Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Finland for Finns

Originally uploaded by

Independence day. I am heading to the embassy in the evening. Looking forward.

I glanced this morning to the website of the biggest Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat. Main news article: Majority does not want more immigrants. Based on a recent poll 60 % of the people interviewed thought that Finland has enough immigrants.

What is enough? Well, apparently 1,99 %. This is what Virtual Finland tells us:
"In the years 1990-2002, net immigration to Finland was around 69,000 persons (including returning Finnish citizens). In 2002 Finland had about 152,000 residents born outside Finland. Of these, nearly 104,000 were citizens of other countries. Approximately 40 percent of Finland's foreign community is from the former Soviet Union. Of this group about 25,000 are Ingrian Finns and 10,000 are Estonian. The next largest group is composed of Swedish citizens, of whom there are around 8,000."

Just a quick comparison with the Netherlands: 3,038,758 (out of 15 million).

My brother was visiting last weekend. He asked me what I think of Finland. I said that I see a number of positive things but the thing bothering me the most is the inward-looking attitude. There is a strong tendency of thinking that we are doing fine without others. I don´t know how this can be changed but I do think it is clearly the biggest problem in the national dna.

1 comment:

Mane the Mean said...

I do not know the solution either, but I know that we must find a way of getting more foreigners to Finland. In addition to providing more workforce (which together with some changes on tax and other policies would increase incomes of all), foreigners would make Finland a livelier and funnier place.

I just visited Finland and I so much missed the international environment of Boston.