The Green League’s Vihreä Lanka writes that the hardline anti-immigration wing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* comprises of eight MPs in MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s camp with four more sympathizing with the latter, according to the publication.
The number of anti-immigration PS politicians is quite significant if we consider that the party won 38 seats in April‘s parliamentary elections. Add to the latter the fact that one of these is a minister (Hanna Mäntylä), a speaker of parliament (Maria Lohela), and an MEP (Halla-aho) and the power that this group has grained since the 2011 election is no insignificant matter.
Six more PS MPs firmly in the Halla-aho camp include Sampo Terho, Olli Immonen, Ari Jalonen, Vesa-Matti Saarakkala, Laura Huhtasaari, Jari Ronkainen, and party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, who isn’t a lawmaker.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
Apart from the eight PS politicians mentioned above, Vihreä Lanka cites as well four PS MPs that sympathize but do not belong to Halla-aho’s camp. These are MPs Teuvo Hakkarainen, Mika Niikko, Tom Packalén and Maria Tolppanen.
While the party’s anti-immigration wing is divided into two groups, two other PS MPs that could be added to the list are Jani Mäkelä and Simon Elo.
The total number of anti-immigration MPs in the PS is 14, or roughly one third of its total lawmakers.
While the PS is a populist right-wing radical party like the Danish People’s Party, Sweden Democrats and Progress Party of Norway, it’s clear that they cannot go on indefinitely attacking migrants and minorities in a hostile manner but their aim is to become a so-called normal mainstream party.
That is why some political observers see such populist parties as a passing phase.
Even so, we do not know how much harm such parties will inflict on the economy and to our society with their hostile rhetoric that needs a scapegoat to coverup for their own incompetence.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names 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.