Turun Sanomat: Is dual citizenship a threat to Finland?

by , under All categories, Enrique

An article on Turun Sanomat quotes Turku School of Economics professor, Kari Liuhto, stating that dual citizenship rights in Finland were a mistake in light of the recent child custody row that erupted in October between Finland and Russia.

Liuhto believes that dual citizenship rights granted in 1999 in this country give Russia the opportunity to increase its influence in our national affairs.

Finland has about 60,000 people with dual citizenship, according to Turun Sanomat.

Is dual citizenship such a big of a threat to Finland as Liuhto claims?

While we can discuss the pros and cons of dual and multiple citizenship, those who see it as a bad thing are usually driven by nationalism, suspicion and loyalty issues.

Some countries permit dual or multiple citizenship while others, like India and China, do not.

The United States, which allows dual citizenship, keeps their citizens on a short leash through the Internal Revenue System (IRS). If you are a U.S. citizen and live abroad and have dual citizenship, you are obliged to file your annual tax statement to the IRS.

It is doubtful that tightening dual citizenship laws will change matters never mind calm Liuhto’s fear of Russia’s influence in Finland. That’s more of an in-between-your-ears issue. But the more nationalism and fear we spread, the greater will be our fear of the outside world and its citizens.

Liuto’s concern is only the tip of an iceberg of a far greater threat facing Finland and Europe these days: nationalism and intolerance.

Apart from draft laws to ban male circumcision and to make it easier to deport foreign convicts from Finland, parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) would certainly like to spike dual citizenship rights. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to grasp this.

 This video clip of a draft law spearheaded by PS MP Jussi Halla-aho shows the crackpot stuff these types of politicians say and do to gain attention, listeners and votes.

Finland used to have very strict citizenship laws in the 1919 Constitution. Only the children of male Finnish citizens were given citizenship automatically. If you were a citizen of another country, you lost your Finnish citizenship.

The children of female Finnish citizens were granted full citizenship rights in 1984.