Washington Times, August 12, 2004
The prime minister of Finland has apologized for his father’s racist remarks during a newspaper interview, the Helsingin Sanomat reported Thursday.
Separately, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation is considering whether to start a criminal investigation into comments made by former political science professor emeritus Tatu Vanhanen, father of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
In his interview to a publication of Helsingin Sanomat, the professor who taught at the University of Tampere, said evolution made Europeans and North Americans more intelligent than Africans. He also said African poverty is not the fault of the white man.
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said the case was “more a sad matter than a burden” for him. He said the controversy would not have arisen if someone else had made the comments.
In his interview, Tatu Vanhanen also said he favors economic solidarity toward poor countries and hoped immigrants in Finland would inter-marry and assimilate into the population at large.
Police were investigating whether the comments constitute public incitement against a national group, a crime under Finnish law.