The newly elected chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Riikka Purra, did not waste any time attacking migrants. Apart from tightening naturalization laws and family reunification, she stated that the PS will not become a member of a new government that doesn’t “significantly” tighten immigration laws.
The timing of her hostile and anti-social statements could not have been worse. We saw during the same weekend Taliban’s victory In Afghanistan to take back the country into the 21st-century stone age.
When Purra was asked if she would take in Afghan asylum seekers, her answer was negative and why no Afghan refugees must enter Europe.
Even if the PS is the biggest opposition party in parliament, only a minority voted for them in the last 10 years. The vast majority of voters did not vote for the party.
Some of the matters that surprise me about the PS are its shameless bravado and crystal ball antics.
Purra speaks as if she already won the 2023 parliamentary election and will be Finland’s next prime minister.
Another matter that amazes me about the far-right or radical-right party is how it shamelessly copies and plagiarizes (see PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari’s interview below, where she is accused of plagiarizing 80% of her master’s thesis).
One of the reasons why former party secretary Simo Grönroos lost against Arto Luukkanen was the poor showing of the PS in the municipal elections. Thanks to his far-right views and infatuation with the Islamophobic slogans from Europe, Grönroos was an essential component of the poor showing of the PS in June.
While opinion polls saw the PS leading with 21.6% in May, the Center Party did not suffer a stinging loss.
The PS only gained 14.5% of the votes to fourth place after the Center Party, which received 14.9%.
One of the slogans that the PS copied from the Brexit campaign was “let’s take back control” (äänestä Suomi takaisin).
The latest cut-and-paste job by Purra is from Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who stated in January that she wants the country to accept zero asylum seekers.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Denmark is one of the most Islamophobic countries in Europe. Due to this hostile environment, the PS has been a close ideological ally of the Danish People’s Party.
While I doubt – and hope – that Purra will ever become Finland’s next prime minister, her xenophobic radicalism is a liability to the party. You can attract many votes with racism, but you will never get over 50% in Finland.
Unfortunately, matters will get worse in Finland for migrants and minorities before they start to improve.
Until then, we must stand united and challenge all forms of racism tooth and nail.