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Kimanen, Seppo

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Turun Sanomat - Finland | 21/01/2009

Seppo Kimanen calls for a new attitude in Europe towards immigrants

In his column in the daily Turun Sanomat Seppo Kimanen, who works with the Finnish embassy in Tokyo, takes a look at how Europe is dealing with the immigration issue. "Migration to Europe has increased owing to the catastrophic conditions in many countries. ... [But] the problems [of immigrants] only begin with immigration. There is not enough work for all of them and shattered dreams have led immigrants in France's suburbs to riot, while in the UK religious fanatics have staged terrorist attacks. Alarming cultural differences ... have come to light. The best thing would be to improve efforts in the area of development aid and achieve a more even distribution of wealth. But at the same time we must overcome the automatic attitude of rejection towards immigrants and learn to accept them so that everyone benefits. Europeans must develop a new way of thinking and reacting. Mankind did not come into being in Europe, nor did it develop there in its early stages. We are all descendants of immigrants. ... Children, the disabled, marginalised groups, immigrants and other minorities often possess a remarkable sensitivity and still have their own visions. To ignore them would represent a loss for mankind."

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