Sonia Maria Koo: EU freedoms paralyzed by Finnish xenophobia

by , under Sonia Maria Koo

Finnish election campaigns make it hard to stay calm even for a tax-paying, diligent, well-educated and fluent in local language EU-citizen with two decades of history in this inward-turning country showing more and more its ugly face of xenophobia and hatred.

In a country which makes you wonder nearly every day if it actually joined the European Union over 20 years ago and ever implemented the basic freedom of movement, Perussuomalaiset* (PS) party Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho expresses concern regarding the incoming and outgoing workforce flows between Finland and other EU member states.

Read more on the topic here.

How “free” has that flow been? It is still absolutely an exception that a skilled EU citizen would come to work for a company in Finland. Not even exchange-student graduates succeed in finding employment other than menial jobs like janitors after their studies end. Many of them must seek professional careers in other Western countries or back home rather than stay in Finland.

Plans to attract foreign qualified workers are delegated to work groups formed by Finnish politicians and public servants and not allowing foreigners to speak for themselves. A unique phenomenon a foreigner faces is that a Finn always knows better than an immigrant and what the immigrant ought to “feel.” Chewing through theory with no practical results brings an outcome that unemployment among qualified immigrants remains high in this country.

The language barrier is a fake pretext for keeping people unemployed. The real reason is Finns’ low tolerance for otherness. Most companies are too afraid to embrace the knowledge from diversity provided by someone not holding a degree and fitting into the narrow Finnish box.

Past years have shown that even education and work experience acquired abroad by Finns is poorly recognized if that person returns to Finland. Such people need their own support groups. It is as if living abroad was an impairment on their ability to handle working life. Knowhow flows unused through the stiff fingers of Finnish intolerance and fear. It is a fear of promoting local mediocrity at the cost of foreign smartness.

PS leader Halla-aho also fears that the brain drain in Finland is causing many educated Finns to move away from the “world’s happiest country.” To make matters worse, many have good chances to find employment in other countries that are smart enough to embrace diversity. Not Finland though.

A poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) showed a lot of concern in Finland about its locally educated workforce moving away from the country while immigration flows remain low. This scenario is exacerbated by the ever-growing ageing population posing problems in the near future. For more information on this go here.

So at least one of Halla-aho’s observations is correct. Also, educated Finns will more and more use their authentic EU freedoms to leave a sinking ship called Finland.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

  1. intternetnetsi

    Have you seen his actual talking .I have talked to soviet, estonis. lithuanian, swede. norvegian. danish. german and so on.
    Ability is “can understood” I fuck up with no doubt but i manage.

    If we have 20+years living here who need translator…

    • Migrant Tales

      Hannu, I know Finns in Argentina who never learned to speak Spanish. The same case is of Finns in the US, who never learned English. Don’t be so mean.