Finland rolls back the clock and flirts with the cold war when every foreigner was seen as a potential threat

by , under Enrique Tessieri

In another move to punish former migrants who are naturalized Finns, the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä plans to introduce a new law to parliament within weeks that will prohibit dual citizens from holding certain jobs that involve national security, according to Seijnäjoki-based daily Ilkka, which cites Finnish News Agency (STT).

Some sensitive national security jobs are found in defense, Finnish Border Guard, police service, customs, diplomatic service, and communications, according to Kirsi Äijälä, who heads a committee drafting the new law. She said, however, that hiring decisions are made on a one-by-one basis and the law will permit exceptions.

The new law, if passed, is a sign of how Finland is flirting with the Cold War years when nationalism and suspicion of anything foreign were the rule.

During the 1990s with the demise of the Soviet Union, there was an opening up of Finland with Western Europe. It joined the Council of Europe, in 1995 it became an EU member, drafted a new Constitution, which promoted social equality, anti-discrimination, and cultural diversity as well as passed new dual citizenship laws.

The short opening up of the country started to falter in 2011 when the Perussuomalaiset* party won their historic parliamentary victory by raising the number of MPs to 39 from 5.  Instead of passing laws that promote diversity, the Finnish government is passing today laws that penalize migrants.

Apart from laws that discourage cultural diversity and promote nationalism, the government has failed in containing the rise of racism and the ever-worsening anti-immigration climate of Finland.

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

In 2014, President Sauli Niinistö asked then Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen about the possibility of tightening Finland dual citizenship laws, reported  YLE News.  

Then Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said that there were no plans to end dual citizenship rights for for Finnish citizens. “We are not tightening any legislation we are simply reviewing the overall situation,” he said.

Should we be surprised by that the government of Prime Minister Sipilä plans to pass new legislation that will exclude Finnish citizens and relegate them into second-class members of society?

Not really but we should be worried, very worried, about this government and the damage it is inflicting on our in the name of nationalism and privilege.

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.” 


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