Other casualties of Ukraine are European far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, we are seeing the restructuring of Europe’s security structure and political landscape. The new landscape is bad news for Europe’s far-right and populist parties like Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. 

The new situation may explain why PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, offered a new image with new glasses that makes her look more sensible and not her usual angry self? Is it why she did not mention once on the talk show her favorite pet word she likes to exploit: migrants?

Simultaneously, Finland’s staunchly anti-immigration party showed no objection to the millions of Ukrainian refugees [the media is now calling them by their proper name] who would settle in the EU and have access to a residence permit and social welfare.

PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari, a Donald Trump admirer and leading Islamophobe in Finland, tweeted: “Refugees welcome.”

Source: Twitter

The dismal performance and showing of the PS in January’s regional elections and recent opinion polls force the party to reorient itself and find a new path to voters. Understanding that anti-immigration rhetoric won’t fly in the same way as in the past, the party has asked its former leader Jussi Halla-aho to the rescue.

Halla-aho, convicted of ethnic agitation in 2012 and is the country’s most vociferous Islamophobe, was appointed as the new chair of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee after PS MP Mika Niiko’s abrupt resignation.

Halla-aho is no stranger to provocative racist and even violent soundbites in which one of them he hoped that foreigners would sexually assault two women MPs.

His most recent tweets about Ukraine are hawkish and encourage Nato to intervene directly in the war.

Halla-aho’s tweets are full of bravoado coming from a man who refused to be conscripted in the army and opted for civilian service.

From my point of view, the PS has nowhere else to head but south in the polls and in next year’s parliamentary election.

If there is a sinister silver lining to the Ukraine tragedy, this may be one of them.