Finnish leading daily Helsingin Sanomat was forced to take down an online article in its monthly magazine supplement Kuukausiliite that featured a list of some more, some less offensive nicknames for Estonians, after Estonian President and many others took to Twitter to express their horror.
Helsingin Sanomat editor-in-chief Kaius Niemi issued an official apology on Twitter for what he later said was supposed to be a piece of light entertainment, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported.
The article listed the top 30 reader suggestions for nicknames of Estonians, many of which were based on stereotypes. Suggestions included monikers like "varttiryssa" - "quarter Russian" - and "virus", "they chase money", "they buy BMWs as soon as they can afford it", and "they don't believe in war".
President Toomas-Hendrik Ilves expressed his amazement on the prank piece on Saturday. His tweet "I am speechless" also drew dozens of comments from apologetic Finns who condemned the article.
I am speechless. http://t.co/PA9IDrjXzZ— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) April 4, 2015
After the article was removed from HS website, Ilves tweeted again:
Hyvät Naapurit!. Let us now put this behind us. Let us never forget some have for centuries used the same slur for both of us, and only us.— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) April 4, 2015
Editor: M. Oll