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Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has rejected suggestions that the right-wing party is fuelling violence. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

JUSSI HALLA-AHO, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has offered his thoughts on the message directed at him by his fellow opposition leader, Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition.

Orpo urged Halla-aho in a speech given earlier this week to bear in mind that the popularity of the right-wing party comes with the responsibility to defend democracy and rules-based society in Finland.

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Finland’s Minister for European Affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), posed for a photo at a presser held in conjunction with the Social Democrats’ summer meeting in Helsinki on 16 August 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND has agreed to exercise the United Kingdom’s vote in EU meetings not attended by British representatives, several news outlets reported on Wednesday.

Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), the Finnish Minister for European Affairs, told Demokraatti that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended the request during a phone conversation with Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

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Minister of Education Li Andersson (Left Alliance) believes education policy is the most effective tool at the government’s disposal to promote employment. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

LI ANDERSSON (Left Alliance), the Minister of Education, has expressed her puzzlement with the amendments made to the education section of the draft budget by the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry of Finance has reportedly significantly slashed the increase in funding for higher education institutions proposed – in accordance with the government programme – by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

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Antti Kurvinen (left) and Juha Sipilä (right) of the Centre Party attended a meeting of the party’s ministerial group and working committees in Iisalmi on Monday, 19 August 2019. (Akseli Muraja – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE and the Swedish People’s Party have voiced their reservations about the idea of reducing working time considerably in Finland.

Sanna Marin (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, stated in Turku on Saturday that the Social Democratic Party should incorporate a four-day, 24-hour work week into its political agenda for the near future.

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Issue-specific task forces were a key feature of the coalition formation negotiations led by the Social Democratic Party. A photograph from a meeting of the task force focusing on biodiversity and carbon neutrality. (Handout – Laura Kotila, Office of the Prime Minister)

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne’s (SDP) comments about the coalition formation negotiations have raised eyebrows among members of the National Coalition.

Matias Marttinen (NCP), a first-term Member of the Finnish Parliament from Satakunta, reminded on Thursday that the National Coalition’s economic policy approach was based on recommendations made by the Ministry of Finance.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) spoke at the summer meeting of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group in Helsinki on Thursday, 15 August 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the coalition formation negotiations at the summer meeting of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group in Helsinki on Thursday.

“There was a clear difference between those looking to reform and those looking to slow down the society in the coalition formation talks held after the elections,” he said.

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Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä (Centre) talked to the media in the midst of the first day of budget talks at the Ministry of Finance in Helsinki on Tuesday, 13 August. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER OF FINANCE Mika Lintilä (Centre) has cast light on the contents of the budget negotiations that began yesterday at the Ministry of Finance.

Lintilä on Tuesday stated that consumers should prepare for the eventuality that tax rates on alcohol, tobacco and fossil fuels are raised as soon as at the beginning of next year. “We’ll look into the timetable as far as [the increases] are concerned on Tuesday and Wednesday,” he commented to Kauppalehti.

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Minister of Culture and Science Annika Saarikko (Centre) has voiced her bafflement at how readily some have questioned the monopoly status of Veikkaus, the Finnish state-owned betting agency. (Laura Ukkonen – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has floated the possibility of tearing down the gambling monopoly of Veikkaus.

Rinne indicated on Wednesday that Finland could at some point explore the possibility of doing away with the monopoly and transitioning to a licence-based system similar to that introduced in Sweden in January 2019.

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Jussi Halla-aho’s (right) Finns Party remains the most popular party, but Maria Ohisalo’s (left) Green League made notable gains in the latest opinion poll by YLE. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNS PARTY remains clearly the most popular political party in Finland, according to the latest opinion poll commissioned by YLE.

The public broadcaster reported this morning that support for the populist right-wing opposition party slipped by 0.1 percentage points to 19.6 per cent between July and August, leaving it with a comfortable 2.8 percentage point-advantage over second-placed National Coalition.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) has voiced his exasperation with the reluctance of ministry officials to abide by political decisions. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has continued to criticise the officials of several ministries in Finland.

Rinne on Wednesday stated in a press conference that he has noticed situations where political decision-making on certain issues has ultimately had no impact on the work of officials at, for example, the Ministry of Defence.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) has called for patience from both sides of the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations, reminding that too big and too small wage increases could both have a negative impact on employment growth. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has called for patience from both sides of the union-specific collective bargaining negotiations that are scheduled to kick off this autumn.

“Too big wage increases would jeopardise employment growth. But also too small increases would jeopardise it by reducing purchasing power,” he reminded in an interview with Uutissuomalainen on Saturday.

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