Sampo Terho, the chairperson of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group, reiterated his reservations about the euro in unveiling his campaign platform in the race to become the next chairperson of the Finns Party on Friday.
In the long term, he estimated, it is possible, even likely, that Finland returns to its own currency.
“There would’ve been no need for the competitiveness pact, if we weren’t in the euro,” he argued, reminding that no referendum was held on whether or not the country should join the monetary union in the first place.
The Finns Party will remain the only EU-critical party in Finland, added Terho.
Terho also predicted that the reform of the social security system, which according to him should encourage employment rather than inaction, will be the next major reform on the agenda of the Finnish Government. The results of the ongoing basic income experiment, he viewed, should shed further light on the nature of the new social security system by the end of the electoral term.
He acknowledged that that tax system and labour markets are also undergoing major changes. The Government should leave no stone unturned in facilitating the operations of small and medium enterprises, as they are one of the most diligent payers of corporate tax in Finland.
Terho also expressed his support for promoting local bargaining by estimating that the workplace climate and co-operation are one of the most crucial factors for success.
He reminded that no policy-maker can stop the inevitable changes in the nature of the working life but viewed that policy-makers should nevertheless seek to steer the development and adopt a people-first approach to addressing the challenges.
Terho admitted to being concerned about the demographics of Finland. He cautioned that the low birth rate and population ageing will result in the continuing deterioration of the dependency ratio.
“Mass immigration is not the answer,” he added.
He contrastively drew attention to the importance of efforts to curb uncontrolled immigration, prevent the recurrence of the influx of immigrants witnessed in recent years and help people before they are forced to leave their home countries.
The focus of the efforts to ensure people do not have to leave their home regions should be on trade rather than financial aid, according to Terho.
Finland’s demographic challenges should instead be resolved by improving productivity, a feat that can be accomplished by, for example, stepping up investments in research and development. “There won’t be another massive labour shortage,” he asserted, bemoaning that “we have bought into such hysteria twice already”.
Terho and Jussi Halla-aho, a Member of the European Parliament, are expected to be the main contenders in the race to succeed Timo Soini at the helm of the Finns Party. The Finns Party will elect a successor to its long-term chairperson in Jyväskylä on 10–11 June.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi