Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, was photographed at a meeting of the Finns Party at SuomiAreena, a political debate event held annually in Pori, Western Finland, on Tuesday. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

KEY MEMBERS of the Finns Party attempted to make sense of the term “replacement of population” at SuomiAreena in Pori, Western Finland, on Tuesday.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, viewed that the debate surrounding the somewhat controversial term has been an attempt to prompt the populist right-wing party to attempt to define the population that is being replaced and, thereby, to define Finnishness.

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Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has confirmed the government’s intention to abolish the activation model for unemployment security before receiving scientific evidence of its impact on the employment situation. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE ACTIVATION MODEL for unemployment security will be abolished regardless of the findings of a study of its employment impacts to be released in October by VATT Institute for Economic Research, states Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health.

“Preparations to abolish the activation model are underway. I personally think it’s realistic to do away with the activation model at the start of next year” she stated on YLE Aamu-TV on Monday.

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Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance) says the government is proud to be able to propose a sizeable increase in small pensions. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

OVER 600,000 Finnish pensioners are set to see a small increase in their pensions under a draft bill unveiled by the government on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has asked experts and other stakeholders to comment on the proposal for raising national pensions by up to 31 euros a month and guarantee pensions by up to 50 euros a month.

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Riikka Pirkkalainen (left) and Juha Sipilä (right) of the Centre Party parlayed at a party meeting in Helsinki on 5 June 2019. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

RIIKKA PIRKKALAINEN, the secretary of the Centre Party, has expressed her alarm at the results of the latest opinion poll by YLE.

Pirkkalainen on Thursday wrote on Facebook that the approval rating of 11.7 per cent recorded for the party is “horrific”, estimating that the party has found itself in a deep downward spiral due to major changes in the political landscape in Finland.

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Jussi Halla-aho’s (right) Finns Party has widened its advantage over Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s (left) Social Democrats to over 3.5 percentage points, shows a poll commissioned by YLE. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

A NEW OPINION POLL by YLE shows that popular support for the two largest ruling parties has dipped following the publication of the government programme.

The Social Democratic Party, the public broadcaster reported yesterday, saw its popularity decrease by 1.3 percentage points to 16.1 per cent between June and July, falling behind both the Finns Party and National Coalition.

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Timo Harakka (SDP), the Minister of Employment, told Talouselämä on Monday that the government will not wait for assessments of the activation model’s effects on employment but will scrap the much-criticised model in the near future. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

OLLI KÄRKKÄINEN, an economist at Nordea, has lashed out at the government for not assessing the employment impact of the activation model for unemployment security despite promising to do away with the model only after identifying measures with a comparable impact.

“A government that claims to place emphasis on knowledge-based decision making doesn’t have time to wait for scientific data,” Kärkkäinen bemoaned on Twitter on Monday.

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Ville Niinistö (Greens), a first-term Member of the European Parliament, has voiced his frustration with the process of putting forward nominations for top positions in the European Union. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

GERMAN MINISTER OF DEFENCE Ursula von der Leyen, who was nominated to lead the European Commission on Tuesday, bears a “heavy burden of proof” due to the undemocratic nature of the nomination process, says Ville Niinistö (Greens), a first-term Member of the European Parliament.

“The starting point is difficult. Von der Leyen has to earn the support of the majority of the Parliament. She doesn’t have it at the moment,” he said to Kauppalehti on Wednesday.

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Finland is back to square one when it comes to its plan to open rail services to competition, says Ari Torniainen (Centre), a deputy chairperson of the Parliament’s Transport Committee. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT has gone back to square one when it comes to opening passenger rail services to competition, views Ari Torniainen (Centre), a deputy chairperson of the Parliament’s Transport Committee.

“We’re heading back to square one,” he stated in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Tuesday.

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Sanna Marin (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, says she has begun work to address problems associated with regulations governing the taxi industry in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

SANNA MARIN (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, reveals she has begun work to address the problems identified in regulations governing the taxi industry in response to criticism from taxi operators and users.

Her announcement signals the continuation of an effort to re-examine the reforms launched or carried out by her predecessor, Anne Berner (Centre).

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Jussi Halla-aho was elected for a second two-year term as the chairperson of the Finns Party in Tampere on Saturday. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNS PARTY and Green League are the only two parties that have adapted to the new division of the party-political landscape in Finland, estimates Jussi Halla-aho, the newly re-elected chairperson of the Finns Party.

“Traditional divisions between the right and the left have become less and less important and been replaced by a division into nationalists and globalists,” he stated in Tampere on Saturday.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) on Thursday said in the Finnish Parliament that the government is not considering evacuating Finnish citizens living in camps set up for the relatives of IS members. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND has not revised its asylum policy despite agreeing to take in up to eight migrants from a rescue boat that arrived in Lampedusa, Italy, on Saturday, assures Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

“This was a one-off decision that was related to the fact that 40 people were at sea for two weeks. We wanted to start our presidency by deciding to take responsibility like this – this time. There’ll be no particular change in Finland's policy,” he stated to MTV on Saturday.

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