Wikileaks document warns of neo-Nazi (far-right) anti-immigration groups in Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

A Wikileaks document reveals a disturbing perception that Migrant Tales has expressed concern in the past: the threat of  far-right anti-immigration groups in Finland like the Finnish Defence League, Suomen Kansalinen Vastarina (SKV) or the Suomen Sisu faction of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. In the presidential election, all of the candidates except for PS’ Timo Soini, Sauli Niinstö of Kokoomus and Christian Democrat (KD) hopeful Sari Essayah, stated in an MTV3 poll that the far right does not pose a threat to Finland.

Even if there isn’t a clear distinction made by the authorities on what is far right, neo-Nazi or a Nazi-spirited association, such groups have one matter in common: their loathing for certain immigrant groups like the Muslims. A key term like “mutual acceptance” would be like consuming political cyanide for them.

One of the questions we must ask when speaking of anti-immigration and extremist groups in countries like Finland is who considers them a threat? A white Finn may see them less of a danger than an immigrant, who may be a visible minority.

This compromise made by some Finns, whether a far-right or right-wing populist group is a threat, is the political slippery slope that Finland was on and which permitted the PS to score a historic election victory in April. The reasoning must be something like the following: I can accept, even support a nationalist party like the PS as long as they are hostile to immigrants and minorities but don’t mess with me.

Those who may have played down the PS and especially its Nazi-spirited members  have now seen the consequences of their compromise:  polarization of society, crimes against immigrants and a threat to those very values we consider sacred in our society like social equality for all.

The most recent scandal caused by PS councilman Tommi Rautio is the latest proof of the face of the PS and its far-right faction despite assurances of the contrary by the party.

What we are seeing as well within the PS is an ideological battle for power: On the one side we have the far-right Suomen Sisu faction led by MP Jussi  Halla-aho and others and on the other the Soini populists.

Fortunately Finns do not buy as much as before the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim message of the PS as we saw in the presidential election. Even so, the PS is still a major party in Finland despite a sharp fall in popularity.

But bare no mistake: The PS would not only spell disaster for Finland if it ever became the biggest party in the country but would punish harshly  immigrants, their children, Finns with international backgrounds, minorities and sensible Finns.

  1. D4R

    When P.S party got major votes and almost won election, i got shocked, asked myself, how come civiliced country like Finland, gave so much votes for nazi spirited party like P.S.
    But now i know, why many finns gave votes to P.S, it’s cause they want to get rid of immigrants, especially Somalis and moslims in general. Some of them just seem to not realise that, empowering nazis in to their goverment, will only destroy humanrights in Finland, including Finn peoples rights. Alot of voters plaird witht he fire, for voting nazis in to their goverment, am affraid they’re going to pay a price for this.

  2. Mark

    D4R

    I think you are right that a portion of PS are ignorant xenophobes and racists, but clearly their vote comprises other elements too: anti-EU sentiment, anti-establishment sentiment, and also a strong rural following. PS pick up votes all along the spectrum of the dissatisfied.

  3. eyeopener

    Hi D4R and Mark.

    And add: a lot of Finns were/are disappointed about the policy-making (in soci-economic, regional development fields) of the dominant political parties!! Adding to that is the imbalance between the care of “the captains of industry”, their “getting away with failure” and the punishment of the disadvantaged (cuts in security etc.)

    PS has very well sensed this disappointedment and cashed on hammering THESE issues down. Switching and disguising the real perpetrators for an easier target: the foreigners and especially the Muslims. Romans didnot seem to work anymore so find yourself a new enemy.

    Nevertheless. People who don’t want to learn from their past are doomed to re-live it again. I sincerely hope that these people have a long look at the mirror and accept the judgement of history.

    That doesnot help now, unfortunately.

    Keep up the dialogue.

  4. khr

    Newspapers are typically useless again. Apparently they’re too incompetent to link to the actual emails, so that anyone interested needs to find them by themselves.

  5. khr

    Directly Finland related notes in order of appearance from http://www.wikileaks.org/gifiles/attach/20/20529_Eurasia.doc :
    (there’s a section on Scandinavia)

    Under “Security”:

    Watch for Russian infiltration in Finland. It would not be overt, so anything crime related that seems out of place or the perpetrator had a Russian name should be reported.

    Anti-immigrant violence, there are several neo-Nazi groups in Finland and Denmark, less so in Norway.

    Organized crime activity in Finland and Denmark.

    Under “International relations”:

    Finland’s relationship with Russia is very complex. Both countries respect and understand one another. However, a potential Finnish NATO bid would greatly irk Russia. Watch for economic relations between the two as well.

    Under “Economic”:

    Russian-Finnish trade conflicts.

    Unfortunately there’s nothing more specific about the neo-nazi groups, so we can not be certain which groups they count as such. That would have been extremely interesting.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi khr, thank you for fishing this out from Wikileaks. That is one of the problems when authorities speak of “neo-Nazi groups.” What are they and do far right groups belong to the same category. There are differences say, for example, between Suomen Kansalinen Vastarinta (SKV), which openly supports nationalist socialist ideas, and the Danish People’s Party which does not do so openly. However, their anti-immigration stances and rhetoric is similar. What about the Sweden Democrats who were an openly neo-Nazi party but claim not to be today? Where do they stand politically? Are they today a far-right party? I believe they are a good example of how some neo-Nazi parties have adapted today in order to carry on the same message: They drop the “Nazi” political theatrics and continue with their hateful ideology against immigrants in the same way. It’s basically the same thing but without the n-word.

      Modern-day fascism is different from the 1930s in some respects. One big distinction is that they are pro-Israel but anti-Muslim. One big distinction between the SKV and DPP could be this distinction.

      But let’s not get confused: it’s the same beast of fascism in a 2010s context. Anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim rhetoric is an important part of their message and questionable ideology.

      Apart from groups like the Finnish Defense League, we have Suomen Sisu, an extremist association according to Supo. About 20% of the MPs of the PS belong to this association. Suomen Sisu is Nazi- or KKK-spirited in that it not only identifies with far-right groups but upholds “racial hygiene” ideas. Finns should not marry foreigners never mind those that would make children who are visible minorities. Their ethnic view of the world is very much like that of Nazi and other European eugenicists before Hitler’s Germany came down permanently in flames in May 1945.

      The big question we should ask is why Timo Soini accepts to do political business with a group like Suomen Sisu. He has and he will pay a big political price for such a mistake.

  6. D4R

    eyeopener: PS has very well sensed this disappointedment and cashed on hammering THESE issues down. Switching and disguising the real perpetrators for an easier target: the foreigners and especially the Muslims. Romans didnot seem to work anymore so find yourself a new enemy.

    Nevertheless. People who don’t want to learn from their past are doomed to re-live it again. I sincerely hope that these people have a long look at the mirror and accept the judgement of history.

    That doesnot help now, unfortunately.

    Keep up the dialogue.

    You have nailed it. 🙂

  7. Mary Mekko

    Does far-right mean fiscally conservative or socialism as in the fascist type? I can see how from a far-right perspective, a lot of cheap labor coming in is in the business world’s interest. If the far-left predominate and want to protect Finnish workers through strong unions and cartels, this cheap-labor stuff would be over and done with. Sure, goods would be expensive and scarce again as in the 1970’s and yes, Finns will shop for clothes and shoes abroad, but their jobs will be secure.

    So vote far-left and protect your wife’s, husband’s, daughter’s and son’s jobs!

    • Migrant Tales

      Mary Mekko, please tell us what far left means? How would you define it. While you are at it, could you provide us a definition for far right?

Leave a Reply