By many standards, Finland is an exceptional country. Newsweek magazine recently named it the best country in the world to live according to education, quality of life, economic dynamism as well as other factors.
One of the greatest threats to our well-being and international reputation are xenophobia and racism. If the Newsweek staff would have looked more closely at this social ill, would Finland have been named the best country in the world?
Is it possible that a country that is so innovative and dynamic has immigrant unemployment many fold higher than the national average?
What would the newsmagazine say about the Social Democrats’ maassa maan tavalla policy, which thinks that nothing should or will change and that immigration should be a one-way process? Such catch phrases from a party that fought for social justice and our social welfare system is quite incredible to put it lightly.
What would it say about other political parties that instead of showing leadership against racism are starting to use adjectives like ”hordes” and ”uncontrolled” before immigration and accuse a pretty defenseless group of ”taking away our jobs?”
The best way to defend Finland’s image is to treat everyone who lives here with respect. Our laws and way of life guarantee that this can be achieved.
A lot of work has to be still done to build those vital pathways of incorporation to our society for people who have made Finland their new home.
One of the greatest threats to Finland in the new century is not immigration but xenophobia and racism.