Balloons with the EU flag outside the Finns Party’s booth on Narinkkatori, Helsinki, on Europe Day, 9 May 2019. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

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THE FINNS PARTY YOUTH is at risk of losing all of the 115,000 euros in state aid granted to it for this year, if it is ruled that it has violated the terms and restrictions of state aid.

Mikko Cortés Téllez, a senior advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture, told Uusi Suomi on Wednesday that the ministry is re-evaluating the grounds for disbursing state aid to the youth organisation in the wake of its recent controversial public statements.

The Finns Party Youth, the official youth wing of the Finns Party, was thrust into the centre of a media storm earlier this week after one of its spokespersons tweeted a photo of a black couple and a newborn child with the following text: “Vote for the Finns Party to make sure this won’t be what Finland’s future will be like.”

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If the Ministry of Education and Culture rules that the youth organisation is no longer eligible for state aid, it could claw back the 57,500 euros paid to the organisation earlier this year and cancel the second 57,500-euro tranche scheduled for later this year, according to Cortés Téllez.

The Finnish act on discretionary government transfers prescribes that the state aid authority can suspend aid disbursements if, for example, it determines that the aid has not been used as described in the aid application. The authority is also obliged to suspend future disbursements and claw back earlier disbursements, if the recipient is ruled to have used the aid for a materially different purpose than intended.

Youth organisations are eligible for state aid under the youth act, which is grounded on ideas such as solidarity, internationality and cultural diversity. The objective of the act is to promote equality and realisation of rights for young people in Finland.

The Finns Party Youth was in March contacted by a ministry official for its seemingly ethnic-nationalist public statements earlier this year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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