Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini (PS) has characterised the terror attacks in Paris in the early hours of Saturday as exceptionally brutal and indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. The attacks, he assured, will not be without consequences.
Soini will sit down with his counterparts from other member states of the European Union in Brussels on Monday.
“European and Western democracy came under a brutal attack. It won't be without consequences. We'll take action. A decision on the meeting of foreign ministers was taken earlier, but now the agenda will definitely change.”
“We'll raid every last terrorist organisation and weed out terrorist factions and those funding, training and accommodating terrorists,” stated Soini.
He also predicted that the attack will result in closer international co-operation. “Our actions against violence and terrorism must be resolute and efficient. We must understand that there are no spectator seats to this show but that we're all either in the inner or outer row. This is the end of an era in Europe.”
The attacks will according to Soini have their ramifications on Finland and the entire Europe.
“The attack as a whole was brutal in its implementation, methodicalness, the number of victims as well as consequences. The attack was outrageous in its brutality because it indiscriminately hit ordinary people instead of military targets, police officers or policy-makers. It was an indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.”
“This is an indication of where terrorism is heading. The attack is unfortunately unlikely to be the last.”
Soini estimated that the reasons for the attacks will come under heavy scrutiny in France. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) has similarly raised its risk assessment level, even though it remains low in Finland.
“Terrorist recruitment and funding is taking place here as well. We'll have to find out if certain people have ties to Finland. We'll also tighten border control in the short term. The security measures, monitoring and supervision of air and naval traffic will also be stepped up,” he said.
Whipping up fears and making threats are not the way forward, according to Soini.
“The one who picks up the sword will drown in it. That happened to fascists, communists and that'll also happen to jihadists.”
“Our actions against terrorists must be resolute. We can't let them get the upper hand mentally. They are not heroes. They're users of violence and murderers who will not be praised or turned into heroic myths.”
Soini emphasised that life must continue as usual.
“Terrorism can't affect people in a way that they'll start watching over their shoulder constantly. That would mean they've won. I'm confident that democracy will overcome. It has overcome every time before,” the Minister for Foreign Affairs said.
Eeva Palojärvi – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT