Defining white Finnish privilege #13: Case Matti Putkonen

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the exclusive privileges white Finns who belong to anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* have is making ludicrous claims about migrants and minorities. Matti Putkonen of the PS is the latest case of white Finnish privilege. He is claiming – without proof – that “the cost of migration” to Finland may be now as high as 2 billion euros, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat

On top of such an unsubstantiated claim, Putkonen can even accuses The Finnish Immigration Service of fostering racism because it plays down “the cost of migration.”

According to the FIS, “the cost of migration” is 203 million euros.

Näyttökuva 2014-10-31 kello 10.14.06
White Finnish privilege gives Putkonen the right to make outrageous claims about migration. Read full story here.


What do Putkonen and the PS mean by “the cost of migration” anyway? If the majority of migrants living in this country work, pay taxes and consume, how can they be only a cost to society?

In the world of white Finnish privilege and anti-immigration sound bites this is plausible. As PS MP Tom Packalén and National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma recently showed, it doesn’t matter if what you say is an outright fabrication since your aim is media attention at all costs. It doesn’t even matter it your unsubstantiated claims are proven wrong. Your claim has spread with the help of the media to the public. Mission accomplished.

What Putkonen’s figures and claims about migration reveal a systemic campaign against migrants and minorities for shameless political profit.

As Migrant Tales wrote recently, the figures presented by Putkonen are the PS and grossly exaggerated and one-sided. There is nothing in the PS claim how much growth migration brings to Finland.

A recent OECD report revealed that in Finland migration had boosted growth in 2011 by 0.16%, including pensions.

So what Putkonen and the PS are claiming is what they’ve been lobbying all along: migrants shouldn’t have any rights to collect social assistance like native Finns.

The social aid that most migrants enjoy in this country is the same that native Finns have.

Definition #13

To understanding the ludicrous claims of Putkonen and the PS  concerning “the cost of migration,” we can play fill-in-the blanks to grasp their absurd claim. All you need to do is replace the word ‘migrant’ with ‘woman.’ Certainly we could be even bolder: replace ‘migrant’ and ‘woman’ with all Finns who get social assistance.

Here’s an example from a quote on Ilta-Sanomat:

Putkonen now claims that the cost of migration is greater, about two billion euros.

Putkonen now claims that the cost of women is greater, about two billion euros.

Or: Putkonen now claims that the cost of our welfare state is greater, costing hundreds of billions of euros.

Attacking migrants is a cowardice act like sexism. In the same way that Putkonen makes his nonsensical claims, how would it sound if he said that since women have babies that costs Finland an arm and a leg?

He would never do that because women have won important rights in this country even if they still make about 20% less than men.

Migrants continue to be disenfranchised in Finland and they are being kept on short leashes with the help of  white Finnish privilege as Putkonen and the PS too commonly show.

See also:

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party 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.