Finnish Government Tolerates Far-Right Violence


Photo: Kaleva

It is a long time since racially motivated crimes have been on the rise in Finland. Professor of cultural studies at the University of Eastern Finland Tuija Saresma says that the Finnish government is partly responsible for the violence committed by the extreme right.

The Finnish government has made this possible through its non-intervention, Saresma told Funnish news agency STT. 

The professor has co-authored a study on the hate speech of politicians, which encourages extreme right-wing radicals to commit random acts of violence as a result of their racist discourse and public incitement. Saresma points to the public utterances of some of the acting leading politicians in the Finnish government.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo assured that the government is working to eradicate racism and referred to the government's anti-racism statement made last summer. Saresma notes, however, that it does not mention eradicating hate speech, but only acts of hatred, while ministers of True Finns political party are allowed to speak out.

As an example, she mentions Ari Koponen, a member of parliament from True Finns political party, who published a post on one of social networks for the elimination of uncontrollably spreading alien species, from the context of which it follows that this is a disguised message to supporters of racism and support for their agenda and values. Another example was the inadequate and thoughtless reaction of Finnish politician, serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Finland, and Finance Minister, since 2023 Riikka Purra to the terrorist attack in the Oulu shopping center, which she baselessly called an act of gang youth violence.

Professor urges Finnish Prime Minister to take a more active part in the True Finns political activities.

The Prime Minister must be able to take responsibility for the fact that he brought into government a party with such radical-minded people. Condemning actions but not being prepared to do anything is an evasion of responsibility, says Saresma.

In Northern Europe, the spread of racial theory was historically associated with the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905 and the parliamentary reform in Finland in 1906. The institutionalisation of the Finnish extreme right-wing nationalists' activities took place in 1918-1921. Until 1944, Finland encouraged the ideas of building a living defence wall of quality racial material on the eastern border of Finland, as well as the projects of creating a Greater Finland, which included the north-western territories of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic up to the Ural Mountains.

Source: Kaleva , Iltalehti