Ministry could cut Finns Party Youth funding over ‘racist’ social media posts

The group got €115,000 in official funding this year, but it could be at risk over online comments.

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Social media post from European Parliament / Credit: Twitter

The Ministry of Education and Culture says it’s looking at funding the Finns Party Youth has received, in light of recent social media postings by the group.

Finns Party Youth has been granted €115,000 this year from the ministry. Half has already been paid, with the other half still in the pipeline. But all state funding comes with conditions.

“The Youth Act from the beginning of 2017 defines the conditions for state allowances and the ability to receive state funding” explains Mikko Cortés Téllez, a Senior Government Adviser at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

“And there it’s defined in article two that the value bases of the Youth Act is to promote for example equality, non-discrimination, internationality and diversity of cultures. And if we judge that some of the organisations who have received funding from us are clearly against those goals, the funding might be reversed” he tells News Now Finland.

Screenshot of Finns Party Youth messaging on social media / Credit: Twitter

In recent weeks the Finns Party Youth and its members have posted a number of social media messages which have been branded ‘racist’ by politicians and members of Finland’s civic society.

One such post showed a European Parliament election campaign advert with two black parents holding their child. An official Finns Party Youth social media account had shared the advert, and added the comment “vote for the Finns Party if you don’t want Europe to look like this”, written in Finnish.

Back in March ministry officials already spoke with the new secretary general of the Finns Party Youth group Asseri Kinnunen to let him know the expectations of organisations which receive official funding.

“I have a feeling he understood very well” says Cortés Téllez.

Ministry officials are expected to make a decision either this week or next week about how to proceed. In case they find that the actions of the organisation are in contradiction with the provisions of the Youth Act, the main options open to them are to take back money that has already been given, or to decline payment of future funds.

Asseri Kinnunen has been contacted for comments.