Posts Tagged: Sweden

Sweden is the pet topic of the Perussuomalaiset, spreading fake news, too

If you didn’t speak out against racism, who would? Sweden is a pet topic of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. They constantly and obnoxiously remind us what a horrible place Sweden is because there live Muslims and other migrants. PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, continues to push her ethnonationalist and ethnic replacement theory at almost every

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #85: We need solutions, not racist provocations

The riots in Sweden sparked by the burning of the Koran by the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party led by Rasmus Palaudan remind us how urgently we need solutions, not provocations, to heal the wounds gashed by racism and double standards. Provocations do nothing more than expose our hypocrisy and privilege. They never

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Russian asylum-seeker family’s securty compromised by asylum reception center

A Russian family under serious threat of human rights violations plans to complain to the chancellor of justice against the Imatra asylum reception center, which alleges had endangered the Russian asylum seekers’ security. The family lived in Finland during 2017-2020. They are Ludmila*, her elderly mother, husband, and three other family members, including four cats. A

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How systematic exploitation of stateless persons also happens in Finland

An article in The Guardian on an asylum seeker who asks, “‘Why can’t I be legal anywhere?’ Exploited and left stateless by Sweden.” His story is not an anomaly but reveals what is happening to stateless persons, even in countries like Finland. Helsingin Sanomat and Migrant Tales published a story about the column. The author,

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A Kurdish activist in Sweden who faces deportation to Iran fears imprisonment and death

An Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) political activist in Sweden is under threat of being deported to Iran, where he believes he could be imprisoned and life would be under threat. Following the footsteps of many of his country, Agrin,* came to Sweden in 2015 and lives in Eskilstuna, located 112 kilomters west of Stockholm.

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(Racism Review) Swedish racism: Engineering a false image of democratic solidarity

When I, Masoud Kamali, arrived to Sweden as a political refugee from Iran in 1987, I had heard a lot about Sweden. While serving time as a political prisoner in Iran, one of my first images of Sweden came from an article that I had read in the Iranian Iran’s major newspaper, Keyhan. when I was in jail in Iran in late 1970s. It was about the Swedish Sweden’s charismatic Prime Minister Olof Palme. The article contained a picture of Palme walking his bicycle on the grounds of Stockholm’s famous Citadel and gathering money for the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua. As a leftist believing in a socialist revolution at that time, my prison-mates and I were very impressed by a country in which the Prime Minister dared openly support a leftist/Marxist movement.

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The bad and good news after Sweden’s 2018 parliamentary elections

There is good and bad news after Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The bad news is that the far-right Sweden Democrat saw its support rise by 4.7 percentage points to 17.6% compared with the elections in 2014, according to Svenska Dagbladet. The good news – if it can be considered as such – is that the result was well below expectations. 

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(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017): Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you

Dear Sweden,  In all of the Nordic region, we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government. 

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Sweden’s parliamentary elections expose the country’s issues with racist exceptionalism

Sweden heads for the polls on Sunday to elect 349 seats to the Riksdag (parliament). Despite the good showing in the polls of the far-right Sweden Democrats, which has roots in the neo-Nazi movement, is slated to capture 20% of the votes. The rise in popularity of the Sweden Democrats has been fast and a reminder that

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Why exaggerating about the dangers of “Sweden’s immigration problem” is racist

You hear a lot from anti-immigration politicians like the Perussuomalaiset* and even the police about how we must contain “Sweden’s immigrant problem” from coming to Finland. If you analyze such a claim and weigh its truth you will rapidly arrive at the following conclusions: It is racist and untrue.  It is racist because it paints

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THE LONG INTERVIEW: Rebecka Holm, the adolescent who spoke out against racism, yesterday and today

Rebecka Holm is the brave adolescent from Helsinki, who in 2012 spoke out against the racist harassment she regularly experienced on the way to school. She got fed up with the situation and wrote a letter to the Swedish daily, HBL, denouncing what she and her friends experienced too often. “If Finland is now the most

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(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017) Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you

Dear Sweden,

In all of the Nordic region we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government.

