Antti Häkkänen, a deputy chairperson of the National Coalition, attended the party’s election night event in Helsinki on Sunday, 2 April 2023. Häkkänen on Tuesday told YLE that the National Coalition has not slid towards the Finns Party on immigration during the coalition formation process. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


ANTTI HÄKKÄNEN, a deputy chairperson of the National Coalition, has rejected the view that the coalition formation process has pushed the party toward the anti-immigrant views of the Finns Party.

“Also the National Coalition has along the way proposed certain control measures for immigration for perfectly rational reasons. They could be under consideration. What they are in actuality is something we’ll have to negotiate,” he commented on YLE A-studio on Tuesday.

Finland, he emphasised, needs people who move to the country for work under fair rules, follow the law and behave properly. “If a person is working, they’re welcome to this country.”

The Finns Party on Tuesday reiterated its demand that both humanitarian and work-based immigration be tightened, drawing particular attention to checks on immigration to low-paid sectors and family reunifications.

Anders Adlercreutz, the head of the Swedish People’s Parliamentary Group, admitted to the public broadcasting company that bridging the differences of view on immigration in the coalition formation negotiations will be a challenge for what looks to be an increasingly probable right-wing coalition formed by the National Coalition, Finns Party, Swedish People’s Party and Christian Democrats.

“The differences of view are large. It’s clear that we need immigration. The thought of rejecting this fact, that’s not something you can build a sustainable economy on,” he said.

Both the Finns Party and National Coalition have voiced their intent on slashing development co-operation spending, reminded Ville Skinnari, a deputy chairperson of the Social Democrats. Such costs, he gauged, would send the wrong kind of message about the government’s commitment to international treaties.

“Cutting back on development co-operation would have an impact on the most vulnerable ideas. We have more crises than ever before. Don’t the Finns Party see that people should be able to live in their own regions and develop their economies, laws?”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT