YouGov poll not only shows how critical Finns are of Greece and Greeks but of the outside world

by , under Enrique Tessieri

A YouGov survey shows that 74% of Finns are against debt relief for Greece with the same amount blaming present and past governments for the country’s financial problems, reports the English service of YLE.

Compared with other countries, 73% of Finnish respondents were the most critical blaming the present and past Greek governments for the country’s deep financial problems. That was followed by Denmark (70%), Sweden (65%), Germany (59%), Britain (38%) and France (33%).

Näyttökuva 2015-7-11 kello 14.21.46
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Finnish respondents (74%) also took the hardest line insisting that the terms of the bailout as originally agreed should be respected.

See full YouGov poll result here.

While it’s perfectly understandable that people are upset by what is happening in Greece, the poll reveals a lot more about how Finland has shifted from being a proactive country in the international arena to one that is ever-suspicious of the outside world.

If we look at Finnish history rapidly we can see a slow but certain political and economic integration with Western Europe during the Cold War that culminated in EU membership in 1995.

Since the last decade, however, and especially after the 2011 elections, when an anti-immigration and EU-skeptic party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* emerged from the political minor leagues to become the third largest in parliament, matters have started to shift the other way.

Finns have been bombarded not only by near-constant populism and xenophobic rhetoric about foreigners and the outside world from PS politicians and with the complacent silence of other parties and media, but by a worsening political situation in Russia, the Ukraine and economic recession in the EU, which have given a boost to nationalistic rhetoric.

Should we be surprised why the present government can easily slash development aid by 48%?

Should we be surprised if our foreign minister, Timo Soini, is a EU-skeptic and the main apologist for those party members that spread xenophobia and nationalism?

Not at all.

The trend in Finland is to become more insular and suspicious of the outside world. As we climb into our own shell it will be only a matter of time when we’ll start to even suspect our own shadow.

The PS is only one example of how Finland has changed for the worse during the past years and how its twenty-year experiment by becoming a more open and international-minded country are coming to a screeching halt.

I hope that matters won’t get worse but if they do our myopic view of the outside world will cause more harm than good and destroy all the good that we were able to build between 1995 and 2015.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

  1. MattiR2106

    Greece went through life with almost the entire population not/not paying taxes to the state…. and now ‘critical mass’ has hit them in the face…. This is what happens when socialist gov’ts run out of other people’s money. Greece borrowed from international orgs and banks to the point where the financial institutions came to the conclusion … correctly … that Greece would never be able to repay their debts…. and here we are…. Let’s bring this closer to home…. your neighbour has a beautiful house, large yard, cars in the drive … and all this is a result of borrowing …. then the banks wise up and demand that your neighbour starts repaying its loans…. neighbour says… I can’t… I don’t have enough income…. but why not let the neighbours in my community pay the banks for me… I’ll wait, with all my goodies intact till the loan ceiling is back down to a tolerable level and borrow more….. from China, Russia… perhaps… who, of course, would have no hidden agenda in granting such loans…. It’s a matter of simple math…. Greece is getting ‘screwed’ for the ‘screwing’ it got….. it’s like a divorce… jiggy jig now…. pay for it later….

  2. Yossie

    Sure, of course we are getting more suspicious and it is not Finns or even Perussuomalaiset’s fault. It is the fault of greeks, it is the fault of EU, it is the fault of Russians. We just can’t ignore things happening around us. We are not fools or idiots. How about you for once stop blaming Finns for something and maybe look how it is the actions of others that had made us suspicious.

    Greeks borrowed more money than they should had and can never pay that back. They even forged their financial documentation for it. That is their fault. Is it odd that people are suspicious of them now when they want us to pay for their debt?

    But it is not totally fault of the greeks. It is the euro that made them able to borrow more than they could. It is the euro that doesn’t give them flexibility to fix their problems. Economies in euro are so different that the common currency doesn’t work well at all. It was all known when euro was cooked up. It was still made because EU federalists wanted it for their ideological purposes. European project, unified Europe, still these people have no balls to admit they want United States of Europe. Instead they keep pushing it little by little. Euro was never about backing other members loans, that is how it was sold to us. Now people keep telling us how it is our responsibility to support Greece. Give more power to EU bureaucracy to solve the mess they themselves have cooked up. Is it any wonder people have grown more suspicious of this lot of people?

    Russians? Sure lets just ignore the fact they invaded and stole much of best land of Finland. Sure, we can forget that now with so many generations having not experienced it. Except, they now invade Ukraine! Claim they are protecting the language minority. They pump their nationalism and rejoice it when their country annexes a part of other country and call it justice. Its all like this has happened before in somewhere else… Is it surprise we are more suspicious?

    So for once Enrique you could stop blaming Finns for everything. Stop your hatred for Finns and open your eyes. It is not our fault that we have to be suspicious!