A Flash of Inspiration about What is Not Needed 

Your correspondent has many friends and up until now, I have thought that they are very different without any common factors linking them together. But there was a moment of thought while sitting on an uncomfortable hotel sofa in Eltville that changed my preconceived ideas about them.

There is a common thread and that is not surprising when that flash of inspiration popped into my head.

Friend one

He is from Slovenia and she, his wife, is Japanese. They met after two failed marriages in Ireland and moved to Finland so that he could be close to his children who then lived there with their new German step-father… quite a mix, but true… He started a restaurant with his new wife and made profits from day one with smart business ideas and efficient production processes, including great food! As a robot engineer, he has plenty of experience in creating efficient processes. After 6 years he sold the restaurant with a good profit, bought a house in the middle of nowhere 150 km from Helsinki, repaired it and sold it at a good profit. On a short holiday/work related trip to Holland last month he saw another well-organised country, and applied for an engineering job as an afterthought when he heard that Holland offers foreign engineers a five year tax break. He could work for 5 years fpr €6000 a month without having to pay taxes. He got the job in one of Europe’s biggest technology companies! That is not a bad deal to secure workers with professional experience. Finland comes nowhere near this type of package offer for skilled workers, even though industry and government are desperately looking for such foreigners… 

Friend two

A Russian lady applied for a job in Helsinki in 2005 – she was married to a Finn, and could speak and write excellent Finnish, Swedish, English, Spanish and naturally Russian. I employed her and she proved her weight in gold by being proficient in maths and writing analytical reports on business and financial matters. Seven years later she divorced and moved to Stockholm and remained in the same company for 13 years as a financial analyst, gradually going up in seniority. She remarried and then secured a job as a Treasurer of a big international financial organisation… She is a perfect example of how hard work pays off. She even studied and passed demanding accounting during her free time. She recalls with regret that the Finnish migration officials did not permit her mother to move to Finland even though the daughter promised full financial support for her. The Swedes welcomed her mother with open arms, and now they have two nice apartments in Stockholm, a teenage daughter with grandmother. When will Finns learn to appreciate honest hardworking people?

Friend three

A world sporting champion, talented photographer and entrepreneur who does not waste his time waiting for handouts from any Olympic Committee. He trains others and writes stories accompanied by his photos from many corners of the world. He finds professional freelance work for sporting product companies that want to have great shots with beautiful models. In the end he ends up with a new girlfriend who is also a great athlete. Together they build a house in Greece and move there to train and work. Six years later they think about marriage… There is nothing to stop them investing in their love of life in a warm country. Neither of them have received any support from the public sector or from the Olympic Committee. Talented people do not hang around waiting for important old men in silk ties and grey suits to tick the boxes. 

All three are examples of people who strive to grab a better life and even though your correspondent is of the opinion that Finland is a great place to live, many good people drop out and seek a better life elsewhere because the system is too often too strict and short-sighted. This last election has brought back what can be described as a step backwards in terms of political change something which is not needed. If we need to revitalise our economy, and that cannot succeed with such political parties that preach the mantra of austerity and turn their back on the EU and foreigners…

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