad Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote her book. On the other hand it makes me sad realising what is under that cloak of heritage.

  31. Joe

    Allan,

    I really don’t know how to read you are really incoherent in your comments and stance!!!

    First of all, everyone who works has to pay taxes, even on lowest job possible. He has to pay for all social costs, pension, etc. So is this not bringing more wealth to the country? Or are you one of those illegal workers not paying taxes and living of welfare?

    Second, you will never get selective immigration for two reasons
    a) people do not want come here, unless they have a personal reasons.
    b) is that they are political refugees and do not have any other option.
    You say that Finland use to have industry, yes and still has, but the fact of the matter is that in this global economy it forces even finish industry to look for ways to maximize shareholder return, the only way to this is to move these industries to places were this can be achieved. Or are you blaming this on immigrants?

    Third, you are really not up to date with the facts that you so much like to point out. In fact quite much of those jobs that you mentioned maids, janitors etc. are actually done by citizens of “our” neighboring country Estonia. Many of the jobs that you think are just not there are actually done by foreigners. Just go to any boat arriving from Estonia, Sweden or Russia and you will see that over 90% are foreigners and are the ones cleaning the boats. Just go to any construction site and your will see that the majority of workers are imported from Estonia. Every summer we have to bring workers from Thailand to do berry picking. Who is contracting these workers? Our dear Finnish industry, which at the end of the day, have to meet their commitments to their shareholders. Or are you saying here that they come here on their own accord.

    Get of the horse and admit it, you are a “straight out of the box” racist and bigot. Who hides behind a pseudo and makes us believe you are someone else. But it is clear you have shown your colors and nothing you say here will change that fact.

    You say that children get scared of Somalis clad in their attire, that is once on more a simple degrading remark that can be expected from you.

    May I also remind you, that many a person has been prosecuted by inciting racism with their own xenophobic remarks. May I also bring to your attention, that comments in interview given by Tatu Vanhanen (PM Matti Vanhanen father) almost brought criminal charges for inciting racism. Or do I also remind you, that James Hirvisaari presently in parliament, is also being prosecuted for the same charges.

    It is something to discuss things in civilized manner but you are not doing this at all.

  32. Allan

    “In fact quite much of those jobs that you mentioned maids, janitors etc. are actually done by citizens of “our” neighboring country Estonia. ”

    Yes, with salaries and working conditions amounting to slave labor. if you read the Iltasanomat there is a piece of “news” of a documentary on the exploitation of the Estonian construction workers. Now you try straightfaced explain how this benefits the economy, while Finnish construction workers are unemployed because you can not compete with the black market and tax evading companies? And this is bringing “wealth to the country”? It is bringing an exploited underclass to the country thats what it is doing, while especially youth unemployment is skyrocketing. The jobs the youth otherwise would be hired in are now filled with exploited immigrant slave labor.

    Why I am wasting my time trying to debate economics with some draft-dodger who evidently smoked his brains out 40 years ago, all I say with this development you can forget “Nordic Welfare” within a decade.

  33. Allan

    “You say that children get scared of Somalis clad in their attire, that is once on more a simple degrading remark that can be expected from you.”

    Thats a fact, but you never care about facts do you? Go tell that to the sobbing kid. The only person here degrading Finland is you, the fact that my country gives citizenship to your kind makes me want to hand in my passport.

  34. Joe

    Allan,

    I did say to you before that you do not know me and I do not know you, so when you go on your bashing rounds just keep that in mind.

    I did call you a racist because your comments here and in other threads have all proven this.
    Now to answer you newly incoherent vomits!!

    I do not read any rubbish newspapers because they all are based on sensationalism so what is written in them should not be taken seriously, but maybe that is the sort of newspapers and rubbish you base your facts on.

    This thread was about immigrants moving to Finland and their experiences you have continuously been bashing us that it is immigrants taking the jobs. Now you say that it slave labor and tax evading companies. You say also that youths are not getting these jobs because of this same slave labor. Look Allan, the youth here does not want to go and work in constructions, they want highly paid jobs in the IT industry or other high jobs, they do not want either to clean boats or any other job of that nature. In fact they go and get University degrees or other vocational training schools.

