Estonian living in Finland make a great contribution to the growth of wealth in Finland, says Erkki Tuomioja, the previous foreign minister of Finland.
Tuomioja told ETV's “Kahekõne” that he does not believe there are too many Estonians in Finland.
“Sadly a fear popped up, when the common labor market in Europe was launched, that immediately hundreds of thousands of Estonians would come to us. This did not materialize. Estonians do work in Finland. They make a significant contribution to Finland's well-being, as do other immigrants,” Tuomioja said.
He said the same can be said of Finns, who have moved to Estonia.
“Of course, one must respect the law of that nation. Finland has its own labor laws and work must be done in accordance,” he said.
The number of Finnish citizens in Estonia is around 7,500 (2011 census), down from 11,800 in 2000. At the same time, there are around 44,000 Estonians currently residing in Finland (statistics from 2014). The figure has doubled since 2008. In 1995, it was only 8,500.
Tuomioja caused a diplomatic row between the two nations at the beginning of the year, when he said that the fact that the Baltics do not offer news in Russian sounds like nationalism. Estonia summoned the Finnish ambassador and Tuomioja later apologized.
Editor: J.M. Laats