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Finland’s Economy Minister Steps Down Following Hitler Remarks

Finland’s Economy Minister has resigned after just ten days in the post after video of him speaking fondly of Adolf Hitler was uncovered earlier this week.

Vilhelm Junnila of the ultranationalist Finns Party said on Friday that he was stepping down so as not to harm the reputation of both the government and Finland.

“I see that it is impossible for me to continue as a minister in a satisfactory way,” Junnila said in a statement.

His resignation came shortly after he posted an apology on Facebook for remarks he labeled “stupid and childish.”

Speaking at a meeting in the city of Turku in 2019, Junnila noted with satisfaction that his local party chairman’s election number was “88” — code among neo-Nazis for the letters “HH”, signifying the greeting “Heil Hitler.”

Then, in March this year,  Junnila congratulated another candidate who received the same number at a Finns campaign event, according to the Finnish broadcaster Yle.

“First of all, congratulations on an excellent election number. I know it is a winning card. This 88 refers, of course, to the two ‘H’s, but let’s not dwell on that,” the 41-year-old Junnila is said to have joked.

Junnila acknowledged the video of him speaking in Turku in 2019 is still online, adding had he been invited to a similar event today he would not participate.

He said in a separate Facebook post: “I hope everyone is clear that I condemn the Holocaust, antisemitism and all antisemitic acts strongly and definitely.”

He added that he condemned them “completely.”

A populist nationalist organization which seeks to strictly limit immigration, the Finns Party enjoyed its strongest showing in the country’s April general election, coming in second place winning 20 percent of the vote and 46 seats in parliament.

Source: https://www.algemeiner.com/2023/06/30/far-right-finnish-economy-minister-resigns-over-hitler-remarks/