Politicians that fuel nationalism and intolerance forget to tell you one important fact: They carry a high price tag in the form of lower economic growth and less jobs. If passed, a draft bill spearheaded by Social Democrat (SDP) MP Suna Kymäläinen would not only hit businesses in eastern Finland that depend on Russian tourists, but reveal our ever-growing xenophobia.
The bill would be like putting up a huge sign for the world to see: Russians stay out!
Other MPs behind the bill are Perussuomalaiset party’s Reijo Tossavainen, Pertti Hemmilä of the National Coalition Party, Markku Rossi and Aila Paloniemi both of the Center Party.
According to a news story in January, the draft bill had the backing of 101 of 200 MPs.
If the bill becomes law, non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens would have to be residents of Finland for five years in order to purchase real estate.
The bill was criticized on YLE’s Russia debate show and which Kymäläinen took part.
Some of the participants saw the bill as a big mistake because it would hit businesses, which depend on Russian tourists.
Kymäläinen’s blamed Russians for driving up the price of land.
On her home page she cites money laundering and since Finns cannot buy land in a 100km buffer zone by the Finnish-Russian border as reasons why such a law is important.
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If the bill gets approved, it would continue to fuel our age-old suspicion of Russians, which influences how we see other migrants and visible minorities in this country.
That is something we don’t need.