By Enrique Tessieri
Left Alliance presidential hopeful, Paavo Arhimäki, said Sunday that his party has taken the strongest stand against racism when compared with the candidates of the Swedish People’s Party and Greens, reports Tampere-based daily Aaamulehti. It is an encouraging sign that Finland’s political parties appear to be competing to be the most outspoken on racism.
I have my doubts, however, about Perussuomalaiset (PS) party presidential candidate Timo Soini, who still hasn’t made a clear and conclusive break from racism never mind other forms of discrimination. I still don’t know what the Christian Democrat candidate, EuroMP Sari Essayah, thinks about the issue.
I am pretty sure that veteran politicians like Sauli Niinistö of Kokoomus never mind Paavo Lipponen of the Social Democratic Party know that discrimination has to be challenged and is a sign of a society in steep decline.
Lipponen has in the past spoken strongly against the far-right menace in the PS and to Finnish democracy.
What would you say about Center Party presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen, who served during the cold war as foreign minister? If he didn’t care a lot about human rights violations committed by Finland against Soviet asylum seekers why would he have a different opinion on immigrants?
Even so, parties like Kokoomus, Social Democrats and Center Party have pretty mixed opinions about racism and how it should be tackled.
Even if racism has lifted its head in Finland, the opposition to this social ill has been promising.
It clearly shows that Finns can, together with other minorities, can defeat this menace.