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Finns Party ousts member for friend’s Nazi salute

October 3, 2013

HELSINKI (AP) — The leader of the main opposition Finns Party says one of its members will be expelled for inappropriate behavior, including seemingly approving his friend’s recent Nazi salute during a parliamentary session.

Timo Soini said Thursday that the actions of lawmaker James Hirvisaari, who photographed the Sept. 27 salute in the public gallery, “were not in the interests of the party and opposed the party line.”

The picture appeared on social media sites but was later removed.

The populist, euro-skeptic Finns Party, which made sizeable gains in the 2011 parliamentary elections, has reprimanded and punished the outspoken Hirvisaari several times, including after he refused to dismiss an aide who proposed racist policies.

The Finns Party leaders were expected to officially announce Hirvisaari’s expulsion later.

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