THE PRIME MINISTER OF FINLAND, Juha Sipilä, has used his annual New Year speech to rail against hate speech and anti-immigrant rhetoric, particularly in relation to recent revelations of sex crimes allegedly committed by migrants in Oulu.
Finland was rocked by the revelations earlier this month that 10 people of foreign backgrounds had been arrested for rape and sexual assault of several underage girls in Oulu.
The revelations have fueled anti-immigrant rhetoric and arguably contributed to a rise in hate speech and racially-motivated crimes amongst members of the far right.
In his speech, Sipilä remarked “it should be emphasized that the suspected crimes were committed by individuals, not by population groups… I call for these events not to be used in anger against refugees or people of foreign origin”.
He also took the opportunity to remind the country that one of Finland’s strengths is the ability of its people to cooperate beyond ideological borders, particularly in an age where political polarization in Europe is at historical heights.
He also noted that Finland will celebrate 100 years as a republic in 2019, and that the government will aim to reach an employment rate of 75% before 2020.
Adam Oliver Smith – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi