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Finland. Head of the government: “The Finns” are a party with racist views, cooperation with them in the government is out of the question

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The rhetoric of MPs from the “Finns” party is “overtly racist” and “hostile” towards certain minorities, so joint formation of a government by social democrats and national-conservatives is out of the question, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Friday.

Marin took part in the pre-election debate and was asked if she thought the “Finns” were a “racist party”. She said she hoped that despite MPs’ racist statements, such “racist rhetoric” was not the party’s “official line”.

– A joint formation of a government by social democrats and national-conservatives is out of the question, said the prime minister Sanna Marinawho said that the rhetoric of “Finns” is hostile towards certain minorities.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna MarinPAP/EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

During the debate, the head of the Finnish government and leader of the Social Democrats (SDP) clashed with the leader of the liberal-conservatives Petteri Orpo, whose party “National Coalition” (KOK) is currently at the helm polls. The SDP is third, and the “Finns” are in second place in the ratings of support. The elections will take place in 2.5 months, at the beginning of April.

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Orpo does not negotiate with the “Finns”

According to Marin, Orpo is already getting along with the “Finns” and is seeking to form a right-wing government in Finland. The prime minister stated that only an SDP victory could prevent this. Orpo denied that it was already conducting preliminary coalition negotiations. “We’re focusing on the elections first,” he said.

Marin reminded that during the previous parliamentary term, KOK and PS were in a coalition in the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipila (2015-2019). It was then that Orpo, acting as deputy prime minister and finance minister, himself excluded the “Finns” from the coalition in the middle of his term, when Jussi Halla-aho became the leader of the national conservatives.

It happened during the EU migration crisisand Halla-aho (current head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee) was using colorful and anti-immigrant rhetoric at the time.

According to Orpo, his party will not enter a government with the Social Democrats until they change their economic policy based on high taxes, deepening debt and leading to a public finance crisis. Orpo noted, however, that he has common views with the SDP, including on EU policy and education.

Prime Minister Marin’s coalition partners rule out cooperation with the “Finns”

The leaders of the current coalition partners in Prime Minister Marin’s government, i.e. the “Left” (VAS) and the “Greens” (VIHR), have also ruled out cooperation with the “Finns” in the new term of parliament. The leaders of the liberal Swedish People’s Party (RKP) also consider it “unlikely” to join the government together with the “Finns”.

According to an opinion poll conducted at the turn of December and January, KOK can count on approx. 23 percent. votes. Almost one in five respondents would vote for “Finns”, similarly to SDP. In Finland, differences in support for political parties are small, and in recent decades the government has been formed by coalitions of at least three parties.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ



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