Politicians who fuel and support opportunity segregation in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Tanja Hartonen-Pulkka is a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* candidate in April’s parliamentary elections. Last year she was noticed by Migrant Tales for all the wrong reasons. Hartonen-Pulkka lives in Mäntyharju, a small town in Eastern Finland with a population of 6,200 people that has a handful of foreign residents. She claimed in fall that at the present rate, white Finns will become a minority in this country. 

Hartonen-Pulkka’s anti-immigration rhetoric hasn’t ended even if she got her fingers burned in August. In a campaign poster she hands you the usual anti-immigration rhetoric that is hostile to migrants and minorities living in Finland:

We must limit immigration. We have to get a handle on social welfare immigration and the cost of immigration has to be lowered. We must first create jobs in order that Finns have work before we can think about increasing the number of skilled migrants [to Finland].

Näyttökuva 2015-3-5 kello 9.06.56
It’s doubtful that Hartonen-Pulkka will ever get elected to parliament. Even so, she is a good example of the anti-immigration sentiment that is rife in the PS.


Fair enough. Finland has to create jobs. Agreed. But what is this “us” and “them” division of society along ethnic and national lines? Here is where the PS, and Hartonen-Pulkka, flirt with hairy populism and far right ideology.

The anti-immigration catch phrases used by the PS candidate are a typical example of populist double-talk. What is she really saying? We want to keep Finland white and don’t want any foreigners.

It is incredible that Finland, which has one of the best educational systems in the world, relies heavily on exports and international markets has politicians like Hartonen-Pulkka who don’t know better. Moreover, she is a member of the third-largest political party in parliament.

Migrants and minorities are easy game for populist anti-immigration politicians who will make up outright lies and distort facts in order to further their political careers.

Even so, spreading and reinforcing prejudice is fine by them just as long as you don’t say the same things about white Finns.

How would Hartonen-Pulkka feel if a male chauvinist party became one of the biggest in Finland and would advocate that women like her return to the kitchen and start fulfilling their only aim in society: to make babies?

Women and Hartonen-Pulkka would be rightfully outraged.

That’s why we should be outraged by politicians who spread urban tales and fuel anti-immigration rhetoric in order to maintain and reinforce opportunity segregation in this country.


* The English name of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is officially the Finns Party. The names 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. 

  1. Yossie

    I don’t get what is so wrong with this. She is right that if the immigration continues at present rate native finns will be a minority. Statistics show the number of foreigners in Finland have increased every year ever since 1990s. How is she wrong?

    Also, how I see it, Finland has the responsibility first and foremost towards it own citizen. As such it makes sense that social welfare immigration will be cut when our public debt is soaring and there are constant budget deficits. Also it makes sense have jobs for unemployed people living in Finland first rather than taking immigrants to do the said jobs.

    Why is all this a problem for you? Because you want more immigrants here and PS wants less. That is why you try to make PS look bad in all possible ways.