There is nothing new in the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* immigration program announced Monday. A surprise for me was that the PS hardline stance means ALL migrants. Previously, I thought the term “migrant” used by the PS was code for Muslims or persons from outside the EU.
If the PS had its way, it would completely overhaul Finland’s immigration policy.
- Eight years of residence, speaking near-perfect Finnish, and work, before granting a permanent residence permit;
- Raise the residence requirement for citizenship to 10 years from five years now;
- Tighten further language requirements for the naturalization test;
- Only citizens of OECD countries can have dual citizenship;
- Exclude foreigners from getting social welfare;
- Tighten further already strict family reunification requirements;
- Only people within the EU can apply for asylum;
- End labor immigration from outside the EU;
- Only highly educated people from outside the EU can move to Finland.
As one can see, instigating such an immigration policy proposed by the radical right PS would effectively mean isolating Finland from the world.
The PS’ anti-immigration stance is so out there that one can ask if it is a bad joke. It could jeopardize Finland’s bid for Nato membership as it has put Sweden’s. Türkiye relations with Sweden have soured, especially after a failed Danish-Swedish Islamophobe, Rasmus Paludan, burned the Koran in front of their embassy in Stockholm.
One matter is true: It is a political stunt to attract voters. Like a reckless poker player making a final bet, the PS believes its hardline stance against migrants and minorities will pay off in the polls on April 2.
If the last municipal election is anything to go by, it may end up as another big disappointment for the party. After launching an aggressive campaign against migrants and burning up a lot of money in the municipal elections of June, the PS came in fourth place despite some polls showing it to come out on top.
Are the PS too radical for Finnish voters’ taste?
Purra and the PS leadership appear to disagree.
April 2 will provide an answer to that question.
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