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Neo-Nazis Trying, and Failing, to Recruit Members

Racist extremist groups have failed to gain members in Finland, despite recruitment campaigns in growing urban centres. The Finnish Security Police (Supo) say there are fewer Nazi skinheads now than in the 1990's.

Image: AP Graphics Bank

Recessions usually harden attitudes towards immigrants and other minorities, but the economic crisis of the past year hasn't swelled the ranks of Finnish neo-Nazis.

Nonetheless, extremist groups in Finland do take their cue from neo-Nazi organisations in Sweden, and have been trying to set up similar networks here. In Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Oulu, for example, racist activists have advertised a Swedish-style website and attached racist stickers in public places.

"The police have looked into this, but the investigation hasn't led anywhere because the stickers don't encourage hate against any specific nationality," says Jere Roimu, from the Police precinct in eastern Helsinki.

Neo-Nazis have gained a strong following in Sweden, and are a real political issue. But Supo says that in Finland, there are only a couple dozen real racist activists, and their impact on Finnish society and politics is practically non-existent.

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