Jukka Peltomäki (SDP), an ex-Mayor of Vantaa, was pictured arriving for a hearing at the District Court of Helsinki on 27 September, 2016.
Jukka Peltomäki (SDP), an ex-Mayor of Vantaa, was pictured arriving for a hearing at the District Court of Helsinki on 27 September, 2016.

Jukka Peltomäki (SDP), an ex-Mayor of Vantaa, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for aggravated acceptance of a bribe by the District Court of Helsinki on 21 June, 2017.

Peltomäki and his family members were ruled to have received benefits worth a total of 268,000 euros from Leila Tuominen, the owner of the architecture firm Forma Futura, while he was participating in decisions related to re-zoning and building permits in Vantaa as the Deputy Mayor for Land Use and Environment in 2006–2011.

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Finance Minister Petteri Orpo (left) and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä at a plenary session on Monday, 19 June 2017. The Finnish Prime Minister survived a confidence vote this Tuesday, with MPs backing him 104 to 85.

 

With the dust still setting on a hectic two weeks in Finnish politics, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will have been relieved to receive a vote of confidence in Parliament on Tuesday. As reported by Reuters, the government may also have to be wary of members of the upstart Blue Reform taking Ritva Elomaa’s lead and rejoining the Finns Party.

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Mikko Spolander, a director general at the Ministry of Finance, believes this would be an opportune time to restructure the national economy to promote future growth.

The Ministry of Finance has raised its economic growth forecast for Finland for 2017, from 1.2 to 2.4 per cent.

The outlook, it estimates, has improved considerably due to the robust economic growth witnessed in the first half of the year, and the accelerating growth of all demand components and key industrial sectors, including the manufacturing industry.

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All legislators who left the Finns Party Parliamentary Group to join the New Alternative Parliamentary Group will be stripped of their membership in the Finns Party, Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, said on Friday.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has announced that the representatives who left the Finns Party Parliamentary Group to join the New Alternative Parliamentary Group will be stripped of their membership in the Finns Party.

“The representatives in question have damaged the party, and they’re no longer eligible to continue serving as party members,” he stated in a news conference on Friday.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) arrived for a summit of the EU leaders in Brussels on 22 June, 2017.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) arrived for a summit of the EU leaders in Brussels on 22 June, 2017.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has rejected the interpretation that the decision of Ritva Elomaa to re-join the Finns Party Parliamentary Group is the beginning of the end for his coalition government.

“There can be movement in both directions,” he reminded to reporters in Brussels on Thursday, according to Kauppalehti.

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Interior Minister Paula Risikko is being pressured by Amnesty International to raise Finland’s refugee quota for 2018.

 

The Finnish Parliament Annex is filling up with people – human rights activists and politicians alike – who have come to attend an event organised by Amnesty International Finland in honour of the World Refugee Day on Tuesday 20 June.

The hashtag “Me Välitämme”, which is Finnish for “We Care”, illuminates the ideal that Amnesty International and a number of other attendees wish to broadcast.

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Simon Elo (left), Sampo Terho and Tiina Elovaara announced their plans to establish the Blue Reform Party in a press conference at the Finnish Parliament on Monday, 19 June, 2017.

The 20 Members of the Parliament who left the Finns Party Parliamentary Group last week have established an association called Blue Reform with the intention of entering it into the party register in the imminent future.

“The collection of support cards will begin soon,” Simon Elo, the chairperson of the New Alternative Parliamentary Group, says in a press release.

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Jussi Halla-aho (right), the chairperson of the Finns Party, is confident that more will follow in the footsteps of Ritva Elomaa and re-join the Finns Party Parliamentary Group.
Jussi Halla-aho (right), the chairperson of the Finns Party, is confident that more will follow in the footsteps of Ritva Elomaa and re-join the Finns Party Parliamentary Group.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has warned that the government is ever closer to losing its majority in the Finnish Parliament following the decision of Ritva Elomaa to re-join the Finns Party Parliamentary Group.

Halla-aho reminded yesterday that those who left the parliamentary group did so under rigid time constraints and hinted that many of them are currently re-considering their decision.

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Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, on Tuesday said the three ruling parliamentary groups have found an agreement on a draft bill to reform the alcohol legislation.

The ruling parliamentary groups have reached an agreement on a draft bill to reform the alcohol legislation of Finland.

The Finnish government will propose that the maximum alcohol content for beverages sold at grocery shops be raised to 5.5 per cent but also that the issue be designated as a matter of conscience in the first reading in the Parliament, thus allowing the members of the ruling parliamentary groups to exercise their own discretion in voting.

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Touko Aalto, the newly-elected chairperson of the Green League, addressed the party faithful in Tampere on Sunday, 18 June, 2017.

The Green League must do its utmost to attract support also from outside hip urban neighbourhoods if it is intent on growing into a fully-fledged political movement, according to its newly-elected chairperson, Touko Aalto.

Aalto received 3,489 of the 5,778 votes cast in the fifth and final round of voting at the party conference of the Green League in Tampere on Saturday.

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Neste’s employees threatened to suspend fuel deliveries at two refineries in protest of changes introduced to the government’s ownership steering policy.
Neste’s employees threatened to suspend fuel deliveries at two refineries in protest of changes introduced to the government’s ownership steering policy.

 

Neste’s employees have called off their plans to suspend fuel distribution at the state-owned petroleum company’s refineries in Porvoo and Naantali, after being promised a meeting with the minister responsible for ownership steering, Mika Lintilä (Centre).

“The personnel groups never wanted to harm the company or to cause trouble to the customers,” stressed Sami Ryynänen, the chief shop steward at the refinery in Porvoo.

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Neste’s employees plans to suspend the distribution of fuels in Porvoo and Naantali would constitute a political strike, views Mika Lintilä (Centre), the minister responsible for ownership steering.

Mika Lintilä (Centre), the cabinet member responsible for ownership steering, has voiced his disapproval with the protest announced by the employees of Neste on Tuesday.

“I find it regrettable that the employees have decided to resort to such measures. The measures will damage the reputation of Neste and have a detrimental effect on the share value of the [state-owned] company,” he laments in a press release.

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Simon Elo, the chairperson of the New Alternative Parliamentary Group, believes the ruling parties are eager to find an agreement on the reform of Finland’s alcohol laws.

The three ruling parliamentary groups will convene this week to seek an agreement on the bill to reform the alcohol legislation of Finland, according to the chairpersons of two of the three groups, Simon Elo (NA) and Antti Kaikkonen (Centre).

“I’m under the impression that the government groups are determined and willing to reach a settlement as soon as possible,” Elo tweeted on Friday.

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