"I am suing the Finnish state for lost income." This is how the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet threatened Lena Lahti, who trades in Pajala.
Pajala is located in the Tornio River Valley on the Swedish side, right next to the Finnish border. In her shop, Lena Lahti has sold a lot of snuff and cheap sweets to Finns. In mid-March, when Finland decided to close its borders, the Lahti store lost 80 percent of its turnover.
According to Aftonbladet, hatred for Sweden is incited in Finland. Evidence can also be found both in the headlines of coastal newspapers and on social media discussion forums.
Elna Nykänen Andersson, Press and Cultural Counselor at the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm, drew attention to the attitude of Finns in the early May in her blog post. In his opinion, the Finnish media created a false image of Swedish coronation. According to the press adviser, there were far more restrictions in Sweden than was wanted in Finland.
Both Aftonbladet and Nykänen and Andersson are a little right. Every week, Finland has wondered about Sweden's seemingly relaxed Korona strategy. At the same time, of course, we have also speculated that, once again, the Swedes will be lucky and survive the crisis with less human and economic losses than other countries. In April, we criticized Finland's line quite loudly and admired Sweden's bold and smart view.
It has already been forgotten, especially by those who were most vocal at the time.
It would be a miracle if we did not react in any way to Sweden's actions. We are used to comparing Finland to Sweden. Sweden is a yardstick for us.
As the chosen strategies differ greatly from each other, the management of the corona crisis has also become a national match for Finland. This is now happening in Sweden as well.
Political consensus on the corona strategy is gone. Citizens' confidence in the ability of the government and the Public Health Agency to deal with the corona crisis is deteriorating.
If the figures for other countries were at the level of Sweden, confidence would not weaken. The Swedes think that the race may be losing or at least the victory is not certain.
There is no rising hatred for Sweden in Finland, but the joy of harm is certainly felt by many. It’s not only unnecessary but also silly and can be premature.
It would be best if Sweden also survived the crisis very well.
And if Sweden does better than us, it is not out of us. On the contrary, it is a really good thing, except for our national self-esteem.
Then we have to hope that Lena Lahti will really sue the Finnish state. I guess we can't lose that race?
The author is the Editor-in-Chief of the World of Technology.