Riikka Purra seeks to lead the Perussuomalaiset party on Islamophobic and anti-EU soundbites. Populism and economic ruin?

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Should we be surprised that Perussuomalaiset (PS)* first vice president Riikka Purra announced her candidacy for chairperson of the Islamophobic party? Since she is the favorite to win the title, what will change, if anything, after its present chairperson Jussi Halla-aho steps down at next month’s annual meeting?

Purra, does not hide her Islamophobic views, she was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat that the main purpose of the PS is tightening immigration policy.

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

“If it’s up to me, the Perussuomalaiset will never form part of a government that won’t tighten significantly Finnish immigration policy,” she said.

While her affirmation overflows with populist bravado, the intransigent stance of the PS on immigration and the EU will bring it down in the end. How can it tighten immigration policy as Finland faces an ever-growing labor crunch?

Here are some hard facts: the number of over-65-year-olds per 100 working-age people will rise from 39.2% to 47.3% in 2030; to plug its pensions deficit, Finland needs to double the level of migrants to 20,000-30,000 annually. 

In Europe’s most homogenous country – by historical choice – Finland does not attract foreign talent.

Apart from opposing foreign labor to Finland, Purra has also expressed willingness to ditch the euro.

All of these proposals by her are a recipe for economic disaster for Finland.

Even so, the PS doesn’t care because their xenophobic and anti-EU soundbites attract a particular group of voters in Finland.

Fortunately, about 80% of Finns don’t vote for the PS.