Last month the youth wing of the Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) party demanded (Turun Sanomat) that Finland should become a monolingual country, and that the special official status accorded to Swedish should be removed, "because the language legislation does not correspond to the real declaration of will in our country". In their statement, the campaigners said that too much of Finnish taxpayers' money was being spent on maintaining Swedish as the country's second language relative to the small area in which Swedish is actually spoken. Alluding to the growing numbers of Russian-speaking migrants to Finland, they asked if Russian. too, would be made an official language when the numbers of Russian-speakers reached the same proportions as those of Swedish-speaking Finns.the climate within the government had changed to the disadvantage of Swedish-speaking people over the past two legislative periods... "There has been a change of generation and today's politicians do not relate to the Swedish language in the way earlier ones did"...(Helsinki Times)
In the Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet it's possible to follow an ongoing discussion of the issue. Some of the contributions illustrate the intensity and bitterness of some of the debate. Excerpts:
- Our history with Sweden was horrible and vile. We don't want a Little Sweden here in Finland any more.
- It is simply that there is no need to learn Swedish. Everywhere in Scandinavia one can get by with Finnish and English.
- Swedish Finland (Svenskfinland) - that's not something one talks about in Finnish. What is it , exactly?
- In the metropolitan area nearly all Finland-Swedes speak "proper" Finnish. But there must be something wong with the Swedish teaching in Finnish schools, because Finns don't learn Swedish? The majority of Swedish teachers in Finnish schools don't know Swedish well enough and are also incapable of inspiring their students to learn it.