The Finns Party made the correct decision to join the government despite its subsequent implosion in June, 2017, Timo Soini, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, estimated in an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday, 16 November.
“We have really paid a tough price. I didn’t join the party to shout from the shadows. I wanted to show we were capable of being good ministers,” he said, reminiscing about the decision made by the populist party he led for over two decades to form a coalition government with the Centre and National Coalition Party in 2015.
“Unfortunately not all of the supporters understood that if we want to have no impact on anything we can stand in the opposition for all our days,” he added.
Mistakes were made, admitted Soini.
“When you are on the front line, you don’t go back, you fight. You must be unanimous in your fight. Nobody could do anything to us from outside the party, but we were rotten inside, immature,” he stated.
Soini in March announced he will not seek re-election as the chairperson of the populist party, urging his eventual successor – whoever it may be – to remain part of the ruling three-party coalition. The leadership positions, however, were swept by the less moderate wing of the party led by Jussi Halla-aho, a Member of the European Parliament, prompting Soini and 19 other key members leave the Finns Party.
The splinter group they formed was entered officially into the party register late last week as the Blue Reform Party.
The Financial Times considers the Finns Party’s downfall a prime exhibit of how to tame the populists that are gaining ground across Europe: putting them into a position of power where they have to make compromises on questions deemed important by their voter base.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi