Why don’t Finnish politicians challenge urban myths hard enough?

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

In Ireland, where the immigrant population has grown very rapidly in a span of ten years, there are concrete steps to address urban myths about migrants, refugees and Muslims. In Finland it appears to be a totally different story. 

Below are some myths that a brochure about migrant workers and their families. Why isn’t there a similar campaign in Finland by the government?

As far as we are concerned, the term Ireland below could be replaced by Finland.

01 Do Migrant Workers take jobs from Irish people?

  • There is always the possibility of displacement in a competitive economy but most available research shows that migrant workers replace rather than displace workers in Ireland.
  • There are many reasons why it can be hard for unemployed people to find work, e.g. lack of childcare, and disability access, discrimination, racism, deskilling, educational disadvantage.
02 Are Migrant Workers a drain on the economy?
  • Migrant workers expand the economy by allowing businesses to grow and by investing their own skills and money in enterprises.
  • Of the 162,200 additional jobs created in the Irish economy from 2004 to 2006, non-Irish national entrepreneurs and companies accounted for 53% of these jobs.

03 Do Migrant Workers bring down wages?

  • Wage levels including the minimum wage have consistently risen over the past decade.
  • Migrant workers should not be blamed for employers who do not pay minimum wage and who violate employment legislation for their own profit.

04 Are Migrant Workers a burden on public services?

  • Migrant workers tend to pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. It is estimated that around 200,000 migrant workers provide an annual surplus in income taxes of around half a billion Euro.
  • Despite unfounded fears of “welfare tourism”, less than 1% of the country’s migrant workers are dependent on social welfare. Social welfare is important for any worker as a safety net in times of illness and unemployment.

At the beginning of the brochure reads: “Migration is the mother of progress and invention. (…) Our world today is shaped by the industry of immigrants.”


  1. Yossie

    Very good point Enrique! This has really puzzled me too. A lot of time is used to blame Halla-aho to be a racist and whatnot. Would it not be the most efficient way to play him down by shooting down his arguments by researched studies and statistics?

  2. Niko

    How about IF the statics in Finland are not as positive as in Ireland? Should the government then hide the evidence or publish it anyway?

  3. Mary Mekko

    The problem of letting politicians produce such statistics and documents is that they lie. It is in their nature to lie, especially in hot-item issues like the arrival of thousands of migrants in a monocultural society. The kind of research that they claim to do I would not trust for a minute, since they are masters of manipulation, or they could never have succeeded as politicians. Irish are also masters of wordplay, the white lie, and the sin of omission. What is omitted is often the most important part of any argument in any discussion of so serious a matter as letting foreigners into one’s home or city. The consent of the governed is paramount, and apparently the “governed” have no say in Ireland or Finland. It’s by FIAT.

    Furthermore, these discussions should be open debates. The politians should be on TV with citizens prepared to grill them. Issuing ridiculously narrow statements in brochures or in short soundbites is no way to address one of the most critical issues of any country.

    “Welfare tourism” is alive and kicking in Ireland and Finland. Less than 1% of migrants, my foot! How did they mess with the statistics to get that figure???? A high percentage of foreign women are living off welfare through bearing children in their new country, having the children at the taxpayers’ expense, putting the kids into free public schools, getting public housing as “single moms” (where is Daddy or the Daddies? not known…hee hee)

    Languages can slip and slide around key issues, but leave it to the Irish to be the absolute masters of such games. All U.S. Presidents have been of Scotch-Irish descent from the beginning, with even Obama making a claim on the maternal side. There’s a reason for such an affinity between the Irish and politics: the Irish are VERY VERY VERY good with words, with logic and philosophy. They’re not known for being great scientists, but they are excellent at writing, poetry, speechmaking, and joke making.

    I am Irish, so I know.

    Finnish politicans know where their rye bread is buttered: by the corporations who want cheap labor for the entire EU. They are themselves alarmed at the state of cities gone bad with foreigners, but they keep themselves separate in very good neighborhoods, with private schools for their kids. It’s the same in the US.

  4. Mary Mekko

    In Ireland, 18.5% of foreigners collect social welfare. Perhaps it’s not the same as “dependent on social welfare” – that is where politicans can lie. They could get other money and not be DEPENDENT, yet they’re collecting it, and using social resources such as schools and hospitals without paying for them. The other slippery word is “migrants” vs. “foreigners” – one can really move the numbers around if one redefines the recipients.

    Less than 1%! What a lie!

    Look up the Irish statistics yourselves, don’t listen to politicians.

  5. Singaporean_in_Finland

    @Mary Mekko

    What’s your obsession with Finland and constantly commenting here if you’re Irish and live in USA?

