#AceFinanceNews – FINLAND (Helsinki) – June 16 – As UK prime minister David Cameron’s Conservatives set about reforming the anti-federalist European Conservative and Reformist (ECR) group in the European Parliament, the spotlight has fallen on their new allies.
In a bid to obtain the required 25 MEPs from seven member states, the group is enlarging to take on two deputies from Finland’s populist Finns party.
"The acceptance of the Finns, along with the Danish People’s Party, into the ECR has been primarily seen as an important strategic move by the British Conservatives to isolate Ukip in the European Parliament," says Jemima Repo, political scientist at the university of Helsinki.
"It means a stronger eurosceptic agenda for the ECR and the Conservatives, and it groups the Finns with a more traditional and respectable right, distancing them from a more far-right and xenophobic profile," she adds.
The original political home of Halla-aho is Suomen Sisu, an organisation that has been instrumental in popularising anti-immigration themes in Finland and has throughout its history displayed strong connections to Finnish neo-fascist intelligentsia.