After one wing of the Social Democratic Party notched closer to the anti-immigration True Finns, one should quietly ask what’s all the fuss about? SDP MP Eero Heinäluoma stated in an interview with Swedish daily HBL that Finland should not encourage labor immigrants because there are 300,000 unemployed. Fair enough, then he goes on and blames immigrants for spreading racism because “they will take jobs from Finns.”
But let’s ask how many workers came from outside the EU to Finland last year. Are you ready for this: 4,000, according SDP MP Susanna Huovinen. Yes, that’s right: 4,000 people are threatening Finland!
The second intentionally unanswered question by Heinäluoma is from where are these non-EU workers going to come from? The Ukraine? Belarus?
Apart from inciting nationalist sentiment at the expense of the immigrant community, Heinäluoma and SDP chairperson Jutta Urpilainen are examples of people that give politics a bad name. Some will sell their souls and ideals wholesale to further their careers.
SDP veteran politician Erkki Tuomioja is another party member who has given the thumbs down to Heinäluoma’s populist anti-immigration rhetoric. In his blog he accuses the SDP MP of making unfounded statements like “immigrants take jobs from Finns.” Tuomioja continues: “This argument (used by Heinäluoma) only happens in a stagnant and lifeless economy where workers are regulated.”
It is evident that Heinäluoma and Urpilainen are opporunistically using immigrants to further their party’s chances in the 2011 elections. The collateral damage their stances have caused on the immigrant community has come in the form of bolstered racism and suspicion in this country.