Posted on May 24, 2011

Timo Soini to Reprimand MP Hakkarainen Again for Racially Insensitive Remarks

Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki), May 24, 2011

True Finns party chairman Timo Soini is taking issue again with remarks made by the party’s new MP Teuvo Hakkarainen on immigration issues.

The late-edition tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reported on Tuesday that Soini was angered by an interview that Hakkarainen gave to Jämsän Seutu, a local newspaper from the Central Finnish community of Jämsä.

In the interview, which was published on Monday, Hakkarainen complained that Helsinki’s squares are full of idle “negro geezers” and that he feels that refugees should be sent to do forest work.

Hakkarainen also said that refugees who “shirk work” bring other problems to Finland.

“Before long the regular population of Finland will have to run away from here when they bring their own Islamic laws here. They come from the Horn of Africa and bring their coarse customs here.”

Soini said that the leadership of the True Finns Parliamentary group will have to consider measures to take against Hakkarainen.

“I do not approve of this kind of speech. That is quite clear”, Soini said to Ilta-Sanomat.

Hakkarainen’s off-the-cuff remarks about immigration raised controversy already in April after a video interview with Helsingin Sanomat in which he spoke about “negro geezers” seeking asylum in Finland, and in which he made a mocking imitation of a Muslim call to prayer.

That interview brought him his first reprimand from Timo Soini. Hakkarainen attributed his colourful language to his rural background.