    You say that you do not want to waste your time talking economics, well to this date; I have not seen any single fact or figures which you base your arguments on. For your information, I have an MBA from the Aalto University (former HSE), I have studied economics and I sure know what I’m talking about. Something, which up to now, you have not proven at all.

    I care about facts, I don’t much care for here say or fiction. I’m also not very keen in someone who is continuously twisting words and things around to suit his views.

    I have never said a single word degrading my country, but you have continuously attacked every immigrant with your racist remarks. Furthermore, you have just attacked your country by saying that we import slave labor.

    Well why don’t you hand in your citizenship, it seems that you are not at all proud of it anyways.

  35. eyeopener

    Bravo Joe. Finally I find a “brother-in-arms” to resist the impertinent attacks on immigrants in Finland (and all over the world: see MariMekko/Laputis etc). You are absolutely right in your criticism on Allan:Give up your citizenship and stay out of this blog!!

  36. Method

    Mark:

    “Why on earth do you not believe the poster wants to be near their family by moving to Finland? That’s really quite a vicious cynicism you are displaying. I know a great many Finnish women and to a lesser extent men who travel and work abroad but have it clearly in their minds that when they start a family, they will return to Finland. That’s exactly how it happened with my arrival in Finland. Come on… that’s a rather vicious attack on this poster’s integrity.”

    I believe it. I also believe, if Finland was poorer, the poster wouldn’t even consider it. It might be vicious, but I call it realism. Have you considered it might seem like vicious cynicism to because you are a flowery optimist? It’s not an attack on her integrity. I don’t think anything about her integrity, I just think people are (more or less) like that. If it’s anything, It’s human.

    “You and I both know that the intransigence of Kela in telling people their appropriate rights and benefits is legendary. Many elements of Kela actually push reasonably stable families into poverty, simply because the system is set up to only support those below the poverty line. If you weren’t on or below the poverty line when you first needed to make use of the Kela safety net, then there’s a bloody chance that you will be by the time you’ve got anything out of them. This infuriates many of my Finnish friends.”

    I stay away from KELA or “Sossu”. I would never count on them on anything. I lost my KELA-card like 13 years ago. Once the apothecary clerk insisted to mail a medication receipt to KELA, I laughed my ass off when KELA send me a letter where they stated that they wanted me to send a letter to them. And I know very well the governement don’t want you to live with your jobless spouse unless you make enough money to support both of you and that if you’re not working, the best form of family is single parenting. But then, you can always go around it by cheating. As far as I’m concerned, cheat the shit out of it. You’ll never get your tax money back anyways. They’ll fuck you and don’t even bother to give you flowers first.

    “Finland isn’t all bad. But there are some things here, including the racism and hostility towards certain kinds of foreigners that really is shocking when you first come up against. I knew someone working at a company I served who opposed Somali immigrants, calling the males ‘cowards’ because they didn’t go home and fight.”

    Well, if you would be culturally sensitive, you’d see, that in fact people who fleed the hard times in Finland were considered cowards. ” Let the cowards go beyond the sea”, they sang. And yes, they were cowards. Cowards will run. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It is what it is and people who really ever have had the chance to face any kind of choosing situation, shouldn’t be having opinions about it.

    “The simple fact is that Finland has benefited from being part of the modern world. And for what they have got, they must give back. You cannot take, take, take and have no responsibilities whatsoever to go with them. “

    Yes. Ok, now we get to the money part. The idea of being rich is basically that you take more than you give. Once you do that, you’ll stay rich. You also have to protect your money, because if you go around the world telling everybody how warm and soft you are, flashing your money at the same time, someone SHOULD rob you for being a stupid wanker.

    But whoever told you that, lied. Yes you can take, take and take. It’s money. Like I said, Finland = money. And we could do with alot less of it. What did we benefit by the way? We’re consumers. We don’t get things free, we pay for them. You can sell me a car, but don’t act like I owe you something after I’ve paid for it. We take debts, we pay them. Nowadays we even take debts for others. Don’t tell me it’s been or will be a free ride. Not even close. Let’s get back to that the day the Russian (or Finnish) governement pays me for the lands they took (or lost) from my family. Yeah, I know, that’ll be the day, such is life and deal with it.

