The youth league of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* claims they burned the EU flag on Saturday in the eastern Finnish city of Mikkeli but nobody in the crowd ever saw the flag. If PS Youth sources are to be believed, they shred the EU flag and placed it in a metal cup that was later set alight at the event.
After the PS Youth called off their anti-Islam cartoon competition earlier this year, their latest prank wasn’t well received by the party. PS chairman Timo Soini said he was against burning the EU flag because it wasn’t a part of Finland’s political culture.
Other PS MPs like Mika Niikko and other party members expressed opposition to the event.
PS Youth chairman Sebastian Tynkkynen said that the burning of the EU flag was a symbolic act to promote Finland’s independence. He said in a long speech that Finland should leave the EU and European Monetary Union.
The PS youth members handed out Finnish markka coins at the event.
Christian Thibault, chairman of Rasmus, an anti-racism NGO, said that Soini was finding it ever-harder to lead the PS.
“It must be strange to be a party leader and to have to disapprove of the actions of your party’s representatives and vice versa force your party’s parliamentarians to vote [against same-sex marriage bill] according to your own religious convictions,” he said.
Onlookers never saw the EU flag at the event. Members of the PS Youth assured onlookers that the EU flag was burnt.
Most of the onlookers were member of the PS.
There were about 50 people were at the event.
* The English name of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is officially the Finns Party. The 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.