The Perussuomalaiset (PS) are eager to pass legislation that will not only hurt asylum seekers but all migrants and minorities that live in Finland. After breaking almost all of their campaign promises and after their poll rating have plummeted to single-digit percentages, the PS only have one trump card left in their political bag of tricks: anti-immigration rhetoric and policy.
The PS won’t openly admit except occasionally that they have a semi-secret ideological love affair with the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP).
Just to give you a small glimpse of what the DPP stands for, the poster below published by Politiken, one of the country’s biggest dailies, offers an eyeful.
Like the rise of the PS, the only issue that has kept the DPP in politics since early 2000 is Islamophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric. They never form part of the government but instead support minority governments, like now.
Denmark is a horrible country to live in if you are a migrant never mind a Muslim. In that country, the government doesn’t mind showing its suspicion of asylum seekers and its xenophobia.
The latest outrageous plan by the Danish government is to seize jewelry and cash from asylum seekers.
Writes The Independent: “The bill presented on 10 December 2015 provides the Danish authorities with the power to search clothes and luggage of asylum seekers — and other migrants without a permit to stay in Denmark — with a view to finding assets which may cover the expenses,” the Danish ministry of integration said in an email to The Washington Post.
The question we should be asking amid all this anti-immigration hype is where will it take us? Will we be a better off society as a result or will we undermine and come into conflict with our own Nordic values? How can Danes, even Finns, claim that they uphold inalienable values such as human dignity, social equality, respect, and freedom if they pass discriminatory laws that are against such values?
Are we headed in the same direction as Denmark? We already are with the 80-point plan to tighten immigration policy.
I believe it was former Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, who is an anti-immigration hardliner, once said that she was reluctant to pass new laws that would tighten family reunification requirements because Finland’s immigration policy was already strict enough.
The government now hopes with the 80-point plan to not only make life difficult for asylum seekers, and in turn for all migrants and minorities in this country, but introduce policy changes that are unconstitutional. PS Social Welfare Minister Hanna Mäntylä has been eager to lower subsidies to asylum seekers that get a residence permit.
Asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities aren’t the only one’s feeling the brunt of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government, which is comprised by the PS, Center Party and National Coalition Party. Finns who are pensioners, unemployed and rely on social welfare are the target of massive social welfare cuts that will make their lives harder.
Add to the latter a Finnish president who sends mixed messages and watches from the side as Finland becomes more absorbed in its xenophobia and fear and we’ve got a situation where everything is being left to chance.
* 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.