The Finnish media should refer to the Perussuomalaiset as a far-right party

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Helsingin Sanomat goes to some length in a story about the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* being referred to by the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez,  as a “far-right”[1]  party. We could not agree more with Sánchez’ description of the PS as a far-right party

Sánchez was quoted as saying in El País: “Look what happened in Finland [on April 14], where an opinion poll predicted as a given fact that the Social Democrats would win by a wide margin and the far right [PS] would come in fifth. They won by 6,000 votes the far right!”

Spain’s Social Democratic leader Pedro Sánchez called the PS a far-right party. Read the full story (in Spanish) here.

Spain holds snap parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Is only Sánchez and El País the only ones who call the PS a far-right party?

It is not the first time. Others that have referred the PS as a far-right party are: the Financial Times of London, The Guardian, Politico, Spiegel Online, EUObserver,The Local SE, and others.

If the PS is seen as a far-right party by the media in Europe, why isn’t it called that in Finland by Helsingin Sanomat and others?

For one, the national media rarely uses in Finland such a term of a party that has members in parliament. Considering that over a half a million Finns vote for the PS, newspapers like Helsingin Sanomat are dependent on subscribers and ads.

There is also another issue that discourages the national media from rightly calling the PS an extremist party: denial.

What does the rise of a far-right party say about us as a society? In my opinion, it is a diagnosis that Finland is inflicted with social ills like racism even if we want to drench ourselves in our exceptionalism.

Not calling out the PS for what it is is normalizing racism and far-right ideology in Finland.

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.

[1] Apart from populism and spreading hatred of migrants and minorities, one characteristic of a far-right party is that it fears whites becoming a minority in their country. The underlying political message of PS Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho is exactly this point.