Finland is one of the few countries I know in Europe where you can openly support a neo-Nazi group and Nazism and be elected to city council. The only catch is that you belong to the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party and state that your are neither a racist nor a Nazi like Vaasa city councilman Risto Helin does.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it,” Helin told Yle’s Swedish-language news on Thursday. “I’m not racist and not a Nazi.”
The Vaasa city councilman got elected in October. One of his campaign stunts was being pictured with a neo-Nazi blood-and-honor t-shirt.
PS MP Maria Tolppanen, who sits on the Vaasa city council, said she was “shocked and disturbed” by the news and would bring the matter up with the party leadership in Vaasa and Helsinki.
Should we hold our breathes?
Even if sensible people shun anything that comes close to Nazism, this appears not to be a problem for the PS leadership. Isn’t Timo Soini a Catholic?
Helin’s Hitler clock shouldn’t surprise us because two PS members’ names were uncovered by hackers in 2011 for applying for membership in Kansalinen Vastarinta, a neo-Nazi association. Both PS members, Ulla Pyysalo, PS MP Juho Eerola’s aide, and Tuomas Okkonen, who got elected to Lumijoki’s town council, are still members of the party.
How is this possible? Because fascism, counterjihadism and neo-Nazism are alive and kicking in the PS.
PS councilman Risto Helin’s Hitler clock, which he gave to a neo-Nazi group in Vaasa.