The Tundra Tabloids offers one of the very rare moments where it offers a bit of praise to the words uttered by the spokesman for the Greens League (Vihreäliito), Anne Sinnemäki. Really, this is actually groundbreaking. If this same sentiment was uttered in Sweden, the person daring to utter it would be automatically deemed a racist, tarred and feathered and cast into the political outer darkness with the wailing and the gnashing of teeth. But this is Finland. KGS

Anni Sinnemäki: “it’s a not only a right but a duty to learn the language of a new home country.”

YLE:The Green League is calling for immigrants, especially those with refugee backgrounds, to learn Finnish or Swedish—or risk reductions in income support subsidies. The party calls attention to the poor language skills among stay-at-home immigrant mothers, which it finds particularly alarming.

The party’s latest policy programme calls for immigrants to study Finland’s official languages, Finnish or Swedish, more intensively. The Greens want to light a fire under newcomers by tying social welfare benefits to language class attendance.

They also want to see more immigrant mothers in the workforce as their children grow.

Labour Minister and Green Party chair Anni Sinnemäki says it’s a not only a right but a duty to learn the language of a new home country.

“Studying Finnish is central to integration in Finnish society,” she explains.

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