President Alexander Stubb smiled during a post-inauguration press conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on Friday, 1 March 2024. Stubb outlined that Finnish foreign and security policy will be founded on value-based realism. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

“FINNISH foreign and security policy will be founded on value-based realism,” President Alexander Stubb outlined in his inaugural address to parliament on Friday, 1 March, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

He added that value-based realism stems, on the one hand, from a strong alliance with both Nato and the European Union and, on the other, from confidence that reforming and strengthening the UN remains the bedrock of international peace and system.

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Pekka Aittakumpu (Centre) had the floor in the session hall of the Parliament House in Helsinki on Wednesday, 28 February 2024. Aittakumpu expressed his support for amending the language act in the vein of Estonia and France, two countries where he said it would be illegal to operate a café that serves only in English. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

PEKKA AITTAKUMPU (Centre) demands that the language act be amended to protect Finnish against the dominance of English.

“The act could decree that also private sector operators must provide services in Finnish. In Estonia and France, for example, the language act imposes obligations also on private service providers. In these countries, a café that provides service only in English is illegal,” he was quoted saying in the Parliament House on Wednesday by Helsingin Sanomat.

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Teuvo Hakkarainen, a Member of the European Parliament for the Finns Party, delivered a speech at the populist right-wing party’s party conference in Tampere on 13 August 2023. Hakkarainen on Monday announced he is seeking a second term in Brussels, saying he does not accept the party’s refusal to nominate him. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

TEUVO HAKKARAINEN (PS) on Monday announced he intends to seek another term in the European Parliament.

Hakkarainen, who won a seat in the European Parliament in 2019 after three terms in the Finnish Parliament, revealed that he has been asked to run in the elections by a number of his party comrades.

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Minister of Education Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) reacted at a news conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 27 February 2024. Henriksson revealed she will hand over the reins of the Swedish People’s Party. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Education Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) on Tuesday announced she will relinquish the reins of the Swedish People’s Party.

“It’s also an extremely big relief to tell you that I won’t be a leadership candidate in the party’s next party conference,” she communicated to reporters in Helsinki on Tuesday, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

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Minister of Employment Arto Satonen (NCP) spoke to reporters in Helsinki on Thursday, 22 February 2024. Satonen argued that the restrictions the government intends to impose on political and sympathy strikes create a kind of certainty that could encourage companies to invest in Finland. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT is intent on moving forward with its much-debated restrictions to political and sympathy strikes largely in accordance with the government programme, suggest remarks made by Minister of Employment Arto Satonen (NCP) on Thursday.

The government is expected to submit the bill to parliament at the turn of the month and enact the amendments in July, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

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Minister of Finance Riikka Purra (PS) spoke to reporters in the hall of state of the Parliament House in Helsinki on 15 February 2024. Purra’s Finns Party has seen a surge in support over the past month, reveals an opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE WAVE of industrial actions organised by trade unions in protest of government plans to reform working life and slash social security has yet to significantly dent the popularity of the largest ruling parties, indicates an opinion poll conducted for Helsingin Sanomat by Verian.

The National Coalition, the poll found, held on to its place at the top of the poll despite seeing its approval rating slide by 0.4 percentage points to 21.3 per cent.

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Minister of Employment Arto Satonen (NCP) responded to a question during a plenary session in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Tuesday, 20 February 2024. Satonen and Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman (PS) have defended the government proposal to limit political strikes to 24 hours with arguments that have been questioned by legal experts, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

MEMBERS of the Finnish government have repeatedly made questionable claims in defence of the government proposal to impose a 24-hour limit on political strikes, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

Minister of Employment Arto Satonen (NCP) has justified the proposal by arguing that the duration of political strikes has been limited to two to three hours in Sweden.

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Jussi Saramo (LA), Antti Lindtman (SDP), Sofia Virta (Greens) and Lauri Lyly (SDP) announced a joint interpellation directed at the labour market and social security reforms pursued by the Finnish government in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Friday, 16 February 2024. The interpellation set off a long and heated debate in parliament on Tuesday, 20 February. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

AN INTERPELLATION from the Green League, Left Alliance and Social Democrats kindled a long and heated debate in parliament on Tuesday.

The three opposition parties accuse the government of sowing division in labour markets and abandoning the culture of bargaining and collaboration by insisting on moving forward with a serious of bills concerning the strike rights, lay-off justifications and unemployment security.

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Annika Saarikko, the chairperson of the Centre Party, reacted at a news conference in Helsinki on Thursday, 15 February 2024. Saarikko announced her decision to relinquish the leadership of the traditional party. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

ANNIKA SAARIKKO on Thursday announced she will not seek another term as chairperson of the Centre Party.

“My time as chairperson has been unique and challenging,” she was quoted saying at a news conference by Helsingin Sanomat. “I’ve got so much from the Centre. Everything I’ve known how to give back, I’ve given back.”

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Presidential candidate Alexander Stubb (NCP) showcases a souvenir during the Helsinki Sanomat and Nelonen presidential debate at Suvilahti Kattilahalli in Helsinki on January 23, 2024. Candidates were asked to bring a souvenir to the debate / Lehtikuva

In the recent runoff election, Alexander Stubb, a center-right politician, was elected president of Finland, marking the country's first presidential election since its accession to NATO. Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party faced off against Pekka Haavisto of the Green League, in the second round, where Stubb emerged victorious, securing 51.6% of the votes compared to Haavisto's 48.4%. 

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Minister of Finance Riikka Purra addressed lawmakers during a question-time debate in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 8 February 2024. Purra’s Finns Party has enjoyed a surge in popular support in the first few weeks of this year, reveals the latest opinion poll commissioned by YLE. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

SUPPORT for the Finns Party surged amid the presidential campaigns and widespread political strikes witnessed in recent weeks in Finland.

YLE on Friday unveiled the results of its latest opinion poll, reporting that support for the populist right-wing party has surged by 2.4 percentage points to 20.0 per cent. Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus, viewed that the surge is evidence of the ruling party mobilising its core supporters.

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