Passage of draft bill to prohibit real estate purchases by non-EU citizens would expose Finland’s xenophobia of Russians

by , under Enrique Tessieri

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.

Näyttökuva 2014-4-16 kello 19.13.49

Read full story here.

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.

  1. PS voter

    Why do you think that demanding reciprocity would be xenophobia? Is Russia showing xenophobia against Finns by refusing to sell real estate in Karelia to Finns because Russia feels that it is vital security issue? And don’t you think that what is happening now in Ukraine is a reminder what problems may wait us, if we get too close to Russia and ignore that it is vital security issue to us as well?

    And what is wrong in trying to keep the price level to reasonable level to locals? May I remind you that often even within the same country locals don’t like that persons come from other parts of the country and cause the prices to become so high that the locals cannot afford them anymore. One good example of this is San Francisco where the locals are protesting against Google for this same reason.