THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
It’s been a tough bubble-bursting July and August for Finland’s second-biggest party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* Helsinki city Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein tweeted that the party and supporters were racists, while history researcher Oula Silvenoinen reminded and called the PS a far-right party on television.
Silvenoinen isn’t the only researcher who calls the PS far right. Others that have referred the party as far right are the Financial Times of London, The Guardian, Politico, Spiegel Online, EUObserver, The Local SE, and others.
Let’s not forget as well the PS’ membership in pro-Putin and far-right Identity and Democracy group in the European Parliament led by pundits like Matteo Salvini of the Lega Nord party.
After the PS’ historic election victory in 2011, Migrant Tales has warned about the party’s far-right and xenophobic roots. “Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland,” I wrote in April 2011.
Ties with neo-Nazi groups like the outlawed PVL and Soldiers of Odin are too many to be coincidences no matter what Slunga-Poutsalo says.
So why doesn’t the Finnish media call the PS a far-right party?
Calling it a far-right and xenophobic party would be admitting that maybe we aren’t that exceptional as we thought. Considering that over a half a million Finns vote for the PS, newspapers like Helsingin Sanomat are dependent on subscribers and ads.
Without even trying to prove that the PS and its supporters have severe issues with racism, the party has given Hussein the smoking gun.
The PS politician made the same comment on a Ylen aamu-tv program.
It’s great that Finland has people like Hussein and Silvenoinen who fearlessly express their views about difficult topics that we should be paying much closer attention like racism and far-right populism.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. 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.