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Are the True Finns the real Finns?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-02-28 10:09:02
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The last days the True Finns party published their manifesto for the coming elections and they fully unveiled their xenophobia, their prejudice and their euro-sceptic attitude - the nice way to put the ones who oppose the European Union - opposing the mention of Finland’s EU membership in the country’s constitution and demanding cuts in social benefits targeting openly immigrants.

However like all similar parties all around Europe the True Finns have no suggestions about economy – except the populist and very foggy we take from the rich and give to the poor – about education – except we minimize immigrants in the Finnish classrooms – about the society – except we kick immigrants out of the country.

And to be true I don’t know what to say. There are two sides inside me fighting this moment. The Finns I know, and I live in this country for long time to know a lot of Finns, have nothing to do with this grotesque thing. The Finns I know are tolerant – of course there are exceptions but exceptions there are everywhere – fighting their natural xenophobia, they are pro-Europeans and proud to be members in a Union that literally took them out of century isolation. Actually Finland is the European country that benefited more than any other from the feeling of belonging in a union that will stand next to you under any circumstances. Until late 1990s most of the world considered Finland as part of the Soviet Union in more relaxed way and even Britain was still in war condition with the country from the WWII. Finns for long time lived the insecurity of neighbouring a country that could swallow them with any chance and they had to stand alone. That’s why a century’s long compromises with USSR, that’s how we came with the term Finlandization. So the European Union gave the feeling of belonging, of partnership, of fellowship ...with some economic profits of course. And the Finns I know appreciate these things.

Still and according the last surveys the True Finns are reaching 19% which makes them one of the strongest parties in the Finnish parliament and candidates for the next rulers of the country in a coalition government. But do the Finns disserve that? So all the battle to escape isolation, to become a country with social, technical and scientific achievements ended up there?

And then it is the other side, perhaps that’s what Finns are really all about and the Finns I know are the exceptions in the little bubble I live. And perhaps if that’s what they want that’s what they should get but please before they start let’s see how much ready they are for that and I have some suggestions since action always brings reaction. You cannot benefit from a Union and on the same time reject as evil, so let’s stop all the financial subsidies to the farmers, the fishermen, the forest industry and the state gets – for example for the unemployed and it will be nice if they return some of those from the last ten years. How do they think Finnish fishermen have access to the North Seas if there was no EU? And why host so many Finns in the other European countries taking our jobs and enjoying our system and benefits. Put them in a train and send them back. Even in Greece there are nearly a thousand Finns, there is even a Finnish school funded from the very same bankrupt Greek government to make sure that their kinds don’t lose their touch with the mother country.

And because of this “partnership” Finnish products have access to our markets in conditions much better than American or Asian products so let’s stop buying Nokia telephones after all IPhone and IPads are cooler. Do we need Finnish paper? Russian is cheaper and better quality and what about sailing-boats and yachts? Let’s buy Dutch. And the list is endless. You see the True Finns forgot to mention that in the social and economic reality we live you cannot become isolated like Albania was two decades ago and North Korea is now. But then again if they want it so much let them enjoy what Austria enjoyed in 1990s when a similar party came to power for …six months.

However I still believe or at least hope that the Finns I know are NOT the exception and when the right time comes they will react to the grotesque caricature of party.

One last thing, in their stupidity – I cannot characterize it in any other way – the True Finns became victims of the British National Front and euro-sceptics who were here last weeks showing them the way to win elections. The National Front has asked similar changes in the British laws and constitution but of course in Britain they are a poor minority and they will never succeed but they always need somebody to do what they cannot achieve so they persuaded or better manipulated the Finns to do so ignoring the fact that Britain can play political games in Europe Finland can not even dream of and that Finnish economy despite reinsurances from the government is not as strong as they wanted to be, on the contrary the foreign debt has piled dangerously.

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Alan2011-02-26 12:05:44

Emanuel Paparella2011-02-26 17:37:02
I have a modest proposal: the EU should consider putting aside some land somewhere in Europe, preferably a whole island, and designate it as the country that would welcome Europe’s xenophobes. I wager that millions would flock there from just about all the countries of Europe. They would set up a xenophobic government with xenophobic laws and live happily ever after. But, wait a minute, against whom would they discriminate then? The answer of course is simple: against anybody that is one’s neighbor; anybody who speaks a different language, that has different customs and different values, it would be the war of all against all, a veritable hell on earth, an extra tenth circle to Dante’s Inferno…. That would mirror in some way what prevailed in Europe during the times of rabid nationalism and so the wheel would have been reinvented in political science. If such a proposal sounds slightly satirical and implausible, it is in fact so but satire is sometimes very useful to put things in perspective.

Maippi2011-02-27 12:16:24
If you live in a bubble I live in the same one.

Kuraa2011-03-25 18:12:03
Eli sitä itseään, paskaa.

jori2011-03-30 15:08:44
"You cannot benefit from a Union and on the same time reject as evil, so let’s stop all the financial subsidies to the farmers, the fishermen, the forest industry and the state gets – for example for the unemployed and it will be nice if they return some of those from the last ten years."
EU's financial support is payed by the member states and Finland is a net payer. Last year 750 million euros was given more than received. Finland could as well support those farmers and fishermen directly.

jorma2011-04-01 02:31:13
Olipa sekava ja epälooginen sepostus.

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