One of the matters that one notices about the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is how it has metamorphosed and continues to do so. Even so, its stand on our social welfare state isn’t clear never mind what it thinks about EU membership, even if its leader, Timo Soini, now says that the party wants Finland to continue being a member of the EU. The party’s entry into the Europe of Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is highly revealing, since it reinforces what we’ve known a long time about the PS.
One matter it reveals is that the PS is an opportunistic party that doesn’t really have a clear stand on anything except that it polarizes instead of unites, speaks and stresses “us” and “them” in its rhetoric. Deep inside its reason for being hinges on anti-EU, anti-immigration, homophobic and especially anti-Islam stands.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
A way to understand the PS stand on many issues is to check what the ECR stands for. Below are some of the principles that the European parliamentary group supports, according to Wikipedia:
- Free enterprise, free and fair trade and competition, minimal regulation, lower taxation, and small government as the ultimate catalysts for individual freedom and personal and national prosperity.
- Freedom of the individual, more personal responsibility and greater democratic accountability.
- Sustainable, clean energy supply with an emphasis on energy security.
- The importance of the family as the bedrock of society.
- The sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to EU federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity.
- The overriding value of the transatlantic security relationship in a revitalized NATO, and support for young democracies across Europe.
- Effectively controlled immigration and an end to abuse of asylum procedures
- Efficient and modern public services and sensitivity to the needs of both rural and urban communities.
- An end to waste and excessive bureaucracy and a commitment to greater transparency and probity in the EU institutions and use of EU funds.
- Respect and equitable treatment for all EU countries, new and old, large and small.
In many respects, the PS stand on many of these issues is similar to the Youth League of the National Coalition Party, which is in favor of “streamlining” the welfare state.
The Youth League of the National Coalition Party made 150 proposals last year that, if implemented, would turn Finland into a U.S.-modeled country where money is king. Some of the proposals made by the group are racist and xenophobic and in line with the most far right representatives of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party.
The youth wings of the PS and National Coalition Party have lobbied to demote the Swedish language to elective status in schools.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). 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.