Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, will not assume her duties as a member of the board at SEB until 1 June, according to the Swedish financial group. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

ANNE BERNER (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, will not take her seat on the board of directors at SEB until 1 June 2019, according to the Stockholm, Sweden-headquartered financial group.

“Because she is a cabinet minister in Finland, her nomination to the board will be proposed in the general meeting on 26 March, but she will not take an active role on the board until 1 June,” Frank Hojem, the head of media relations at SEB, told Kauppalehti and Uusi Suomi on Thursday.

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The Finns Party has continued its surge under the leadership of chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, with Helsingin Sanomat reporting that the opposition party is now projected to win 11.4 per cent of votes in the parliamentary elections. (Credit: Mesut Turan – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNS PARTY has continued its resurgence with the parliamentary elections edging closer, indicates a poll published on Thursday by Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper revealed yesterday that voter support for the populist, right-wing opposition party climbed to 11.4 per cent between January and February, representing an up-tick of 1.7 percentage points from the previous poll.

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The European Court of Human Rights has asked Finland to give an account of whether or not its decision to remove an Iraqi asylum seeker from the country violated the European Convention on Human Rights. (Credit: Frederick Florin – AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE EUROPEAN COURT of Human Rights (ECHR) has asked Finland to give an account of the events that led to the removal of an unsuccessful asylum seeker who was killed in Iraq in 2017, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The man was killed only some three weeks after returning voluntarily to his country of origin from Finland.

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Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education, spoke in the Finnish Parliament on 7 February 2019. (Credit: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

SANNI GRAHN-LAASONEN (NCP), the Minister of Education, has revealed she will appoint a task force to draft a list of proposals to promote foreign-language learning in kindergartens and schools in Finland.

Grahn-Laasonen on Sunday expressed her concern about the decrease and unilateral nature of foreign-language learning by young people, highlighting that the number of pupils studying a voluntary foreign language has decreased by roughly 33 per cent over the past 20 years.

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Jukka Kopra, a deputy chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group, says the EU should take action to ensure people not in need of international protection do not make their way to the 28-country bloc in search of asylum. (Credit: Handout – YLE)

THE NATIONAL COALITION says it is prepared to increase the refugee quota but only on the condition that a new asylum system based on quota refugees is created by the European Union.

“We hope we can develop the asylum mechanism in a way that we can basically do away completely with cross-border asylum applications, meaning there’d be no mass migration to target countries,” stated Jukka Kopra, a deputy chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group.

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Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the Green League, discussed the opposition party’s programme for the next parliamentary elections in a press conference in Helsinki on Sunday, 17 February. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND should take action to raise the national employment rate to a minimum of 75 per cent and create 100,000 new jobs by 2023, states the Green League.

“Instead of placing blame on the unemployed and undermining the position of employees, we must facilitate access to working life and promote security so that there is room for more, rather than fewer, people in working life,” the opposition party outlines in its programme for the next parliamentary elections.

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Speaker of the Parliament Paula Risikko (NCP) spoke to reporters after the speakers had convened to determine how to proceed with the bills for new intelligence laws in Helsinki on Thursday, 14 February. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

PAULA RISIKKO (NCP), the Speaker of the Parliament, has confirmed that the bills for new civilian and military intelligence laws will be submitted for further review to two parliamentary committees.

The Parliament’s Administration Committee and Constitutional Law Committee will re-examine the bills to determine if they and the statements issued on them are in compliance with the constitution.

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Elina Lepomäki (NCP) has voiced her bafflement with the criticism levelled at Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, after Berner announced she will be appointed as a board member at Sweden’s SEB. (Credit: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

ELINA LEPOMÄKI (NCP) has expressed her bafflement with the debate surrounding Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications.

Berner on Tuesday announced she will not seek re-election to the Finnish Parliament and will be nominated to the board of directors at SEB, a provider of banking and financial services headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) enjoys the lowest level of confidence among voters in Finland, indicates a survey by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

PUBLIC CONFIDENCE in Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has fallen noticeably, indicates a survey commissioned by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises.

Over a half (53%) of respondents estimated that the prime minister has failed to perform his official responsibilities in a manner that evokes confidence, making him the party leader who enjoys the lowest level of confidence among Finns.

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Increasing employment and wages are among the main drivers of economic growth in Finland, views Jukka Appelqvist, an economist at Danske Bank. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH ECONOMY continued to grow at a surprisingly brisk pace towards the end of last year.

Statistics Finland on Thursday reported that the national output increased by 2.7 per cent year-on-year and 0.5 per cent month-on-month in December 2018. The statistical institution also revised up its growth estimate for the previous month, saying working-day adjusted output grew by 2.6 per cent, rather than 1.8 per cent, year-on-year in November.

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Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has announced she will relinquish her ministerial portfolio to become a board member at SEB, a financial group based in Sweden. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

ANNE BERNER (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has come under criticism after announcing she will leave politics to become a member of the board of directors at SEB, a financial group headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

“Anne Berner is a consultant-politician. Berner makes a visit to politics. Others will have to clean up after her,” stated Paavo Arhinmäki, an ex-chairperson of the Left Alliance.

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An air traffic control tower at Helsinki Airport on Friday, 15 February 2019. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

A LOCKOUT of air traffic controllers will cause delays and possibly cancellations in air traffic during what will be a spring holiday week in Eastern and Northern Finland, reports the Finnish Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (SLJY).

The lockout is set to start at the eight largest airports in Finland at 9am on Monday, 4 March, and end at 9am on Monday, 11 March.

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Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, conceded in the Parliament on Thursday that Finland will not be able to keep its promise and put an end to biodiversity loss by 2020. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND will be unable to fulfil its commitment to stop biodiversity loss by 2020, concedes Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment.

The Finnish government adopted an ambitious strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in December 2012, stating that the main objective of the strategy is to halt biodiversity loss in Finland by 2020.

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The Finnish Parliament must shape up and start respecting its own work, states Jussi Niinistö (BR), the Minister of Defence. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

JUSSI NIINISTÖ (BR), the Minister of Defence, on Tuesday lashed out in his blog at the two constitutional law experts who stirred up concerns about the constitutionality of the long-discussed bills for new intelligence laws in Finland.

Paula Risikko (NCP), the Speaker of the Parliament, announced last week the bills will be sent for further review to the Parliament’s Administration Committee and Constitutional Law Committee.

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Finnish President Sauli Niinistö gestured during a panel discussion at the 2019 Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, 16 February 2019. (Credit: Christof Stache – AFP/Lehtikuva)

PRESIDENT Sauli Niinistö has voiced his concern about the possible collapse of a treaty between Russia and the United States to eliminate intermediate and shorter-range missiles.

Niinistö warned at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday that Europe could consequently be headed towards a situation that could be perceived as the end of diplomacy or an uncontrollable situation similar to the Cold War in the 1960s.

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The so-called activation model for unemployment security obliges job seekers to demonstrate their activity on a monthly basis or lose a share of their unemployment benefits. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE SECOND MOST POPULAR citizens’ initiative to date is set to be turned down by the Finnish Parliament.

The Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee declared in a statement issued yesterday that it is recommending that the initiative to abolish the so-called activation model for unemployment security be turned down by the Parliament.

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