By Enrique Tessieri
The chairman of the True Finns, Timo Soini, said on Thursday’s election debate that we should be thankful to Jussi Halla-aho for tightening our immigration policy and, strangely enough, for the ongoing debate on Finland’s cultural diversity.
The head of the True Finns plays with fire whenever he attempts to justify the open hostility of some of his party members towards minorities. An attack on a specific group should be treated as an attack on all minorities.
The ongoing debate in Finland concerning the role of the Swedish-speaking minority is a direct outcome of the type of hatred and discord that has been fuelled by Halla-aho and his far-right ideological followers.
The obsession of some politicians against certain immigrant groups like the Somalis is disgraceful. It is even more shameful considering that they do so for short-term electoral gains.
One of the most incredible about-turns in Soini’s stand came this week when he told a group of German journalists that he stood behind the government immigration policy. After fanning the flames of xenophobia in Finland, he now states that the True Finns were bluffing all along.
Should we then thank Halla-aho as Soini suggests?
Yes, for showing the worst side of ourselves as a society.