MEP Henna Virkkunen: Kokoomus, EU and Finnish refugee policy in crisis

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Some Finnish politicians condemn racist acts with one hand but with another encourage them.

National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MEP Henna Virkkunen stated in a tweet lofty European values after an MP of the same party said Saturday that it would be easier for Kokoomus to work with the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party than with the Greens and left-wing parties.

She tweeted below: “The values that #kokoomus wants to build in Finland and Europe are education, tolerance, encouragement, caring, equal opportunities. Kokoomus wants an open, free, and internationally-minded community [and] this is distant from what the Perussuomalaiset represents.”

While her tweet is welcome, it reveals the ideological battle going in that party. One faction of Kokoomus is liberal and pro-EU while the other nationalistic, and xenophobic represented by politicians such as MP Wille Rydman, Jukka Kopra, Pia Kauma, Elina Lepomäki, Kai Mykkänen, and others.

Is Virkkunen’s tweet disingenuous?

In October, Virkkunen voted with Petri Sarvamaa, who is a member of the same party, with Laura Huhtasaari of the PS to not step-up search and rescue operations for refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean.

Virkkunen is also one of the 36.3% (85/234) MEP candidates who either “strongly disagreed,” “disagreed” or were “neutral” in an  Alma Media’s election compass that asked: “Is it the obligation of the EU to save all those migrants who attempt to come to Europe and who are at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean?”

Virkkunen answered “disagreed.”

Is letting people drown or turning a blind tye to their fates in the Mediterranean European and Finnish values?

Over 27,000 people have drowned crossing the Mediterranean since 1993.