Media Monitoring Group of Finland:* What is the right adjective for the Finns Party? Populist? Eurosceptic? Far-right?

It is surprising how the foreign and local media treat the Finns Party (PS) differently, even if The Guardian and El País of Madrid refer to the party as far right. Other adjectives are used, like Eurosceptic, nationalistic, and right-wing populist. 

In Finland, we rarely, if ever, see such descriptions of the PS. Yle News, for example, refers to the radical right party as “nationalist.”

The fact that the media treats the PS as a “normal” party explains how its radical policies are becoming normalized.

Here are some things PS head Riikka Purra has spread recently:

  • The PS will not form part of a government that does not tighten immigration policy further.
  •  Stop people from outside the EU from moving and working in Finland.
  •  Islam and white Finland are incompatible.
  •  Seeking asylum is not a right.
  •  Cultural programs are a luxury.
  •  Everything that does not work is due to poor immigration policy.
  •  Only Finnish citizens can get social welfare.
  •  Leave the European Union in the long term.
  •  Harden criminal sentences, especially when migrants or minorities are involved.

If these are “normal” political opinions, they are nothing more than a betrayal of our most important values based on human rights and human dignity. The fact that the media appears not to take such opinions seriously, coming from the second-biggest party in Finland, reveals our country’s denial of the social ill.

Source: Euronews

Source: Washington Post

Source: The Guardian

Source: Al-Jazeera

Madrid’s El País headlined: “The conservatives [Kokoomus] won de elections in Finland, not too far from the extreme right [Finns Party].”

Source: Reuters

Source: BBC

Source: Le Monde

*Media Monitoring Group of Finland aims to promote fair and accurate reporting by the Finnish media of underrepresented cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. As Finland’s cultural diversity continues to grow, the role of the media in forming public opinion and attitudes about minorities becomes even more relevant.

Read our first report published on 17 March here.

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