Sampo Terho, the chairperson of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group, has raised eyebrows by promising that the Finns Party thoroughly explore the possibility of campaigning in the next parliamentary elections on the promise to hold a referendum on Finland’s membership in the European Union.
Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, told YLE on Tuesday that he cannot fathom a circumstance in which such a referendum is held in Finland.
Ylä-Anttila estimated in an interview on YLE Radio 1 that withdrawing from the European Union – or even organising a referendum on the withdrawal – is impossible due to the political climate and voting system in Finland.
“You can make all kinds of promises, but there’s no way such a referendum will be held in Finland,” he stated. “You’d have to go over quite a few hurdles before it becomes a real possibility in the multi-party system of Finland.”
His assessment was echoed by one of the party comrades of Terho, Vesa-Matti Saarakkala (PS). Saarakkala estimated in a blog entry yesterday that campaigning on the membership referendum would cast serious doubts over the party’s ability to form a ruling coalition in the wake of the next elections.
It would also be an election stunt no longer befitting of the Finns Party, he said.
“What would be the share of votes required to enable our party to demand in the coalition negotiations that other parties (I presume that our party will not receive over 50% of votes) agree to add the EU referendum to the government programme? We were afraid and unable to oppose the third Greek bailout even after receiving 17 per cent of votes in the previous parliamentary elections,” reminded Saarakkala.
Terho has assured that the decision on whether or not to introduce the issue to the platform would be made democratically – most likely by the party council of the Finns Party. He has also yet to confirm whether he would vote for or against the withdrawal in the event that the referendum was organised.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jarno Mela – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi