The Trumpization of Finnish politics

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* vice president Laura Huhtasaari, a vocal Islamophobic anti-immigration politician, has been since January under scrutiny due to the plagiarism found in her Master’s thesis. 

If you read the reaction of the Finnish media about the latest ruling by the University of Jyväskylä, one common theme is that the plagiarism scandal will not affect Huhtasaari never mind the PS.

The whole affair is a bit like Donald Trump, who hops from one scandal to the next. Scandals don’t appear to hurt the US president but strengthen his support base.

Is the Huhtasaari plagiarism scandal one good sign of the Trumpization of Finnish politics and how the anti-immigration party has poisoned politics in Finland since its historic election victory of 2011?

Laura Huhtasaari has made a name for herself with her Islamophobic statements and her support for US President Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. She has been called a number of things like the Islamophobe with the kindergarten teacher smile. 

Huhtasaari, who is a teacher, got a damning report from the University of Jyväskylä this week concerning her master’s thesis. According to a statement by the University of Jyväskylä, Huhtasaari’s thesis “had a disregard for good scientific practice and dishonesty in the form of plagiarism, according to Helsinki Times.

The statement states the following about Huhtasaari’s thesis, which was approved in 2003: “For their part, the procedures have misled the scientific community of researchers and the authors of future theses. plagiarism nature and scope, the violations of good scientific practice are serious,” reads a press release from the University of Jyväskylä.

Huhtasaari’s thesis cannot be revoked by the university since there is a five-year statute of limitations. 

* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 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. One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic.

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.