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Sweden’s former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is bewildered by Finland’s immigration policy

Sweden’s former right-wing Moderate Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt expresses bewilderment by Finland’s immigration policy, writes business daily Kauppalehti. “It is remarkable that before theelections in Finland they spoke about the importance of labor immigration but are [now] struggling to close Finland’s doors [to such people].”

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A letter from a Finn to a Swede

Dear friend, you probably read about the elections in Denmark and how xenophobia raised its head yet again in another Nordic country. The elections in Denmark didn’t surprise me. Two months earlier we had elections in Finland. Here too the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* became the second-biggest party in parliament and are now in government.

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PS MP Packalén is still in the dark about integration and cultural identity

The media is part of the problem when it comes to racism in Finland because it gives such people and politicians inflated respectability and importance. A good example of the problem is a story on MTV3 where Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén asks Social Democrat MP Maria Guzenina if she would root in a football match

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More red lights flashing in Sweden after three mosques set ablaze within a week

After one mosque was set ablaze on Christmas Day in Eskiltuna, two others have been targeted by suspected arsonists in the southern town of Esilöv on December 29 and in Uppsala on New Year’s Day, reports Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily.  The attacks against three mosques took place within a week. The far right Sweden Democrats caused a

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Sweden calls off snap elections in March 2015 after reaching agreement with the opposition

The minority government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has abandoned plans to hold snap elections in March 2015 after reaching an agreement with the Alliance, comprising of opposition parties like the Moderates, Center Party, Liberal Party and Christian Democrats, according to The Local. The far right Sweden Democrats, which caused a political crisis this month, blasted

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Arson attack against mosque in Sweden is another red light flashing in the roaring silence

 A mosque in Sweden that was hit by arson on Christmas Day is the latest warning that we cannot stand idly to the ever-rising tide of Islamophobia and far-right violence griping Europe these days. Words are not regular bullets that kill instantly but are time bombs that can explode anywhere and anytime.  The attack against the

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Michael McEachrane: Seeing Sweden’s race problem for what it is

Michael McEachrane* Two things seem abundantly clear regarding the rise of ultranationalism in Europe today. First, it is symptomatic of a broader form of nationalism which all European states are steeped in. Second, it is this broader nationalism that ultimately needs to be confronted if equality is ever to become a reality in Europe. Read

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Defining Swedish white privilege #1: Case Björn Söder

Sensible people in the Nordic region and elsewhere understand the threat of far right nativist rhetoric through mouthpiece parties like the Sweden Democrats, Danish People’s Party, Progress Party of Norway and Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* that parrot their “us” and “them” racism. Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder offers us a good example of how Swedish

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Sweden Democrats openly attack cultural diversity – will the PS of Finland follow their example?

In a clear attempt to cash in on the anti-immigration sentiment, Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder said that minorities like the Saami could never be Swedes and was willing to pay immigrants to leave the country, reports The Local. The mere suggestion that Sweden is only a country of white Swedes reveals the racist

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Migrant Tales (July 3, 2014): Is ‘Heikki the drunk’ Finnish or Swedish?

Migrants’ Tales insight: This story is interesting when looking at the Fazer gigolo tv commercial in Finland, which reinforces stereotypes about certain migrants and minorities in this country. An all-white board of the Council of Ethics in Advertising, which gets all of its funding from the private sector, will have a difficult time understanding what

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Will the Sweden Democrat victory give a boost to the PS in Finland?

The Swedish election result not only showed a shift and set for a minority-left government, but historic gains made by the far-right Sweden Democrats. Conservative Moderat Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who conceded defeat late Sunday, said he will hand in his resignation Monday after eight years in power. Just like the anti-immigration Peerussuomalaiset (PS)* in

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Institute of Race Relations: Sweden’s counter-extremism policies fail the accountability test

Migrant Tales insight: The first question that came to mind when reading the posting below is how Finland challenges the rise of fascism and far-right parties? Meanwhile, right under our noses, is the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* the third-largest party in parliament.  What does a party like the PS say about how Finland is dealing with the

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Is Heikki the drunk Finnish or Swedish?

