“If you're black, go back” and “I want Estonia to be a white country” were some of the comments made yesterday by Martin Helme, a board member of the Conservative People's Party.
The statements came in the context of a discussion on a Tallinn TV talk show about Sweden's recent riots and ethnic conflicts.
The son of Mart Helme, the party's chairman and a former ambassador to Moscow, Martin Helme defended Estonia's migration policies, which he described as conservative.
A massive influx of immigrants, he said, would lead to the “pillaging and raping” of Estonian towns. “And then we are told what racists we are and why we don't get along with them,” Helme said.
“Estonia shouldn't allow things to go as far as in England, France and Sweden,” he said.
“Our immigration policy should have one simple rule: if you're black, go back. As simple as that. We shouldn't allow this problem to emerge in the first place."
He said that Estonian government members - he did not mention names - recently flip-flopped and took a different line in supporting Afghans who have cooperated with Estonia's military unit in Afghanistan. The purported change of heart, which has so far not had any practical outcome, came weeks after an Afghan interpreter known to the media as Omar was denied asylum, he said.
“It is wrong to say they are coming here - they are being sent here by Brussels,” said Helme, whose party is not represented in Parliament and was supported by 3 percent of respondents in a public support poll commissioned by ERR in April.
Confronted by Postimees, a newspaper, Helme defended his comments, saying the subject should be discussed honestly, dismissing a need for political correctness in a battle that, he told the paper, was ultimately not about skin color but the dangers of immigration seen in Europe in the last 40 years.