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SPP leader denounces government's attitude toward immigrants

The head of Finland's opposition Swedish People's Party, Carl Haglund, issued a harsh condemnation of the new government's attitude towards immigrants in a speech at the SPP congress on Saturday.

Carl Haglund
SSP chair Carl Haglund. Image: Yle

According to Haglund, the attitude of the cabinet led by Centre Party Prime Minister Juha Sipilä towards immigrants can be seen, among other ways, in its plan for a study on what immigrants cost Finnish society.

"This would be called an independent study. Of what benefit the study would be remains obscure," Haglund noted in his Saturday address.

He pointed out that the State Institute for Economic Research VATT and the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA have already examined the issue and come to the conclusion that Finland needs more people to ensure its wellbeing.

"It remains a mystery how we can entice people to move to this country when Sipilä and his pals stand on the border pasting price tags on their foreheads," the Swedish People's Party leader continued.

He added that he personally would avoid moving to any country where after crossing the border, the first thing he'd hear how much he'll cost the nation.

Haglund said that the SSP renounces this kind of populism.

Critical of education cuts

Carl Haglund was also sharply critical of the government’s budget savings plans. Although he agrees with the amount of spending that needs to be cut from the state budget, he called for a debate on priorities.

He described plans to cut spending on education as the biggest disappointment contained in the government's plan.

"This is strange in light of the pledges made by both the Centre Party and the National Coalition during the election campaign. It is even stranger since the government's programme states that education and expertise are Finland's trump cards," he said.

According to Haglund, Finland was once known as a country that stressed research, development and innovation. Now, he said, the direction has totally changed.

"This is a catastrophic miscalculation by the government," stated Haglund.

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