One of the wealthiest people in Finland is a moustached elderly man who owns a large part of Nordea Bank and big manor house in Finland called Mr. Wahlroos.
In order to avoid inheritance tax, he moved to Sweden in what must be regarded as a completely selfish act given that he owes his education, healthcare, use of basic infrastructure, and most of his wealth to Finland.
Almost all Finns, with the exception of a few very rich individuals who have moved to Portugal, would never dream of dumping Finland for tax avoidance! It is like a dinner guest taking the table, chairs, silver tableware, and leftover wine from the host’s home when the evening comes to a close. Such upstarts are ruthless folk whose hedonistic manners are beyond belief.
All of them have enjoyed Finland’s generosity in providing free education, good public healthcare, and companies where they have risen to the top… Turning your back on these great benefits for a tax-light life and bulging bank accounts is reprehensible. They are worse than army deserters in times of war… and their departure means that present and future Finnish governments have less tax revenues to defend itself under the NATO umbrella…
This newly appointed champion of capitalism, Mr. Wahlroos spent his youth in Finland as some kind of student communist gorging the government and local municipalities for cash while student before finding redemption when he became a finance professor, a land-owner and then a banker who likes to rub shoulders with the Swedish folk who live in big palaces…
Then there was nothing to stop him from enjoying his newly found financial greed, where he spouted about the evils of taxation and big government. He even managed to buy a government-owned bank for a pittance from which he pocketed unearned profits for his next piece of financial wizardry by buying into the ruins of two private banks that had been supported generously by the government to save them from going south a few years earlier!
He managed all this with support from his friends in two right-wing governments who either had no understanding of investments or were pleased that they could sell off something they had no idea how to manage. To believe otherwise would mean that their ministers were negligent by allowing these valuable assets to be sold below their true market price, and such negligence is not acceptable when honest independent advisors could have been found easily. Saving the banks with taxpayers’ money without proper financial conditions and selling an operating bank well below its true market price to a competitor is simply wrong, unlawfully wrong…
Now we have another right-wing populist government and Mr. Wahlroos is in his element again with one more book where he re-tells his life story embellished with tales of glory. He does not hide the fact that he does not want to pay taxes here, and he dares to criticise governments for owning companies.
What else is he planning to buy from his Stockholm residence on the cheap, and what are his mates in the present government thinking to sell to him at “half price” like some street market stall-keeper?
It is amazing that his is not running for King of Finland given his love of self-aggrandizement.
Drawing ”The Walrus – The Carpenter” from Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in Wonderland 1865 and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There 1871 – illustration by Sir John Tenniel – English illustrator – graphic humorist and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th century