The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet traveled to the Haparanda-Tornio border to report on how the border, which had remained invisible and non-existent for decades, had risen again in Korona times.
In its long report, the Swedish magazine tells about, among other things, the ex-couple who remained on different sides of the closed border. They meet at the barriers raised at the border.
- This fence feels a bit ridiculous, we have almost no corona cases in Haparanda, says 65-year-old Ulf Sandberg.
The second side of the border Helena Keveri, 67, continues.
- When the border was closed, I decided to move to a friend in Tornio, it was so sad to live alone. But now I haven’t gotten home for many weeks. I would like my bike, he notes and points to the other side of the river where his house is visible.
About a week ago, the closed border was further tightened when Finns and Swedes were banned from handing each other goods across the border.
- As a Swede, it needs Finnish rye bread, but now products can no longer be given across the border. Many have gone to Tornio to refuel because diesel is cheaper there, but it is no longer possible, Sandberg notes.
Read also: For snus shops and to be connected - there is traffic between Tornio and Haparanda until the rush hour: “Many are now invoking constitutional rights”
Aftonbladet tells how the cities of Haparanda and Tornio have been practically the same for decades. The relationship became even closer with the EU in 1995.
- Crossing the border was easier during the war than now, says Sven Tornberg, a municipal councilor from Haparanda.
The same is said by Seth Mannfeldt, 87, who lives in Kitkiöjärvi. He remembers how, during World War II, Haparanda was a crossroads between East and West.
- After the war, Finns were not allowed to come to Sweden. I remember a man coming to Sweden to work. A customs officer came in the middle of the night, woke him up and forced him on his journey. At the time, the customs officers had horses and skis, the man recalls.
- There are similarities between it and this time, but because of the corona, this is more acceptable. It has to be accepted that this is done to help people, Mannfeldt says.
Aftonbladet also talks about the insurgency that has struck the Finns in recent days.
On Saturday, Ilta-Sanomat reported how the Tornio border crossing point has suddenly been filled with cars. The reason for this is the information that came to the public earlier this week, according to which Finns can still cross the border, because the right is enshrined in the Finnish Constitution.
Prior to the issue raised by Yle and Helsingin Sanomat, many Finns had a false belief that the state borders were closed to all people except those going to work due to the corona pandemic.
- Finns have started to revolt because they feel that they have been deceived by their own government, because restrictive measures cannot be above fundamental rights, says municipal councilor Tornberg to Aftonbladet.
The Finnish government is gradually easing the restrictions from mid-May.
- We do not know yet exactly how this is going to be, but commuters can move freely across the border and residents who have family on the other side of the border, it is easier to meet, says Birgitta Tamminen Pohjoiskalotin border advice Aftonbladet.