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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.