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Police: No investigation into MP's 'social welfare surfers' comments

The comments were made by MP Juha Pylväs during the Centre Party's summer congress but the politician has since apologised.

Centre Party MP and chair of the party's parliamentary group Juha Pylväs speaking to party chair Annika Saarikko at the party's summer congress. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Police in Ostrobothnia have closed an investigation into comments made by Juha Pylväs due to insufficient legal grounds to suspect the Centre Party MP of breaking the law.

During the speech, which took place at the party's summer congress in the city of Seinäjoki on 25 August, Pylväs referred to asylum seekers as "surfers living off social welfare."

The Oulu politician, who is chair of the party's parliamentary group, has since apologised for his choice of words via a post (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (link in Finnish) on social media.

Following the incident, a request for an investigation was submitted to the police. However, the Ostrobothnian police department has now ruled that the threshold to suspect that a crime had been committed was not reached.

According to a statement explaining the decision, the police found that the phrase “surfers living on social security” does not incite hate against a certain ethnic group nor can it be legally classed as a threat, slander or insult.