Journalist: Estonian reaction to Helme words stronger than in Finland

Patrik Hytönen appearing on Monday's Ringvaade.
Patrik Hytönen appearing on Monday's Ringvaade. Source: ERR

Reaction to interior minister Mart Helme's comments about the new Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin, was stronger in Estonia than in Finland, according to Postimees special correspondent Patrik Hytönen.

Speaking on ETV current affairs show Ringvaade, Hytönen said that: "Finland as a society is very ahead of us, and people criticize Marin's political views rather than what her life has been like," the journalist added.

While people in Finland have been critical of Helme's words, Hytönen believes that in the long run Helme's words will not affect Estonian-Finnish relations. 

"Something bad is unlikely to happen to Estonian-Finnish relations," he noted, adding that the ambassadors of both countries have also confirmed that the status quo in relations will be maintained.

The apologies from Estonia, which came from both the head of state Kersti Kaljulaid, and the head of the government Jüri Ratas, as well as, in a fashion, from Helme himself, have been viewed positively in Finland, Hytönen added. 

"It is still positive that the president and others have shown that they want to maintain a good partnership. Even more, there is this plus point that Mart Helme has apologized to others," he said.

The original Ringvaade segment (in Estonian) is here.

On Sunday, speaking on Räägime asjast, a program on radio station TRE; which has ties to EKRE, Helme called into question the competence of the new government to be able to manage as the executive power.

"I would still recall [Soviet leader] Vladimir Ulyanov-Lenin's saying that every cook could become a minister, or something to that effect," he said. "Now we can see that a salesgirl has become prime minister and some other street activist and uneducated person has also become a member of the government."

He commented more broadly on the Finnish government as well.

"Now we can actually see to some extent how the historical revenge of the reds on the whites is taking place — that is to say, the reds who wanted to liquidate the Finnish state in the [Finnish Civil War of 1918] already have now come to power and are now desperately trying to liquidate Finland, turning it into some kind of europrovince which may still be called Suomi or Finland as a territory, but which in fact completely drags along the tail of the ideological philosophy of the so-called Fukuyama-esque end of history."


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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