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News > World

Youth Politician Underfire After Vowing to Rid Finland of Dark-skinned Families

  • Finnish Youth President Asseri Kinnunen

    Finnish Youth President Asseri Kinnunen | Photo: Finnish Youth

Published 23 May 2019
Opinion

Organizations must have "solidarity, cultural diversity and internationalism" as a part of their foundation in order to receive funding.

A new campaign by Finnish Youth, the junior wing of Finland's largest right-wing party, is receiving widespread criticism over claims that dark-skinned families are not welcome in the country.

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The youth organization affiliated with the Finns Party made a public comment on a European Parliament ad portraying a happy black family. The group shared a screenshot of the ad, and in an attempt to secure their expected electoral gains in the upcoming EU election, captioned it with "Vote Finns so that Finland's future will not look like this."

The tweet has since been deleted.

Many politicians and social leaders expressed outrage, including Social Democrat Sakari Timonen, who referred to the post as "openly racist." While the leader of the Left Alliance Li Anderson added that the "racism" of the organization was "crystal clear." 

Timonen urged the government to cease providing funding to the Finns Youth for violating Finnish law, which states that such organizations must have "solidarity, cultural diversity and internationalism" as a part of their foundation in order to receive funding.

Contrastingly, the Finnish Youth has stated on their website that one of its principles as anti-multiculturalism.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has noted that they are taking a further look into the funding of the Finns Youth as a result of the post.

Ministry officials spoke to Asseri Kinnunen, the Finnish Youth's president, in March. One ministry official expressed that the Youth leader seemingly understood the requirements and expectations for funding disbursement.

Kinnunen, however, now plans on running in the European Parliament election and also announced plans to focus on the country's economy, security and agriculture, while stressing support for strict immigration policies and increased border control. 

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