    “Times have changed, and many within the younger generations have seized on a new, cosmopolitan Finnish identity. But there are also many stubborn and themselves disadvantaged individuals who are suspicious of foreigners and prefer to keep Finland introvert and isolated from wider Europe and certainly from anything or anyone that comes from further afield. It’s clearly a minority. “

    It really depends on where you live, I think. I’m bit of both I guess. I don’t think being a part of Europe is bad, but I think the price should be right. It’s a deal you make, and if it’s a bad deal, you should walk away. Just don’t get emotional about it or start fixating over it. Now if a European State fixes this, it should happen. What I’m afraid of is, that when you jump aboard with these crackers, you’ll end up being on the handle side of the whip eventually, stomping on the little people who won’t budge with the big plan. It’s a huge, huge thing that Finland doesn’t have an imperialistic past, which we probably would have had, if we’d been “on board” with the rest of the honkeys. I’m all about keeping to ourselves if it means my children don’t have to take it up the ass when the oppressed people come for theirs.

    These multinational and global “clubs” seem sometimes like a mob, they’ll sell you their shit cheap and bribe you with presents. Then, when the real payday comes, they’ll just tell you “You’re part of it, you didn’t say no! You took the money! You’re with us now and if you aren’t, we’ll kill you”. There are no free things. You should never believe the salesman, he’s out for profit and so should you be.

    Joe:

    “As I said before “…., but yes I consider myself as much a Finn as one born here from Finnish parents. I will defend my new country as much, as if was an original Finn.” By those words, (and by also paying high taxes, that will be part of the common pot) they give me the right to also criticize, to objectively tell you my opinion or are you also going to impose your views without real and sensible discussion just because of my background.”

    You consider yourself as much Finnish as me? That little? I don’t consider myself Finnish. I don’t even get what’s the fuss anyway. What is “Finnish” to begin with? I have a citizenship and that’s that. I never chose this. No one asked me. I don’t need to underline that “I consider myself Finnish”. I need to underline that I don’t.

    That said, it’s not really worth defending. As you consider yourself a Finn, then I propably should say, that your father’s generation believed it was worth defending, but then your generation were born, and you fucked up the whole shit. Only thing you ever did was fuck, get drunk and sell everything to a lowest bidder, just so you could get into the “boys club”. Now there’s only money. And debt. And you tell me, my children should be there to wipe your asses? And Don’t drag some poor illiterates in to be your slave labour either. Do it yourself. You made the bed. Sleep in it. Be a man once in your life. I know, your generation runs this place, but I’ll be damned if I don’t eat you long before I eat my children.

    I pay taxes, because I see no way around them. If they were voluntary, I wouldn’t pay a cent. That’s the truth. With that money I could easily pay all the bills and insurances. Live in some manor in the middle of the woods with my family.

    “We” need new influx of people that will help pay for the pension funds, do the jobs that “we” do not want to do because of our education and skills, make things easy for others who select to come here for whatever reasons they maybe. When “we” have such a low birth rate and high rate of people retiring within the near future, this is the only solution, if we want to keep still “our” country at the level we have grown accustomed to.”

    Yeah. Read above. Also read klay_immigrants, post under this:

    http://nemoo.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/finland-does-not-need-lip-service-from-municipal-leaders-but-action-to-involve-refugees-and-immigrants/

    Somehow it got very little comments. Well, you know what they say about silence.

  37. Allan

    “Now you say that it slave labor and tax evading companies. You say also that youths are not getting these jobs because of this same slave labor. Look Allan, the youth here does not want to go and work in constructions, they want highly paid jobs in the IT industry or other high jobs, they do not want either to clean boats or any other job of that nature. In fact they go and get University degrees or other vocational training schools.”

    Joe – the only thing I know is that you are an idiot. Evidently as you do not read the newspapers you don’t know anything that is happening around you. When I was young, going into construction was an option – it was hard work, but you got paid reasonably well. These days you get laughed out of a construction site asking for work on collective agreement minimum wages. Its all done by cowboys on teh cheap. Read the damn police reports and union bulletins then you thick wank before inventing your own bullshit. Besides which, a MBA isn’t a “real degree” so you still got no idea of economics – except slave trading.

  38. Joe

    Allan,

    Since this is not going anywhere with you, and it seems that you attitude is now to throw all kinds of slander just to keep your macho image up, defend your pointless accusations, sick opinions and endless debacle over something that you have not got the finest idea.

    Yes I read newspapers, but probably not the type that your small mind is used to. I read Hessari, Kauppalehti, professional publications, etc. I don’t read Iltasanomat or Italehti which probably are the ones you base your facts on.

    I will read the police reports and union reports thanks. On that point I hereby publicly inform you that I will also start to look at the raising possible criminal charges against you based all the slander that you have been putting in this blog.

  39. Allan

    Kauppalehti has done several features of the problems in the building industry, as has Hesari, quite recently so. And YLE has two or three documentaries in Areena, so evidently you only read Dilbert. Did you also threaten HSE with police so they gave you the MBA degree? You lost this debate, muppet.

  40. Joe

    Allan,

    No matter how low level you get, I’m far better than you to go down that road.There is no debate here, specially with an irresponsible person like you. I just better save my words for someone who is worth debating with, this issue or any other matter. With you it is a lost cause not worth continuing.

    PS: I don’t make meaningless threats, I’m a man of my word!!

  41. Joe

    Method,

    I’m not going to go either down that road with you, I did say that I agreed with some of the things you said before. That been said, It is just not worth the hassle to go back and forth. It is not that I’m giving up, it is just that I have said already what is my opinion and I believe this is not a pissing contest. We are here to debate on the pros and cons not to degrade or insult each other.

    I do want to mention though, that in my opinion, citizenship is not something I have taken into granted. Neither, the fact that I have integrated as well as I could. I’m proud of this and also proud that I pay the high taxes that I do, even though I could benefit more economically by living somewhere else with lower taxes. That is why I believe that if given the opportunity everyone can integrate.

    Concerning the “money” issues, I just believe we are living in a world economy, were actions taken by some have so dire consequences for the rest. I do not agree or believe in the bank or country bailouts going on in Europe. I do however believe, that the EU is good thing, if Germany and France were not running the show for their own means. You can say all you want about this generation, but the fact is that this generation is the one that gave you Nokia, AgryBirds and many more to come!

  42. eyeopener

    Joe.

    Thanks for your stand against a couple of notorious trouble-seekers.

    Remember. Allan is just a language teacher with a University degree. Whoaaaaah. And claims that he has had a company (probably in bankruptcy). He also claims also deep knowledge of economics, psychiatry, phrenology, sociology. Bravo, a jack of all trades. However, He who claims must give evidence, don’t you agree?? He degenerates your diplom and insults your knowledge, skills and attitude base.

    So, therefore Allan: we want to see what credentials you have on the mentioned subjects that you have yourself said to be acknowledged. As you do not think MBA is not a “real degree” (would you please be so kind to evidence this statement) I hope YOU do not come up with GNVQ grade three levels. But we want to know your real expertise.

    And for this time: STICK TO THE QUESTIONS!! Or otherwise get out of these blogs, find another audience and entertain those.

    Nothing is for you here anymore. Actually never was.

  43. eyeopener

    Hi Vincebel. NIce to read some lines from you.

    “Im not racist neither homophobic neither against any culture or religion or belief but i do agree with some finnish people on the forum. In rome do as the romans do”.

    That’s very easy to say but far more difficult to do. How long have you been here??

    Integration is a long process that a lot of people don’t seem to understand unfortunately. It’s not a case of “plug and play”

    You mentioned “nakedness in sauna” as an issue you came across. In Eersel -the Netherlands- there is a public sauna that has about 80% of its clientele from Belgium. Exactly because of the reasons you mentioned.

    Here -in Finland- there is still a kind of hestitation to go to sauna with older children, friends and visitors. Women and men go seperately (at large). Despite people might think differently. But: what seems normal for one person is not normal for another one. Understanding these differences is better than to demand people to act the same (adaptation) I therefore disagree with your slogan!!

    Welcome to Finland

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