Chairman interview | Rkp: Extensive immigration has given Sweden an advantage that Finland has missed out on

According to Rkp chairman Anna-Maja Henriksson, Finland must beware of Sweden’s mistakes but also understand its success factors. We interview all the chairmen of the parties elected to parliament in the last elections during the parliamentary elections.

Ministry of Justice from the fourth floor you can see the Esplanade park, where the snow has melted again. The Minister of Justice’s desk is covered by a more tenacious whiteness: two half-meter piles of paper.

Minister of Justice and chairman of the Finnish Swedish People’s Party, or Rkp Anna-Maja Henriksson rushes to apologize to the piles. He tells you what’s on the pins.

“There’s an interview with the equality commissioner, an evaluation memo on the board members’ selection procedure, sexual crime legislation, even though it’s already in the glove…”

Henriksson clears the table when the government takes a break. Parliamentary elections will be held on April 2.

The coalition is still at the top of the polls, and the leader of the coalition Petteri Orpo considers government cooperation with basic Finns possible.

Read more: Petteri Orpo demands that basic Finns tell us what they would cut from

Could Rkp go into the same government with basic Finns?

“It’s very, very unlikely,” Henriksson replies.

One point of contention is related to work-related immigration. Rkp wants to raise the employment rate from 75 percent to 80 percent.

According to Henriksson, Finland’s “screaming labor shortage” will not be solved unless it is made easier in every way to come to Finland in search of work. Basic Finns are not ready for that.

Read more: Society has to adapt as the population shrinks, says Riikka Purra – immigration is not the solution

“The availability of labor will be a matter of fate for Finland,” says Henriksson.

HS interviews all the leaders of the parties elected to parliament during the parliamentary elections. As part of the series about party leaders, personal photos as people and leaders are also published.

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You can read Henriksson’s profile here:

Rkp would like to remove the availability consideration for work-based immigration.

Availability consideration means that an executive-level employee from outside the EU will only receive a residence permit if there is no Finnish worker available for the job.

Rkp hopes for openness in the general atmosphere as well. Those who move here to work must feel welcome.

Swedish is the big bad wolf of Finland’s immigration policy debate, whose experiences especially the Basic Finns are warning about.

What does Rkp think should be learned from Sweden?

“The first thing to learn from Sweden is that Sweden’s economy is really strong compared to Finland’s,” says Henriksson. “One of the reasons for that is that we have been moving to Sweden for a long time.”

According to Henriksson, decades of immigration have ensured the availability of labor in Sweden. Today, 20 percent of Sweden’s population is born abroad.

The newcomers have rejuvenated Sweden. Swedish age pyramid still remotely resembles a pyramid – just like Finland age structure graph starting to look like a muffin.

Sure the Minister of Justice has read the shooting and explosion news in Sweden. He sees gang violence in Sweden as the result of 30 years of bad development.

“The opportunity has been given for such social development, where in certain areas, for example around Stockholm, almost only immigrants live. Zoning and local politics have led to this kind of situation.”

According to Henriksson, Sweden is now working to discipline criminals. The punishments for typical gang crimes have been toughened.

In Finland, Henriksson does not want immigration copied from Sweden, but “immigration that suits Finland”.

“I don’t understand how you can even think that Finland would be stronger alone.”

Rkp confirmed already in 2016 to the vision of Finland’s NATO membership by 2025. It’s close to happening. Otherwise, the party would keep the windows open to Europe.

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Chairman of Basic Finns Riikka Purra stated recently For Iltalehti, that the party’s long-term strategic goal is still Finland’s exit from the EU. This is the only part of the interview where Henriksson gets excited.

“That’s a terrible goal for Finland. A fateful goal,” he says.

“I don’t understand how you can even think that Finland would be stronger alone. That’s not how it is in the real world. We don’t live in a world where everyone can only think about themselves. We need friends, we need the EU’s internal market.”

According to Henriksson, the pandemic and Russia’s major attack on Ukraine showed the importance of a united Europe. “When a crisis happens, we are able to discuss and come up with solutions together.”

In the Rkp’s election program there are expensive promises, such as free day care, increasing the number of police officers and lowering taxes on work and pensions. There are no surgical sites there.

“In the program, we want to tell what we are we would like to to do,” explains Henriksson.

The Rkp leader admits that Finland has a lot of debt. He still wouldn’t want the election debate to get bogged down in debt.

“That’s when people go into such a mood that everyone here is having a bad time and nothing gets done. That’s not true either. We have good starting points.”

After tivamen, Henriksson admits that “certainly some surgeries will have to be done”. At least he wouldn’t want to do them because of education. “Juha Sipilä the mistakes of the government should not be repeated.”

Read more: Rkp aims for free day care and hundreds more police officers

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Finland the Rkp does not want to compromise on climate goals.

The fight against natural loss is also mentioned in the election program, although there is little concreteness. The most specific requirement is the reduction of emissions flowing into the Archipelago Sea.

If he wanted, Henriksson could have carried out one of the water works already in this election period. The elimination of zero obligations for small hydropower plants was written into the government program, and the responsibility for it belonged to his ministry.

The zero obligation means that some hydropower plants do not have to compensate for the harm they cause to stream water nature in any way. The law change was not made.

Henriksson explains what happened by saying that the matter could have been prepared by a certain official, whose time he decided to use to reform the Redemption Act.

“If I am in the next government, I will promote this.”


Three questions for Anna-Maja Henriksson

  1. If the government you lead could promote only three things, what would they be? “At least two percent economic growth, which is accompanied by the availability of labor. Stopping the decline in learning outcomes. The third is the safety of everyday life, which includes access to healthcare.”

  2. What mistake did your party make while in government? “It’s sad that the reform of social security is left in the middle. We could have done more in that, too.”

  3. Where would you put the extra billion? “First, 90 million for the courts and other administration of justice, so that cases would be processed faster. The rest will be used to increase the level of funding for basic education and mental health services for young people and the system of personal doctors for the elderly.”

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