Ville Tavio (PS), a first-term Member of the Finnish Parliament, on Wednesday provoked the disapproval of many of his fellow lawmakers by likening the European Union to Nazi Germany.
Tavio stated during a parliamentary discussion on the future of the 28-country bloc that people who support Finnish independence and the nation state are occasionally made to feel like they are part of some kind of a minority in Finland.
“Federalists, Europe-idolising decision makers are a threat to European nations. Federalists are a threat to nation states. Federalists are just making a new kind of Soviet Union of the EU. They’re creating a new kind of Nazi Germany. The EU’s globalism is just a new form of fascism,” he declared, inciting a flurry of objections.
Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, stated that the comparison is both blatantly inappropriate and untruthful.
“Nazi Germany is related to the genocide of millions of people and World War II to the death of tens of millions of people. The EU was originally founded specifically as a peace project,” he highlighted. “We’ve now crossed a line that has never been crossed before.”
The Finns Party, he added, must respond to the remarks and declare whether or not it believes they are acceptable.
Sari Essayah, the chairperson of the Christian Democrats, and Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the Green League, similarly reminded that the EU was founded originally to prevent tragedies such as World War II.
“You could say [it was founded] on the ashes of the holocaust,” said Essayah. “Europe at the time swore that nothing like that must be allowed to happen on its soil ever again. It feels like the lessons have been forgotten relatively quickly – in one lifetime, you could say – and the same kind of tendencies and winds are blowing today in Europe.”
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) characterised Tavio’s remarks as derogatory and said he hopes they are rejected also by the Finns Party.
The Finns Party, however, refused to address the issue during the parliamentary session. Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the opposition party, tweeted later that the “comparison may have been an exaggeration”.
“But it’s at least as big an exaggeration as it’s to compare contemporary nationalism and immigration criticism to Nazism. That seems to be alright, though,” he said.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi