Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, and Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, were mobbed by reporters after a meeting of the Centre Parliamentary Group in Helsinki on Thursday, 19 October.
Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, and Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, were mobbed by reporters after a meeting of the Centre Parliamentary Group in Helsinki on Thursday, 19 October.

 

The Centre and National Coalition’s parliamentary groups announced yesterday they have reached a long-anticipated compromise on a bill to increase customers’ freedom of choice over social and health care service providers.

The protracted negotiations leading up to the compromise reportedly strained relations between the two parliamentary groups to the brink of collapse.

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Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), the Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms, has accused Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, of making unfounded claims about the mooted regional government reform.
Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), the Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms, has accused Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, of making unfounded claims about the mooted regional government reform.

 

Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), the Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms, has questioned the tactics employed by Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, in his quest to torpedo the regional government reform.

Vapaavuori has according to her sought to create a negative image for the reform by claiming that it would prevent cities from developing.

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Sampo Terho (foreground), Matti Torvinen and Tiina Elovaara of the Blue Parliamentary Group were pictured holding boxes of support cards outside the Ministry of Justice in Helsinki on 16 October, 2017.
Sampo Terho (foreground), Matti Torvinen and Tiina Elovaara of the Blue Parliamentary Group were pictured holding boxes of support cards outside the Ministry of Justice in Helsinki on 16 October, 2017.

 

Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has expressed his delight after Pekka Sinisalo announced he will resign his position at the district organisation of the Finns Party in Uusimaa and join the Blue Reform.

“Of course it’s noteworthy that the chairperson of the Finns Party’s largest district organisation joins the Blues,” Terho commented to Uusi Suomi on Monday.

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Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho and deputy chairperson Laura Huhtasaari of the Finns Party spoke to the press in Helsinki on 4 August, 2017. Both Halla-aho and Huhtasaari were elected to key positions within the party in early June.
Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho and deputy chairperson Laura Huhtasaari of the Finns Party spoke to the press in Helsinki on 4 August, 2017. Both Halla-aho and Huhtasaari were elected to key positions within the party in early June.

 

Kirsi Pimiä, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman in Finland, has revealed that a pre-trial investigation is set to be opened into statements made on social media by Sebastian Tynkkynen (PS), a councillor for the City of Oulu, in the run-up to the municipal elections held on 9 April, 2017.

Pimiä estimates that the campaign ran by the outspoken councillor was partly racist and widened social divisions.

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Over three-quarters of Finns would grant Sauli Niinistö a second term as the President of Finland, according to a poll commissioned by YLE.
Over three-quarters of Finns would grant Sauli Niinistö a second term as the President of Finland, according to a poll commissioned by YLE.

 

President Sauli Niinistö is an overwhelming favourite to win re-election in the presidential elections held next January.

YLE on Thursday reported that over three-quarters (76%) of the public are willing to grant him a second term, a percentage that signals an increase from the already high level of support – 68 per cent – measured by Helsingin Sanomat in September.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) believes it would be unreasonable to force paper workers to consent to waiving wage hikes for another year.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) believes it would be unreasonable to force paper workers to consent to waiving wage hikes for another year.

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has gone back on his word by commenting on the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations between the Finnish Forest Industries and the Finnish Paper Workers’ Union.

Sipilä told MTV on Wednesday that the employers’ demands for waiving wage increases for another year are unreasonable.

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Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko spoke to the media as the government unveiled its new internal security strategy in Helsinki on 5 October, 2017.
Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko spoke to the media as the government unveiled its new internal security strategy in Helsinki on 5 October, 2017.

 

The Finnish government gave a provisional stamp of approval for a new internal security strategy that, for example, assesses the security ramifications of immigration in Helsinki on 5 October, 2017.

The government acknowledges that immigration should be considered a resource in light of the ageing population, employment situation and competitiveness of Finland, but also reminds that its nature and scope are difficult to predict and control.

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“We’re now doing a re-count and will organise a press conference next week,” Simon Elo, the chairperson of the Blue Parliamentary Group, comments in response to information that the 5,000 supporter cards required to enter a new party into the party register have been collected.
“We’re now doing a re-count and will organise a press conference next week,” Simon Elo, the chairperson of the Blue Parliamentary Group, comments in response to information that the 5,000 supporter cards required to enter a new party into the party register have been collected.

 

The Blue Reform Party is set to be entered into the party register in the near future, believes Uusi Suomi.

Uusi Suomi has obtained information indicating that the political association has all but completed its campaign to collect the 5,000 support cards required to register a new political party and is currently doing a re-count of the cards.

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The Green League’s chairperson Touko Aalto (left) and presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto were pictured during a party meeting in Riihimäki on 23 September. The opposition party has seen its support fall by 1.2 percentage points over the past month, according to a poll by YLE.
The Green League’s chairperson Touko Aalto (left) and presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto were pictured during a party meeting in Riihimäki on 23 September. The opposition party has seen its support fall by 1.2 percentage points over the past month, according to a poll by YLE.

 

The Social Democratic Party has reinforced its status as the most supported opposition party in the Finnish Parliament, according to a poll commissioned by YLE.

YLE on Thursday reported that the party has recorded an increase of 1.7 percentage points in voter support – to 17.3 per cent – since early September. The trend has been the opposite for the Green League, which has seen its support fall by 1.2 percentage points after being stripped of its status as the most popular opposition party by the Social Democrats.

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Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, was on Tuesday grilled for the opposition party’s role in drafting an interpellation against the proposed de-regulation of passenger rail services in Finland.
Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, was on Tuesday grilled for the opposition party’s role in drafting an interpellation against the proposed de-regulation of passenger rail services in Finland.

 

Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, yesterday faced a number of questions about the opposition party’s role in preparing an interpellation against a government proposal to de-regulate passenger rail services in Finland.

“You’ve marketed your party as environmentally friendly, a supporter of rail transport, an opponent of climate change and a defender of flexible forms of transport, and yet you’re throwing a spanner in the works to prevent any changes from being made to rail transport and us from responding to climate change,” stated Mirja Vehkaperä (Centre).

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Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, on Tuesday addressed the concerns of opposition parties about the proposed de-regulation of passenger rail transport in Finland.
Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, on Tuesday addressed the concerns of opposition parties about the proposed de-regulation of passenger rail transport in Finland.

 

Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has denied suggestions that cutting wages is the objective of the mooted de-regulation of passenger rail transport and the re-organisation of the state-owned railway company, VR.

Finland’s six opposition parties yesterday presented a joint interpellation against the reform, voicing their concern that it could encourage railway companies to compete against each other mainly by cutting wages.

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