President Sauli Niinistö throws weight behind opposition’s election campaign by citing youth gang “problem”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

President Sauli Niinistö, who has a track record of speaking disparagingly about Muslims and asylum seekers, was quoted as saying on Yle’s 8:30 news that he fears Finland “apparently” is “moving a bit” on Sweden’s path concerning youth gang violence.

“It’s a very, very unfortunate and dangerous phenomenon, we seem to be following a bit behind Sweden [concerning youth gang violence], he said.

Like other programs, Yle added fuel to the topic by stating that “youth gangs terrorize the streets of the Nordic region and now also in Finland.” “Terrorize” is a strong word, and such a claim should be backed up with hard statistical facts and sources with names.


It is surprising, if not incredible that President Niinistö does not offer us as well hard statistical facts about the “rising” problem of youth gang violence in Finland. His message reinforces what I have stated before: He isn’t and never was the president of all Finns, never mind that of our non-white communities.

President Niinistö’s views are a carbon copy of the far-right and right-wing that the only way to deal with these social problems is to pass stricter laws and sentences. Stricter laws and sentences will mean more prison inmates but will never solve the problem.

Considering the election success of the far-right Sweden Democrats with the help of the conservative Moderates in September was helped by scapegoating and spreading fear about youth gang violence, which makes Niinistö’s concern political and suspect.

Nobody is underestimating the problem, but there should also be more moderation.

Why didn’t President Niinistö speak out against far-right violence when five youths allegedly planned Finland’s first terrorist attack? What about the far-right marches by Suomi herää and 612 on independence day encourage the president to speak out?

Double standards, I suspect.