The Finns Party is a populist and nationalist-oriented Finnish political party. Led by their perennial leader Timo Soini, The Finns were in opposition for decades until 2015, when they joined Juha Sipilä's coalition government after becoming the country's second largest party in the 2015 election with 17.1 percent of the votes.
The Finns Party's long-standing chairman, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, said that the media resentment at the Finns' support for a Helsinki's referendum on EU membership was a violation of the party's freedom of expression.
"Why are we treated differently? Do other rules apply to us?" Timo Soini asked rhetorically during the political summer event SuomiAreena in Pori. "No one is pushing the Center Party to leave the government on account of the fact that the party's honorary president, Paavo Väyrynen, is also pushing for the euro referendum," Soini said. "And no one is kicking out the Coalition party because of their support for NATO membership, despite the government's line for non-alignment," Soini pointed out.
"I simply wanted to know what had happened, and why it happened the way it did," Soini told Yle, stressing that the trip was completely paid for by his party and did not inflict either the Foreign Ministry or Finnish taxpayers any damage.
According to Soini, "divorce negotiations" between Britain and the EU should not be dominated by jealousy, resentment or malice.
"We must minimize any possible damage and ensure a solution that will benefit everyone," Soini said.
Finland's theoretical exit from the EU would inevitably entail difficulties with the Swedish-speaking region of Åland, which currently enjoys one of the broadest autonomies imaginable, yet continues to push for full independence. For Soini's fellow Finns Party members, this is no problem at all.
"If Åland breaks out, it would be an economic victory for Finland, as we pump large sums of money into payoffs for the islanders," Toimi Kankaaniemi of the Finns Party said, apparently believing that Finland's EU membership is short-lived.
In the aftermath of Brexit, a petition for a UK-style popular vote was launched by the Finns party's youth wing leader Sebastian Tynkkynen. So far, the petition has harvested over 27,000 signatures. Remarkably, the far-right populist Finns Party leader and current Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who a decade ago ran for presidency with a slogan "Where there is the EU, there is a problem," earlier made it clear that no Fixit vote would be held under the current government.
In April, Finnish lawmakers held a rare debate on whether the Nordic country should quit the euro after 53,000 people signed a petition by former PM and long-standing EU critic Paavo Väyrynen, former figurehead of the Center Party.
The Finns Party, which is still known in Finnish and Swedish as the "True Finns Party," gained in prominence in the wake of last year's massive influx of refugees, on the platform that immigration to Finland from outside the EU should be permitted only in cases where it brings economic advantage. It also believes that certain EU immigrants are unwelcome, such as Roma (gypsies), whom it brands as 'criminals,' according to the BBC. The party believes social services and health care should be primarily reserved for ethnic Finns. In 2015 the party joined the current government coalition.