A rebuttal to Finland’s speaker of parliament concerning her claim of “high migrant unemployment”

by , under Ahti Tolvanen

Ahti Tolvanen

Now a leading SMP person has slid from “immigration criticism” which has mainly focused on the large influx of asylum seekers to talking about all persons of foreign origin living in the country- probably also returning Finns.

This would include technical professionals, academics, students, managers and investors. The whole history of Finnish economic and industrial development shows that these kinds of immigrants played a large part in the making of modern Finland as the prosperous and developed society that it is. Madam Speaker also has her facts wrong. The overall employment rate in the last published statistics shows labour market participation among the foreign-origin population to be somewhat higher as well as earning higher average incomes.

Therefore, it might be said the average foreigner is paying more than the average Finn to keep a proportionately larger number of unemployable Finns on the dole (cf. Tilastokeskus). I think I speak for most immigrants when I say we don’t mind because we find Finland and Finns loveable, even the unemployables.

What we have now is a very noisy group shouting things like “close the borders” of Finland, which has gotten into this media bubble which exists in this country and is getting repeated coverage. Since many of these leading noisemakers belong to the same party as Madam Deputy Speaker, she can do the country a favour by telling them to shut up. Indeed, this is one of her jobs- at least inside Parliament.

Finland desperately needs foreign investors, immigrant entrepreneurs, trained specialists and bright students from abroad. The export companies desperately need skilled multilingual salespeople and market experts to recover competitivity in the markets around the world. We don’t need these people who want to make Finland into a European North Korea by “closing the borders”. That country has been trying to get ahead by keeping out foreigners and shouting patriotic slogans for 60 years. The formula is just not working.

Why can’t we learn from somebody’s bad example and not insist on making the same mistake for ourselves? Do we have to wait until we see Finns selling cigarettes to Russians on the other side of the border to get it? This proposal of not allowing refugees to bring in family members is a dead end idea.

The main reason people work hard to build themselves up is to support their families, even if they have to make great sacrifices to do so. Foreigners who can’t bring in their families will stay in Finland to get what education and training they can to become economically viable and then they will move elsewhere to unite with their families. Preventing family reunification will drive out future taxpayers and isolate and alienate the ones who remain. A bad idea with a double edge.

In the old days, the political parties used to be guardians of the national interest and actively disciplined or sidelined people who were seen to be harming Finland’s foreign interests. Where are the guardians of Finland’s foreign interests now that people are tarnishing the country’s image at the top of their lungs and even shouting to shut the borders? Where are the Presidents “letters of guidance” now that we need them as more and more people are trying to shut down the country?