Gerry Brownlee’s comments that Finnish people are uneducated and disrespectful to women have sparked outrage and made headlines in the European nation.
“The story is flaming in the Finnish media,” Juha Parikka, counsellor to the Embassy of Finland said.
Auckland lecturer Merja Myllylahti has even started a Facebook group, calling for Brownlee to visit Finland “to learn some facts”. …
Brownlee’s spokesman said the comments were made in humour, were based on OECD figures and were part of a general debate.
One Finnish blogger responded:
Just you New Zealanders stop raping sheep, children and your Maori slaves, which is a satirical comment with a shadow of fact in it so no hard feelings, and we’re okay.
People are getting a wee bit sensitive over this. But just in case Finland declares war on New Zealand, I’d better try and make peace, especially as we have no combat airforce left.
Personally I’m very fond of Finns, having spent a few days in Vegas with four young Finnish politicians. Thankfully what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but let’s just sat everyone had a great time.
Now I’m also very fond of New Zealand, and Gerry is right that in several areas New Zealand is the better performing country.
But in one key area, I’m prepared to concede that Finland is the superior country. They clearly have a more impressive armed forces.Finland, Gerry Brownlee