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Halonen hopes for bold opposition to racism

President Tarja Halonen is hoping for bolder opposition to racism in Finland. In an interview with Helsingin Sanomat published on Sunday, Halonen said that party leaders, civil servants and ordinary citizens have roles to play in standing up against racism.

Presidentti Tarja Halonen Image: Anatoly Maltsev / EPA

According to Halonen, it is crucial to oppose racism in everyday life. She says that racism is ’bubbling’ in society, and that it bursts into the open from time to time.

The president is particularly concerned about the hardening of language.

Halonen’s comments were made in regard to an earlier Helsingin Sanomat poll on racism in society. In an interview with Centre Party organ Suomenmaa, controversial Finns Party MP Jussi Halla-aho criticised a recent statement by Halonen that ”people who recognise their own racist traits vote for the Finns Party.”