British newspaper: Timo Soini ”arguably most successful eurosceptic politician in Europe”
True Finns leader interviewed by Sunday Observer
The British newspaper, The Observer, which serves as the Sunday edition of the daily paper The Guardian, published an interview of True Finns chairman and presidential candidate Timo Soini on Sunday.
According to the paper, Soini, a “far-right Finnish politician”, is “arguably the most successful eurosceptic politician in Europe today, and certainly in the eurozone.”
In the interview, which took place in the Finnish Parliament last week, Soini says that Finland could easily retract the backing its parliament gave the expanded European financial stability facility, the eurozone bailout fund, in September, and that such a move would rip apart the rescue package stitched together last month.
"We can even now say that it is full stop for our bailing out”, Soini said. He insisted that a decision on the matter is up to Finland.
"We can say it, even if we are members of the eurozone and the EFSF's [European Financial Stability Facility's] power has been enlarged. Each and every individual decision, by Finnish law, has to be made in this house, and if this house… says this is the end of the story, it's the stand of the Finnish parliament and we can do it."
Soini told the interviewer, journalist Richard Orange, that on the previous day he had had “a fierce discussion” with Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (Nat. Coalition Party) in Parliamentary debate.
Soini said that Katainen had become seriously annoyed when Soini pointed out that the Soviet Union was once claimed to be everlasting. “Now they say the euro and the European Union are everlasting, but it is not. If we run out of money and morals, there will be destruction one day."
Soini said that as a convert to Catholicism he can understand quite well the way that people think in Ireland, Poland, Italy, and even in Greek Orthodox countries.
“In Catholic countries the state isn't considered to be the hand of God. It's a common hobby to cheat the government, to cheat those who have power."
Soini deflects the issue of controversial statements by True Finns MPs Jussi Halla-aho and Teuvo Hakkarainen on gays, Somalis, Islam, and Greece, by emphasising his own moderate attitudes in minority questions.
"It's so painful to the old and established party to confess that there's a real challenger on economics, or bailing out the EU, that the easiest solution is to demonise us”, Soini said.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Katainen and Soini clash over bailouts (9.11.2011)
MP Hakkarainen’s latest gaffe: send minorities to Åland (24.10.2011)
BREAKING NEWS: Soini wants MP Halla-aho suspended from True Finns parliamentary group (14.9.2011)
The Observer: Far-right Finnish politician Timo Soini bids for presidency