By Enrique Tessieri
Perussuomaliaset (PS) party chairman Timo Soini reiterated plans to establish a new party that would be politically center-right. He said that in five years the PS would be a similar populist party like the Progress Party (FrP) of Norway and Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). Both parties are staunchly anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim.
“If I have failed in founding such a party,” he was quoted as saying, “and if by then the Perussuomalaiset [party] still exists, I can no longer be that party’s chairman.”
Soini, like anti-immigration extremist PS MP Olli Immonen, are infatuated by the FPÖ. Former FPÖ head Jorg Haider, who died in a car accident in 2008, had been accused of being antisemitic, a neo-Nazi, Islamophobic who promoted segregation between German and Slovene speakers in Southern Carinthia, Austria.
The more Soini shows his ideological world to us the more concerned I become: he has now taken a negative stand on abortion and supports parties like the FPÖ and FrP. If there is a dangerous person in Finland, it is Soini not the usual band of anti-immigration extemists led by Jussi Halla-aho.
While the PS leader has every right to express his conservative views of society, it is our democratic right to voice objection to them.
The damage that a party like the PS has inflicted on Finland, immigrants and minorities is great. If we look Soini’s charismatic leadership style, it’s pretty clear that our society will become more polarized as the PS tries to impose on us its populist policies and views of the world.
If Soini’s aim is to wash away the racist and conservative labels that the PS has rightfully won, it is doubtful that creating a new party will alter anything.
At the best it will reinforce what the PS is in any new shape or form: a right-wing conservative populist party that is anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Muslim.