IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ELECTIONS intense coverage has been afforded to the issues that Finland’s incoming government faces. While many publications have highlighted the falling birth rate as a major concern, this week one international outlet went as far as describing Finland as ‘Europe’s Japan’, stressing that decades of ‘stagflation’ and decline lie ahead if current trends continue.
POPULAR SUPPORT for the Finns Party has spiked in the wake of the parliamentary elections held in Finland on 14 April.
Alma Media on Thursday reported that almost a fifth (19.2%) of respondents to its latest poll expressed their support for the opposition-bound, right-wing populist party, signalling a rise of 1.7 percentage points from the elections and 5.8 percentage points from its final poll before the elections.
THE CENTRAL ORGANISATION of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) has struck fears into the hearts of business owners with its proposal to collect almost a billion euros in additional tax revenue, reports Talouselämä.
The proposal was presented to the tax policy task force formed by the five parties involved in the coalition formation process on Tuesday by Ilkka Kaukoranta, the chief economist at SAK.
THE OBJECTIVE of the next round of collective bargaining negotiations must be to agree on measures to secure the growth of purchasing power and offset the negative changes introduced as part of the competitiveness pact, says the representative body of Trade Union Pro.
The next government, it added, must also improve working life by revamping the act on co-operation within undertakings and carrying out the long-discussed family leave reform.
MARIMEKKO on Thursday reported that its operating profit more than doubled from the previous year between January and March.
The Finnish fashion house said it registered an operating profit of 2.6 million euros in the first quarter of the year, following an up-tick of seven per cent in domestic net sales and one of 18 per cent in international net sales.
A NUMBER OF EMPLOYER ORGANISATIONS have pleaded with the parties participating in the government formation negotiations not to introduce a new withholding tax on institutional investors.
The Social Democratic Party has floated the idea of levying a withholding tax of five per cent on dividends received by institutional investors, saying it would create revenues of 250–500 million euros.
THE RESEARCH INSTITUTE of the Finnish Economy (Etla) estimates that the government will have to exceed the forecast for job creation by 40,000 in order to push up the national employment rate to 75 per cent.
Etla on Saturday stated that its latest economic forecast shows that, otherwise, the employment rate will only creep up to 73.8 per cent by the end of the current electoral term in 2023.
FINNS will have to change their lifestyles and consumption habits dramatically in order to limit global warming to the threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, states the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra).
“There is a huge gab between our current lifestyles and the lifestyles that are in line with the Paris Agreement,” tells Markus Terho, the director of a sustainable everyday life project at Sitra.
THE BRITISH POP STAR ED SHEERAN has broken a national record in Finland, with the original date for his July Helsinki concert selling out all 60,000 tickets in under 20 minutes. An extra Helsinki date was announced immediately after the first one was sold out.
Tickets for his July 23rd date are still on sale as of writing, and can be purchased at Lippu.fi.
MARIA OHISALO, a 34-year-old first-term Member of the Finnish Parliament from Helsinki, is set to become the next chairperson of the Green League.
The Green League on Sunday revealed that Ohisalo was the only party member to throw her hat into the ring by the filing deadline and that, as a result, no vote will be taken on the leadership at its party conference in Pori on 16 June.
ANTTI RINNE, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party, has assured that the party has “its very own ambitions” in regards to tax policy.
The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) on Tuesday presented its tax policy proposals to the five parties involved in the coalition formation negotiations, raising questions about its influence on the next government programme.
BUSINESSES owned by immigrants are creating relatively more jobs than businesses owned by native-born Finns, finds a study by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).
Etla on Tuesday pointed out that the impact of immigrant-owned businesses on economic growth is nevertheless not as significant as one could hope for, as many of the jobs they create are low-paid and low-productivity jobs.
According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports. Other countries – including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway – have started to restrict weapons sales to the Saudi and UAE-led coalition.
LOBBYISTS have been lobbying for a register for lobby transparency for years in Finland.
Taru Tujunen, the chief executive at Ellun Kanat and former party secretary at the National Coalition, views that a statutory lobbyist register would be beneficial for both decision makers and all organisations engaged in advocacy.
THE FINNISH LABOUR MARKET is showing signs of slowing down after an exceptionally strong year, indicates a short-term labour market forecast published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The forecast shows that employment growth will halve from the previous year in both 2019 and 2020.
PRESIDENT Sauli Niinistö has stated that he is following the ongoing coalition formation negotiations “just like everybody else”.
“I’m naturally following keenly what’s the direction we’re heading in. We’ve been in a bit of a problematic situation for the past 10 years when it comes to the public economy, [there has been some] heavy indebtedness,” he said in an interview on YLE TV1 on Saturday.