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Finns Party calls for harder line on immigration

The Finns Party leader says immigration won't solve Finland's demographic challenges.

Perussuomalaisten puolueen puheenjohtaja Riikka Purra Ylen Aamun lähetyksessä Pasilassa.
Rikka Purra, the leader of the nationalist Finns Party, has previously called for stricter rules on family reunification and Finnish citizenship. Image: Benjamin Suomela / Yle
Yle News

Finns Party chair Riikka Purra told Yle that Finland should model Denmark's restrictive immigration policies and suggested that Sweden's new right-leaning government was already doing so.

Speaking on Yle TV1's Ykkösaamu programme on Saturday, Purra said her party's ultimate goal was to tie social benefits to citizenship.

The Finns Party leader also criticised government proposals to use immigration to alleviate labour shortages. The biggest employment problems facing Finland, according to Purra, are a skills mismatch and low incentive to work.

"Neither problem can be solved by immigration, as immigrants will face the same issues once they've settled in the country," she said, adding that while the Finns Party supports the work-based immigration of highly skilled workers, it does not want to welcome low-salaried workers from outside of the EU.

In October, Finland's employment rate was just under 75 percent, a target set out by PM Sanna Marin's (SDP) government. Purra, however, said many people in jobs now were underemployed, suggesting that the share of part-time workers had risen while some long-term unemployed persons had reached retirement age.

"Finland is home to nearly 200,000 people working reduced hours against their will. It's difficult to get by with this kind of work and it means supplementing income with social benefits," she told Yle.

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