Finnish 'most right-wing government' eyes cut on immigration
According to analysts, this may be Finland's most rightwing cabinet in the history of the country.
Finland will cut expenditures, reduce immigration, and tighten citizenship laws under a new four-party coalition government led by conservative leader Petteri Orpo, which includes the far-right Finns party.
After 11 weeks of often tense discussions, the partnership of Orpo's National Partnership Party (NCP), the Finns, the Swedish People's Party (RKP), and the Christian Democrats was announced on Friday.
Analysts have called it the most rightwing administration in Finland's history. A drastic austerity agenda has already been proposed, and the Finns Party is taking a hard position on development aid, climate change, and immigration.
Orpo, the prime minister-designate, told reporters that "Finland needs change," citing that the country's "well-being is at stake, and therefore the government must be able to change pace. If Finland is strong and its economy is in order, we can take care of basic services and care for the weaker in society”.
Orpo stated that “we’ve had to make cuts and savings even where we felt bad. But at the same time, we are making sure that tomorrow will be better."
The populist Finns party, which ruled from 2015 to 2017, will control seven of the 19 ministries, including finance, foreign trade and development, social affairs, justice, and the interior, according to public broadcaster YLE.
Riikka Purra, its leader, stated that the new coalition has decided to reduce refugee quotas, raise the bar for work-based immigration, and make it harder to obtain citizenship.
Purra called the change "a paradigm shift in immigration policy," stating that Finland's stance as the only Nordic country with loose immigration policies ends now.
The government intends to cut the number of refugees it gets through the UN refugee agency in half, from 1,050 to 500 every year. It also intends to create separate social security benefit systems for immigrants and permanent residents, which experts believe may contradict the Constitution