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Dear Mrs. Astrid Thors...
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-12-04 07:54:02
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Dear Mrs. Astrid Thors, Finland’s migration minister;

With surprise I have to admit I’ve read in the newspapers that following your proposition the government decided to reduce the benefits for the asylum seekers bringing the support to 30% lower than the minimum unemployment benefits paid to Finnish residents.

Last week I wrote an article about this issue mentioning how proud I felt living in a country that really takes care of the asylum seekers but before the rooster crows twice you disowned everything I praised you for. And since we are so close to the Finnish Independence Day let’s turn to history with some ifs.

If Lenin had decided back at 1917 that he didn’t want to lose his western province and he could spare some hundreds of Bolsheviks then Finland would have not become independent but part of the Soviet Union as it was till then part of the Russian empire. Then thousands of Finns would have fled to Sweden and Germany or wherever else they could find a settler from a dictatorial regime that would suppress freedom, education, religion, language, customs and human dignity. These thousands would have lost family, wealth, even the lives of love ones.

If Stalin had decided that losing a battle was not worth losing a war with the Nazis marching in Austria and Czechoslovakia, then the winter war would have exactly the opposite outcome and today Finland would try to find her place in the world, healing the wounds after decades of suffering like Estonia and there would have been thousands of Finns fleeing to Germany, Sweden, England or USA dispirit for freedom and dignity escaping the gulags, the imprisoning, the exiles and the torturing, familiar stories to the Finns from neighbouring Estonia.

Mrs. Astrid Thors, if there was no civil war in Somalia where brother kills brother and rape is part of the woman’s daily life; if in DR Congo there where not kid soldiers slaughtering whole villages with innocent people without any feeling, if it didn’t matter if you are black or white, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, woman or man; if we didn’t have regimes like the Iranian, the Chinese, the North Korean, the Sudanese and dictators like Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong II we wouldn’t have asylum seekers and we would live in paradise!

Unfortunately Mrs. Astrid Thors we don’t live in paradise and reality just like history is not made with ifs. And because there is civil war in Somalia where innocent people die every minute, because there is a massacre in DR Congo, because for some countries it does matter if you are black or white, if you are Muslim or Christian, gay or straight, man or woman we have millions asylum seekers. Most importantly and I’m afraid you are not well informed – I cannot find another excuse for that – these people don’t chose the country they are going to ask for asylum, it is decided from the United Nations and EU committees based near the conflict areas like the one Finland has in Teheran and Pakistan for example.

Dear Mrs. Thors the majority of these people get a shock when they come in Finland, just imagine how a Finn would feel if after losing everything, literally everything found him/herself in Somalia! They didn’t chose to come sure and be sure that if they had a choice they would much rather stay in their own country in peace with their family, their work and their wealth. They didn’t come to Finland looking for your money but trying to save their and their kids life.

Except all that I was happy to realize that everything said about the recession is just a myth and that YLE doesn’t need to lay off anybody that Nokia and Kone among other Finnish companies can hire more people and stop lying about the economic crisis because if reducing the benefit from 375 Euros to 292 Euros then you did find the solution and you must spread the word globally. Apparently the whole problem was around 300,000 Euros. That was it, that’s what it takes to Finland to come out of the recession! The benefit an adult asylum seeker taking is 375 Euros and now it will drop to 292 Euros, multiplying that with the number 4,035 the number of asylum seekers this minute in Finland we are coming with 300,000 Euros, not even a summit of you advisers in Lapland! By the way Mrs. Thors, have you ever tried to live a month with 292 Euros a month? In Finland? If you think that you can, then I must live in a different Finland than you!

Mrs. Astrid Thors what you have done is like stealing a church! You actually steal from the people who have been robbed not only financially, not only physically but also mentally, people who have been robbed from their dignity! You are stealing from those who have no choice and put their lives under your protection. I’m sorry but that’s disgusting!

So Mrs. Astrid Thors we are coming to the 300,000 Euros question, why? Because elections are coming, because you can see that your party is going down the big way and that the far-right is increasing its power and since you don’t want to lose your seat you play the far-right’s card hoping for some extra votes! So Mrs. Astrid Thors, all your ambitions for a better future coast, for peace and democracy coast 300,000 Euros! I’m sorry but that’s pathetic!

Mrs. Astrid Thors please read some of the comments, readers added in the National Radio Television Organization’s (YLE) site under the report from your decision. Apart from some, very few that agree with you and we both know how true Finns the writers are, the rest can be covered with two words, how embarrassing! At least that shows that the majority of the Finnish people understand and I hope they will express this understanding with their vote when time comes.

Definitely not sincerely yours

Thanos Kalamidas

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Da mastah2010-03-05 10:03:53
Refugees cant complain, it is not Finland´s fault that their countries are falling to pieces. Most of the refugees cant even read or write and will stay unemployed for ages. They get free acommodation and education. Perhaps reducing their benefits its a way to force them to make a bigger effort to assimilate, learn finnish and finally get a job. Isnt it strange that many somalians (not all) never get a job but are able to go to somalia for holidays...

Ali2010-12-12 04:17:25
My comments are why be so worried about the benefits. I say get to work or go to a better country to live.

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