Some Swedish Finns are up in arms about a children’s book published in Sweden that pictures a wino called Heikki, according to YLE in English.  The character in the book, who is lying in a bush next to a plastic bag full of beer, was too much for Swedish Finn Sirpa Lamminpää, who filed a

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Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia.  Read full story here.

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Selective hatred and racism know no master

Migrant Tales has written on a number of occasions about how intolerance and discrimination are a direct threat to our society since such social ills eat away at our values and thereby undermine who we are. We have demonstrated how anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) use selective hatred to ensure their followers that they are

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Sweden’s white paper on the abuses and rights violations against the Roma will have a positive effect on Finland

Sweden published on March 26 a white paper on abuses and rights violations against the Roma during the last century. The white paper is significant since it is the first time that the Swedish government has published and acknowledged Sweden’s long history of discrimination against the Roma minority. Should Finland follow Sweden’s example? If sociologist

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Institute of Race Relations: How the Swedish media bought into the myth-making of the far Right

Maria Tjader The leader of the far-Right Sweden Democrats wants to portray himself as the victim of anti-white racism. Read full story here. A televised interview on 23 February with Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-Right Sweden Democrats (SD), has generated much controversy over the alleged claims made by Åkesson with regards to his

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Romany minority discrimination case sparks government outrage in Sweden

The Swedish government has called a crisis meeting due to a discrimination case of a Roma woman at Stockholm’s Sheraton Hotel, reports Helsingin Sanomat. The woman, who was invited by the government to speak at a seminar on discrimination of the Roma in Sweden’s capital, was escorted with her traditional dress out of the hotel’s

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Finland had 3,238 asylum seekers in 2013

A total of 3,238 people applied for asylum in Finland compared with 3,129 people in the previous year, according to the Finnish Immigration Service. The largest single group of asylum seekers was Iraqis (819) followed by Russians (226) and Somalis (217). The number of asylum seekers coming to Finland oscillated between 1,500 and 6,000 over the

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Sweden is right, Finland wrong in its strategy against anti-immigration parties

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt reiterated to Helsingin Sanomat the government’s plans to isolate Sweden Democrats despite the latest polls in Sweden, which show the anti-EU and anti-immigration party making gains. Even if the Sweden Democrats have tried break free from their neo-Nazi and racist image, the party led by Jimmie Åkesson has suffered a number

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How Syrian refugees fleeing war show how the Finnish media gives (again) racists inflated respectability and importance

Migrant Tales published a while back a story about how the media gives racists and radical anti-immigration groups inflated respectability and importance. Why should we care what a Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP like Jussi Halla-aho, who was on top of it convicted for ethnic agitation, thinks about giving asylum to Syrian refugees?  Verkkouutiset is run by the

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The shadow of Anders Breivik’s mass killings hang over coalition talks after Norway elections

The landslide victory of Norway’s opposition Conservatives  (Høyre) on Monday was short-lived after the country’s next prime minister, Erna Solberg, faced tough coalition talks with the anti-immigration and populist Progress party (Fremskrittspartiet) of which Anders Breivik was a member and whose cold-blooded killings continue to haunt the country, reports Reuters. Visit Wikipedia site here. Outgoing Labor Party

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Racism Review: Sweden – No Longer the Exception to Western Racist Rule

Authored by Tobias Hübinette and L. Janelle Dance Since May 20, 2013, mass vandalism, material damage and outbursts of rioting in the poor and non-white suburbs of Greater Stockholm have dominated Swedish and international news media. This civil unrest was sparked when, on May 12, the police shot and killed a 69-year-old man from Husby, one of

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Sweden and Woolwich reveal the eager face of intolerance

Be it the riots in Sweden or the tragic murder of a British solider in Woolwich last week, it’s always the eager face of intolerance that is ready to expose itself. The knee-jerk reaction to these events reveals something disturbing about us: our prejudice, intolerance and near-clueless answers on how to move forward in a

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ENAR press statement: Riots in Sweden – time for government to finally address ethnic minorities’ exclusion

Comment:   As Migrant Tales has written on a number of postings, the riots in Sweden mirror the dire situation of some immigrant groups in that country and how marginalized they are from the rest of society.  ______ Brussels, 28 May 2013 – The ongoing riots in Stockholm, Sweden are a strong wake-up call for

