Comment: In a very revealing and touching interview on YLE below, the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, said two important matters in liight of what happened in Norway: The attack was from the extreme right and our collective response to it should be more openness, more democracy, more interaction with each other.
She said that gun legislation should be tightened in Finland as well.
“I think it can be clearly said that this was a movement born in the circles on the extreme right, but it could have occurred in any other part of the political spectrum,” Halonen said.
One matter that has been slow in coming in Finland concerning a right-wing populist party such as the Perussuomalaiset is to challenge their views on topics like the EU or immigration. Their silence and unwillingness to challenge these issues was certainly one factor that forced the PS to its election victory in April.
After what happened on 22/7, there will be closer scrutiny of right-wing populist parties not only by the public but by political parties that will and should openly challenge their opinions on a wide range of national issues.
President Tarja Halonen says that now is the time to let Norwegians grieve for the victims of last Friday’s attacks. At the same time, this is the right moment to think of ways to prevent such a tragedy from striking any country again, according to Halonen.