    Your posts show you to have very little understand of what is happening in Finland and how Finnish society works. Education is free in Finland for everyone. Every person from the richest to the poorest get the exact same opportunities to succeed in life, paid for by those of us, like myself, who gladly pay high taxes. We pay these taxes to ensure that everyone is taken care of, fed, educated and consequently, we enjoy a good quality of life and have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Helsinki was just voted the world’s most livable city. We care for each other here unlike in your country.

    As Stephen Colbert said about the USA recently: ‘If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.’

  6. Klay_Immigrant

    Everything ‘Singaporean_in_’ that you have said is true, but you forget that this was all done by Finns with minimum help from immigration. But yet you, Enrique and others still think Finland needs to open it’s doors to anyone wanting to come in regardless on whether they will end up being a burden or a success. Finns should bear the fruits of their hard earned labour not ungrateful outsiders wanting a free ride giving nothing back in return.

    Finland quite rightly should belong to Finns and the few immigrants wanting to live there who can slot in with minimum fuss and problems. What immigrants am I speaking of? Well ones who do not need social housing, realistically can find a job and can pay for integration classes.

    Also that way immigrants can never be accused of being welfare shoppers, a tax burden or a negative influenece on society as if they are able to fit into that criteria they would generally be educated and highly unlikely to resort to any crime.

  7. Klay_Immigrant

    Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ well that applies to Finland. Allowing large scale immigration would change Finland for the worse. You only need to look at other Western countries who made that mistake and see the problems they are encountering that are alien to Finland. I wonder why?

  8. BlandaUpp


    The problem with where you are coming from is that you assume people like myself are for completely open borders which is total idiocy! No sane tax-paying person is for that. What people like myself have a problem with is the language coming from the likes of you who assume every foreign-looking or dark-skinned person in Finland is on welfare and should therefore be treated like a dog. I read enough of the types of forums that the Stormfront/Homma-types like yourself hang out in. I know the language and Nazi-era racial theories, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism being thrown around. You can’t sugarcoat fascism!

    Another problem with people like you is that you bundle refugees in with regular immigrants. Regular immigrants come here because they either married a Finn or were offered a job here. To a racist on the street, trained on the internet, they all look the same. btw, Jesus was a refugee too. I agree with ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ approach because currently our system is working but listening to the Halla-aho types you would assume we are being overrun by refugees which is totally not true.

    If like Breivik, Fjordman and Geert Wilders, you claim to be defending European Christian values and culture then you should perhaps read the bible some time and see what Jesus says about how we should treat legitimate refugees:

    (Mat 25:41-45) ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

  9. Klay_Immigrant

    This is funny ‘BlandaUpp’ you obvious assume that because of my views that I must be white and have never been in a situation where I was the minority. Well let me tell you this and Enrique already knows that I’m young and mixed race (Black/White), hardly the typical stereotype for a conservative anti-multiculturalist. But as I’m a trained scientist (PHd in Chemistry) I learned very early on to never let any bias or natural prejudice influence my views. In other words be as objective as possible without any emotions involved.

    So to answer your question, yes I can easily tell the difference between different immigrants, not difficult. Also I adhere to the philosophy of preventing a problem first instead of finding a way to cure a problem afterwards. So it may be true that Finland at the moment is not ‘being overrun by refugees’ but if preventitive measures are not put in place now then in future that may end up being the case.

    Let’s use a less sensitive or controversial analogy. A 20 year old man is obese but hasn’t yet developed any related health problems thus far. If you were a doctor would you tell him to lose weight and exercise as soon as possible to prevent health problems in future or wait until he develops those problems and then treat him? Sounds obvious but the same logic applies to immigration and in particular refugees but because it involves a political issue instead of a health issue like my example for some reason people’s logic and rational gets completely thrown out of the window. So that’s the reason quite rightly so that Hallo-Aho and co. are sounding the alarm bells now before it’s too late.

    Finland should not take any refugees. Some may say that’s impossible but you only need to look at countries such as Japan to see that where’s a will there’s a way. No one can force a country to accept refugees. It was thought naively that refugees would come in, need assistence for the first few years and be able to integrate into society like any other native. And certainly the elite thought worst case scenario would be the children of the refugees would do that. Well as evidence has shown from many different Western countries that just isn’t the case. The reality is that an underclass ghetto gets formed where the children are uneducated (regardless if born in their new country) and the refugee population is over represented in crime statistics (especially rape). No amount of data fixing can change these facts unfortunately.

    You can sit there, close your eyes and pretend that these things aren’t happening like the liberal politicians who go back to their posh neighbourhoods without a refugee in sight for miles on end and forget about it or you can wise up, be a realist and see the dilemma for what it actually is.