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Sweden riots: People cannot live off football, crumbs and destitute pity

In the face of the riots in Huusby, Sweden, which have now spread outside the northern Stockholm suburb, there’s one culprit we should pay close attention to especially here in Finland: The erosion of Sweden’s comprehensive welfare state system.  Faced with a seven-billion-euro budget deficit, it isn’t surprising that few if any politicians in this

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The Stockholm riots reveal in the raw our prejudices and loathing for cultural diversity

Apart from being a wake-up call to ever-growing social exclusion, discrimination and outright intolerance that is alive and kicking in Sweden, the riots in the northern suburb of Stockholm have revealed in Finland our prejudices and loathing for cultural diversity.  The Local writes: “Stockholm is not on fire. Let’s get that clear immediately.” Read full

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The riots in Stockholm could happen in Finland sooner rather than later

Center Party municipal politician Abdirahim “Husu” Hussein told the Finnish media that the riots we are seeing in the Stockholm suburb of Husby could well happen in Finland in 10-15 years if we commit the same mistakes. The ugly face of intolerance, which is raising its head in Finland conspicuously, reinforces Hussein’s claim.  By “mistakes” I mean

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The long battle for ethnic equality has begun in Sweden and Finland

One wonders how Sweden’s embattled migration minister, Tobias Billström, could make his “blonde, blue-eyed” comment on asylum seekers and get away with it without losing his job.  Here in Finland we give prime television time to representatives of  racist association like Suomen Sisu, whose views on cultural diversity don’t vary greatly from the U.S. American Nazi

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Of Birds and Feathers: The PS, the Sweden Democrats, and Their American Bedfellows

By Barachiel  “Birds of a feather flock together.” I don’t know how or if this saying applies to personal relationships, but it is true in the world of politics. And though they undoubtedly hate to admit it, the populist parties of the Nordics and Europe are not exempt. The PS’ problematic relationship with Suomen Sisu

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Police College of Finland: 2011 hate crime statistics will be published before end-year

The Police College of Finland is taking a long time to publish its hate crime statistics for 2011. A spokesperson of the Police College told Migrant Tales Friday that hate crime data will be published “in a few weeks,” or before end-year.   Migrant Tales spoke to the Police College in early November. A spokeswoman

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Another scandal hits far-right Sweden Democrats

Sweden Democrat (SD) MP Lars Isovaara is resigning his seat after he spat at a parliamentary security guard, reports The Local. The latest scandal to the far-right party follows an earlier one this month after Swedish tabloid Expressen published a video of an SD MP who got rowdy  in public and hurled racist and sexist

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Swedish immigrant killer is sentenced to life in prison

Peter Mangs, the Swedish gunman convicted of two murders and five attempted murders, was sentenced Friday by the Mälmö District Court to life in prison, reports ABC News, citing AP.   The court found Mangs guilty in July  but his sentence was delayed pending a psychiatric evaluation that found him to be sane. The forty-year-old man, who

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The SD (and PS) are far-right anti-immigration parties

There’s an interesting opinion piece on Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter about the Swedish Democrats (SD) and the spread of fascism or neofascism in the Scandinavian country.  While classifying a party as “fascist” may be problematic, there are certain ideological characteristics that expose its true political colors.  Historian and journalist Henrik Arnstad writes: “Fascism is a deeply

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Racism scandal rips far-right Sweden Democrats

Here’s an interesting story that took place in June 2010 in Sweden involving a far-right Sweden Democrat (SD) MP, Erik Almqvist, who got rowdy and started hurling racist and sexist insults in public, reports Swedish tabloid Expressen. The MP naturally denied everything until Expressen published today a video confirming what others claimed he said. After repeated denials, Almqvist

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Reports: Greatest threat to immigrants are not far-right groups in Sweden

Two reports published on November 9 in Sweden show that the greatest threat to immigrants and visible minorities in that country aren’t far-right groups, but everyday intolerance and racism from white Swedes. What does this report say about Sweden and suggest about how foreigners are treated in Finland? Contrary to our neighbor, Finland’s third-largest party

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Sweden convicts Peter Mangs for Malmö immigrant murders

A Malmö District Court convicted Peter Mangs, 40, of two counts of murder and four attempted murders, according to the Guardian. The man, who is a Swede of Finnish descent, killed his first victim in 2003 and terrorized Malmö during 2009-10. All of his victims were immigrants. Mangs will undergo psychiatric evaluation before his sentencing

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What have we learned after Norway’s 22/7?

