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Ex-PM Rinne: Finland must 'wake up' to threat of far-right

The former PM said extremists could attempt to paralyse Finnish society in the same way as occurred in the US this week.

Antti Rinne
Finland's former Prime Minister and current chair of the Constitutional Law Committee Antti Rinne. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Former Prime Minister and current chair of Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee Antti Rinne (SDP) has told the Uutissuomalainen news group that he is very concerned about the activities of the far-right movement in Finland.

In an interview published on Saturday, Rinne said that extremists could attempt to paralyse the functioning of Finnish society and governance in the same way as occurred in the United States during this past week.

Rinne added that politicians and the media needed to "wake up" to the threat posed by far-right groups.

He said there is a significant number of people in Finland who, in an organised and devised way, spread suspicion of and incite hatred towards social institutions as well as politicians.

The escalating situation is worrying for both democracy and freedom of expression, Rinne said, as he believes that some politicians, journalists and even ordinary citizens avoid dealing with certain issues because of the possibility of becoming the target of hatred by extremists.

Many of these extremist thinkers, Rinne added, are "too often" people working within or on the outskirts of the opposition Finns Party.

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