90 Miles From Tyranny : Presidential hopeful wants Finland out of EU, says nationalists will bounce back

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Presidential hopeful wants Finland out of EU, says nationalists will bounce back

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland will leave the European Union and position itself as the Switzerland of the north to protect its independence if Laura Huhtasaari, the presidential candidate of the eurosceptic Finns Party has her way.

She also told Reuters in an interview she wants to tighten immigration rules.

Huhtasaari -- dubbed "Finland's Marine Le Pen" after France's National Front leader -- is a long-shot. But she believes she has a real chance in the January election as her party has taken a fresh start following its removal from the coalition government in June.

"The rise in Europe of parties that are critical towards the EU and immigration is due to bad, unjust politics," she said. "The role for Finland in the euro zone is the role of a loser and payer...

"I do not want Finland to become a province of EU, Finns must stand up for Finland's interests."

The Finns Party, formerly called "True Finns", rose from obscurity during the euro zone debt crisis with an anti-EU platform, complicating the bloc's bailout talks with troubled states.

It expanded into the second-biggest parliamentary party in 2015 and joined the government, but then saw its support drop due to compromises in the three-party coalition.

This June, the party picked a new hard-line leadership and got kicked out of the government, while more than half of its lawmakers left the party and formed a new group to keep their government seats.

Huhtasaari, 38, who was picked as deputy party leader in June, said voters were still confused after the split-up but that the party would eventually bounce back.

"The game is really brutal. The biggest parties want us to disappear from the political map. No-one is in politics looking for friends."

The Finns party ranks ...Read More HERE

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