What goes around comes around. Exactly a year ago Anders Breivik carried out his mass killings, which ended up causing the death of 77 innocent victims. Have we learned anything from that tragic Saturday that shook the Nordic region and changed it permanently? In order to answer that question, we’d have to travel back in time

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Anti-immigration groups in Finland care less about immigrants and visible minorities

Behind all the rhetoric spread by anti-immigration groups in Finland and elsewhere a fact emerges:they are out to destroy the lives of as many immigrants as possible with their prejudice and racism. When a justice ministry official hands over rape statistics of different immigrant groups he gives a power weapon to slander and victimize people from different countries.

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Eronen asked for trouble when she wrote her column about armbands

Finland has been inflicted for a number of years by people who think they can say and write anything they please about immigrants and visible minorities in Finland. It’s only natural that when you let out racism and prejudice to roam freely in society unchecked, things will eventually snap as we saw in Norway in July. What did Helena Eronen, Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari’s aide, do wrong?

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Anti-immigration groups in Finland plan vicious campaign as the municipal election nears in October

As the demonic rumors and stereotypes spread by Finland’s anti-immigration groups lose their appeal among voters, expect a new round of vicious attacks by them as the municipal election nears on October 28. The good news, however, is that using the usual crime statistics and racist arguments that gave some Perussuomalaiset (PS) candidates their ticket to parliament in the April 2011 election will be a hard sell in October.

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Helsingin Yliopisto: Populismin juuret ovat kaukana historiassa

“On selvää, että äärioikeiston kannatuksen kasvu on yleiseurooppalainen ilmiö”, sanoo Suomen Akatemian tuore tutkijatohtori Inari Sakki. Monien muiden Euroopan maiden tavoin populistipuolueet ovat moninkertaistaneet kannatuksensa viime vuoden aikana myös Suomessa ja Ruotsissa. Vaikka ilmiö on näkyvä, Inari Sakin mielestä uutta tietoa aiheeseen tuo sosiaalipsykologinen näkökulma.

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El País: El ocaso de la tolerancia nórdica

La victoria electoral de los Auténticos Finlandeses ha supuesto una pequeña revolución en el país nórdico, pero sobre todo ha hecho saltar todas las alarmas en una región en la que hasta hace bien poco era casi impensable escuchar argumentos tan extremistas como los que ahora circulan por los Parlamentos nacionales de la zona. Los partidos de extrema derecha y populistas nórdicos ya no pueden ser ignorados porque les respalda una parte del electorado nada despreciable. En Finlandia y en Dinamarca han sido la tercera fuerza más votada. En Suecia han aflorado de la semioscuridad y han entrado en la cámara parlamentaria.

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True Finns’ Soini lashes out at the foreign media

While True Finns’ chairman Timo Soini tries to calm Finns and the outside world that “we’re not extremists, so you can sleep safely,” an eerie lull prevails in Finland as talks begin on forming a coaltion government with Kokoomus, Social Democrats and the True Finns. Soini’s most recent outbreak was with the Swedish media, whom he branded on MTV3 as “unbelievable.”

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Finland election: Flirting with isolationism and xenophobia

In our neck of the woods in the Nordic region, ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic parties have made their mark in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and most likely now in Finland on Sunday when the True Finns are expected to score a historic victory. Will the election embolden other xenophobic parties in this region and Europe? Will it send shock ripples in the EU?

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Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes

By JusticeDemon* Dr Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki Department of Geography, had the following letter printed in the Opinions column of Finland’s leading national daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday 23 August 2009. The sub-editor chose to print this letter under the heading Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes. The

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