Sunday, 29 March 2009

European elections: Soini Libertas candidate?

The True Finns (Perussuomalaiset) dropped Jussi Halla-aho, under prosecution for xenophobic blogging, from their list of candidates in the European elections in June 2009.

Party chairman Timo Soini ─ one of the signatories of Libertas’s failed application for recognition as a political party at European level and for funding from the European Parliament ─ stepped into the breach by launching his own candidacy, despite his earlier rejection of the idea.

The True Finns tout the European elections as a last call to prevent the Treaty of Lisbon from entering into force:

http://www.perussuomalaiset.fi/ajankohtaista/?issue=137

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Question marks

Interestingly, Libertas is not mentioned, although Soini has conceded earlier that an elected True Finn MEP might join them in a parliamentary group in the European Parliament.

The reasons may be tactical, since it may be harder to attract nationalistic voters under a pan-European umbrella.

Nothing is, of course, said about possible campaign contributions from Libertas.

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Media scene

A quick scan of the web versions of Finnish main media (Helsingin Sanomat, Hufvudstadsbladet, YLE) revealed no critical questions about the possible European links of the True Finns’ campaign, just Soini’s well-known anti-EU message and discussion about the reasons for dropping Halla-aho. See for instance YLE ‘Charges for True Finns Councillor Over Racist Blog Comments’ (last update 28 March 2009):

http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2009/03/charges_for_true_finns_councillor_over_racist_blog_comments_645781.html

Are the media in Finland as uninterested as the general public is oblivious of possible European connections? The elections are European, aren’t they?

Ralf Grahn