Monday, 18 April 2011

True Finns

The ultimate significance of the remarkable gains by the Perussuomaliset (True Finns) party in the Finnish national elections - achieving nearly one fifth of the national vote - is yet to be made clear. But looking at the new situation in general socio-cultural terms rather than purely economic ones, it seems evident that the public mood in Finland is moving in favour of the concept and practice of a national Finnish home, rather than a European state in the political, EU sense. The demise of policies like the obligatory teaching of Swedish in Finnish schools (the so-called "pakkoruotsi" or "tvångsvenskan") may have far-reaching implications for the ways in which modern Finland interacts with the modern world - yet in its reassertion of local and national identity Finland is only following a general trend that is now making itself felt throughout Europe.

The Svenskfinland in English blog has some useful facts and figures about the election results, and the Perussuomalaiset website (in Finnish) is here.

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