    You know when I get called up for interviews when they have seen my CV, sometimes I get a suprised look on the employers’ face because they assume a white person from my name and nationality. This look isn’t because they are racist but because people of my skin tone and age are more likely to be uneducated and have not studied to my level. The reasons for this are numerous such as poor schools, broken families, lack of ambition, lower incomes etc. This observation by certain employers’ still hasn’t prevented me from being hired by them and if they were racist I would never have got a chance.

    • Enrique

      I believe that Klay will one day see the light and accept himself. In the meantime he is a good example of how some immigrants can be more conservative and prejudiced than natives. Just because he holds a PhD doesn’t mean he has any understanding of immigrants. JusticeDemon gave him some sound advice: stay off the immigrant affairs stuff and concentrate of chemistry.

  10. Hannu

    Why would finnish politicians talk about minority of cases, i assume your “migrant workers” should be somekind of quide?
    I leave to you as homework to check how much actual migrant workers are from total migration to finlandl.

  11. BlandaUpp


    Good luck with your crusade. I hope for your sake you don’t come across an Anders Breivik who would kill you for contributing to “Cultural Marxism” just for not being white in Finland. You seem to suffer from a kind of Stockholm syndrome that makes you believe that agreeing with Halla-aho will shield you from the effects of his words. You’re regurgitating all the Halla-aho’s talking points like a good disciple of the ‘master’. In fact you sound EXACTLY like him and his cold-hearted fan Breivik! ‘I learned very early on to never let any bias or natural prejudice influence my views. In other words be as objective as possible without any emotions involved.’. If Finland stops taking in refugees then we will be forced to leave the EU. We should say screw everyone and isolate ourselves like North Korea, expel all refugees who are already here and thereby keep Finland pure. We should stop pretending we live in a Christian country since doing so would be against the words of Christ. Your words and prejudices are bigoted and contradictory to logic, based on ‘statistics’ that have been debunked over and over again yet are still ignored by the Halla-ahos of this world.

  12. BoredinFinland

    @Klay: the type of immigrants you would love to see here (aka highly educated and wealthy), well, they will never will come to a country like Finland! Remember the long and hard and dark cold and dark weather? the awful language? the lack of social skills of locals? the high cost of living? how locals exclude everything and everybody that is different? …..seriously why do you think we end living in Finland? It is obvious that a foreigner lives in Finland because (1) you are a refugee with no other place to go (2) you married a Finn with not other choice than to live here (3) you are an expatriate worker ..believe it is not on voluntary bases!

    And now you dare to say that immigrants must pay the cost of integrating here???? As if the system is giving a lot of money to foreigners here! Check the reality plez. And, why? Are Finns like God? It is just unbelievable how snobbish Finns and their society are ….

  13. BoredinFinland

    And yes, you just provided a real time example of how snobbish and also racist Finns are. You know what? Yes, I have met a lot of people here who are so narrow minded that they can not even imagine that there are educated and wealthy people in Latin America, Africa, or Asian countries. And racist too: so you said they link the colour of skin to education and etc! how come you dare to say that the colour of your skin influences how proactive a human being is? Where do you get that conclusion from? As you said you are a Dr, provide evidences!

    There is a huge gap between a Dr in chemistry and Dr in Social science. The former is literally unable to analyse or discuss social issues.

  14. Hannu

    BlandaUpp get your facts straight.
    Breivik didnt kill anyone because they werent white.
    Breivik isnt fan of Halla-aho, i hardly believe that quoting one text of blogger who quotes Halla-aho makes one fan and thats in 1500 pages of text.
    Finland wouldnt be forced out of EU if we dont accept “refugees” like we do now, we are overly generous. look stats.

    • Enrique

      –Breivik isnt fan of Halla-aho

      Breivik’s views find a home in Halla-aho’s and Counter-Jihadist’s websties like The Gates of Vienna. His ideological soul mate was the PS in general and in particular he agreed with Halla-aho on some issues.

    • Enrique

      Hannu, I think I wrote once that using adjectives lower the credibility of your point. Here you use four adjectives in one to describe me. You are young and speak of Stalin without really understanding who he was. One of the promises I made a long time ago was that I’d never kill a human being in my life.

  15. Hannu

    Breiviks views were formed way before any of blogs you mention even formed.
    And he didnt agree with Halla-aho, he copy-pasted fjordmans text where fjodman agreed with Halla-aho. 1000 of 1500 pages of his manifest is just copypaste.
    Read what he himself wrote, not copypasted part and you learn something. Most important part to you is “why armed resistance is…”