Finance Minister Petteri Orpo and his disingenuous statements about racism and bigotry

by , under Enrique Tessieri

National Coalition Party (NCP) chairman and Finance Minister Petteri Orpo was quoted as saying on YLE News that he won’t tolerate racist speech. The comment comes after two Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politicians, MP Teuvo Hakkarainen and PS youth leader Sebastian Tynkkynen, are being investigated by the police service for ethnic agitation. 

“If we are in government, then we are in government,” said Orpo. “We can’t be in government and in opposition at the same time.”

Is having a party like the PS that has a questionable record on spreading racism and bigotry in Finland only an issue of being “in government and in opposition” simultaneously?

Is Finance Minister Orpo disingenuous? What has he done, apart from offering words of assurances that he’s against hate speech, to guarantee the safety and rights of migrants in Finland? Under his watch as interior minister, the government has tightened immigration policy.

A recent Facebook posting on July 26,  NCP MP Wille Rydman reveals the hypocritical stand of the government concerning racism and bigotry.

Rydman has the dubious reputation of being the “Jussi Halla-aho of the NCP.”

PS MEP Halla-aho was sentenced for ethnic agitation in 2012.

Näyttökuva 2016-7-27 kello 14.41.48
MP Wille Rydman defends Tynkkynen for his Islamophobic comments by asking if it’s a taboo in Finland to talk about Islam as a threat to Europe?

The stand of some politicians and parties like the NCP concerning the rise of racism and bigotry in Finland is shameful characterized by inaction and near-silence.

Will Orpo’s statements against what Hakkarainen and Tynkkynen said change anything?

Nothing will change, unfortunately. The only thing you’ll hear is a light slap on the hand.

If Orpo were genuinely concerned about the racist actions of the PS, possibly one place to start would be by asking what the NCP is doing in government with a party that bases its popularity on racism and bigotry.

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. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”