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Pertti As a formally qualified psychologist and social scientist, I would like to make the English-speaking audience aware of a dilemma with grave consequences to Finland, an issue which, for reasons related to domestic policy, is painting a distorted image of Finns and Finland on the international arena. The matter also concerns a citizens' initiative to abolish mandatory Swedish tuition, aimed at bringing the Finnish democracy up to date and calling into question the Finnish power structures.

According to recent political studies, the most right–wing party in Finland is the Swedish People's Party (RKP), followed by the ruling National Coalition Party. The study results show that the seating order in the plenary chamber in the Finnish Parliament is spot on. Furthermore, a global study on racism found that the Nordic countries – and Finland in particular – are the least racist nations in Europe. Despite this (and because of reasons to do with domestic policy and through abuse of RKP's position on the government stretching back decades), while serving as the Minister of Migration and European Affairs, Astrid Thors, the current OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, launched a campaign against Finland, criticising it for being a "racist" country. Inexplicably publicised to the rest of the world, the campaign made mainly one party – the Finns Party – the scapegoat, even though the party is situated in the centre, or slightly left of the centre, politically as well as physically in the plenary chamber. As its ammunition, this blame campaign mainly used a couple of isolated stories picked from social media.

At the same time, it can be said that the Finns Party is to thank for getting RKP to see the light and abolish, at least seemingly, a questionable tradition it had continued until the 2010s: awarding medals in honour of Axel Olof Freudenthal, a Swedish speaker and a racist well-known across Europe. In reality, RKP will probably continue to award the medals, not perhaps yearly but still... The racial doctrine, and particularly the scorn for Finnish-speaking "Mongols" as a genetically inferior race, represented by Freudenthal continued long into the 1900s, even after World War II. According to Freudenthal, Sami and Baltic people were also among the dregs of society in Europe. In this connection, it should be mentioned that the original Swedish Party was established in the 1880s on a foundation created by Mr Freudenthal's writings.

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Finntastic Christmas to all of you!

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