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Annika Saarikko, the chairperson of the Centre Party, outlined the platform of the centre-right party in Helsinki on 18 September 2020. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko on Friday raised eyebrows with her first keynote speech as the chairperson of the Centre Party.

MTV on Friday highlighted that Saarikko delivered a version of the speech that did not refer to the newly approved objectives of the centre-right party to bring an additional 150,000 people to the ranks of the employed and raise the employment rate to 77 per cent by 2026.

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“The coronavirus is no excuse to do less and borrow more,” says Ville Tavio, the chairperson of the Finns Parliamentary Group. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE OPPOSITION PARTIES have announced their intention to table an interpellation accusing the government of abandoning its economic and employment objectives, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The interpellation is backed by all four opposition parties in Finland: the Finns Party, National Coalition, Christian Democratic Party and Movement Now.

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Ministers Anna-Maja Henriksson (left), Li Andersson, Sanna Marin, Maria Ohisalo and Annika Saarikko (right) addressed the media from the steps of the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Tuesday, 15 September. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) on Tuesday reached a preliminary agreement on a package of measures to boost employment in Finland, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Information obtained by the newspaper indicates that the measures are expected to grow the ranks of the employed by 31,000–36,000 by the end of the decade, according to estimates made by the Ministry of Finance.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Centre) spoke to the media during the first day of the government’s two-day budget session on the steps of the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Monday, 14 September. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) yesterday began its two-day wrangle over the central government budget for 2021 at the House of the Estates in Helsinki.

Marin on Monday revealed to the media that although the chairpersons of the five ruling parties have convened a number of times to discuss the budget proposal, they continue to be faced with an enormous task.

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Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko reiterated the Centre’s position on the energy use of peat soon after taking the reins of the centre-right party. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE PARTY has not shifted its position on the energy use of peat in the wake of its recent leadership re-shuffle.

YLE on Monday asked Annika Saarikko, the newly elected chairperson of the centre-right party, whether the party is prepared to slash the production subsidies for the solid fossil fuel in the upcoming budget session in accordance with the demands of the Green League and Left Alliance.

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Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko (Centre) spoke to the media at a news conference in Oulu on Saturday, 5 September 2020. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE PARTY on Saturday elected Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko as its new chairperson.

The leadership election was decided in the first round of voting, with the media favourite receiving 1,157 of the votes cast at the party conference and bettering both the incumbent candidate, Katri Kulmuni (773 votes), and Petri Honkonen (308 votes).

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin was photographed in the session hall of the Parliament House in Helsinki on Thursday, 3 September 2020. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS will kick off the autumn in pole political position.

YLE on Thursday reported that popular support for the largest member of the five-party ruling coalition has decreased noticeably from the peak of over 23 per cent witnessed earlier this summer, falling by two percentage points to 21.4 per cent in August.

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Photo by Martiina Woodson

 Mrs Mari Holopainen, a member of the Finnish Parliament from the Green League, is proposing for Finnish citizens to be included in the decision-making processes of the state resources allocation. According to Mrs Holopainen, it would be beneficial to investigate whether a certain part of the EU recovery package or the future financial framework could be distributed through participatory budgeting in member states on a voluntary basis. The aim of the €750 billion emergency fund is to accelerate the recovery of the European Economic Area.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke to reporters in Jämsä, Central Finland, the location of a paper mill to be shut down by UPM, on Friday, 28 August 2020. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has commented on the outrage kindled by her comments on the recent announcement of UPM.

The Finnish forest industry giant announced last week it is planning to shut down its paper mill in Kaipola, Central Finland, in 2020. Marin on Saturday told YLE that the announcement raises questions about the need to make it more difficult for companies to lay off staff and shut down facilities in Finland.

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Minister of Education and Culture Annika Saarikko (Centre) is in the running to become the next chairperson of the Centre Party. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

ESTABLISHED MEMBERS of the Centre Party have criticised Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) for the remarks she made in the wake of news about the shut-down of one of the largest paper mills and only newsprint producer in Finland.

UPM on Wednesday announced it is intent on shuttering its mill in Kaipola, Central Finland, by late 2020.

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Finnish minister of defence, Antti Kaikkonen / Lehtikuva

Mr. KONO Taro, Minister of Defence of Japan and his counterpart Mr. Antti Kaikkonen, Minister of Defence of Finland had a teleconference on 27 August, to discuss defence cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Finland. 

Minister Kono expressed his expectation for the participation of Japan Ground Self-Defence Force in Military Music Festival Hamina Tatoo next year. The International Military Music Festival Hamina Tattoo 2020 has been postponed to August 2021 due to the recommendations of authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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