Jussi Halla-aho on Monday announced he is not seeking a second term at the helm of the Finns Party. The right-wing opposition party will convene to elect his successor in Seinäjoki in August. (Silja-Riikka Seppälä – Lehtikuva)

JUSSI HALLA-AHO on Monday startled the Finnish political landscape by announcing he will not seek re-election as chairperson of the Finns Party.

“Not everyone will like this decision, at least immediately. I’d tell them that I’m not making this decision, or any other, on flimsy grounds on the spur of the moment, but after long and exhaustive consideration. This is the most right decision I can make,” he stated in a press conference.

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Markus Lohi (Centre), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee, in the cafeteria of the Parliament House in Helsinki on Tuesday, 15 June 2021. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE PARLIAMENT’S Social Affairs and Health Committee on Tuesday put the finishing touches on its statement on the social and health care reform, representing a critical step forward for the long-awaited reform that is to respond to challenges such as urbanisation, population ageing and service accessibility.

The committee expressed its support for founding 21 welfare and five co-operative districts for organising the services, and not setting any absolute or relative requirements for their own service production.

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A voter entering a polling station in Helsinki on Sunday, 13 June 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

VOTER TURNOUT in Finland’s municipal elections fell by almost four percentage points from the previous elections to the historically low level of 55.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Justice.

“The result is miserable for democracy,” Sami Borg, a lecturer at Tampere University, commented to YLE on Monday.

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Juhana Vartiainen (NCP) is set to take over the reins of Helsinki in August, following the triumph of the National Coalition in the Finnish capital. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION has strengthened its standing as the largest political party in the capital of Finland, Helsinki.

The right-wing party received 25.7 per cent of the over 334,100 votes cast in the city in yesterday's municipal elections to secure 23 of the 85 seats on Helsinki City Council. Although the vote haul is 2.7 percentage points and the number of seats two lower than in the previous municipal elections, the party held on to its status as the largest party in the capital city courtesy of a 4.3-point drop in support for the Green League (19.8%).

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Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition, raised his arms in celebration at his party’s election night party in Helsinki on Sunday, 13 June 2021. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION has emerged as the undisputed winner of the municipal elections in Finland.

The right-wing opposition party walked away with 21.4 per cent of the vote with 100 per cent of the votes count, representing an improvement of 0.7 percentage points from the municipal elections in 2017, according to data published by YLE.

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Sanna Marin of the Social Democrats and Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition participated in a municipal election debate hosted by Helsingin Sanomat in Helsinki on Wednesday, 9 June 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION has held on to a clear advantage over other political parties with only a couple of days of campaigning left until the municipal elections on Sunday, 13 June.

YLE on Thursday reported that its final municipal election poll suggests the right-wing opposition party is set to win almost a fifth (19.6%) of the vote, a share that represents a 0.6-percentage-point drop from the previous poll.

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Maria Ohisalo, the chairperson of the Green League, cast her vote in advance in Viikki, Helsinki, on 3 June 2021. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

AN OPINION POLL by Helsingin Sanomat has the National Coalition leading the rest of the pack by some margin in Helsinki.

The party, which positions itself on the right primarily on economic issues, was the choice of 23.2 per cent of local residents surveyed for the poll, giving it an almost two percentage-point cushion over second-placed Green League (21.3%).

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Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Centre) will hand over his ministerial duties to Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko (Centre). (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MATTI VANHANEN (Centre) will resign as minister of finance this week, handing over his portfolio to Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko (Centre), Maaseudun Tulevaisuus reported on Saturday.

Vanhanen and Saarikko announced the re-shuffle in a joint interview with the thrice-weekly newspaper.

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Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) attended a question-time debate in the Parliament House on Thursday, 20 May 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MEMBERS of the Finnish Parliament, including many representing the ruling coalition, expressed their frustration with the incongruous treatment of the restaurant industry and the culture, sports and events industry in the Parliament House on Thursday.

“Sadness and disappointment, experiences of injustice and anger. These are surely feelings many in the culture and events industry are feeling today,” stated Sofia Virta (Greens).

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Raising the fuel tax is the most effective way to reduce transport emissions, views a task force set up by the Ministry of Finance. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

RAISING THE FUEL TAX is by far the most effective steering method to reduce emissions from road transport, views a task force established under the Ministry of Finance.

The task force pointed out yesterday that the car tax paid in conjunction with the purchase or first registration of a vehicle and the annual vehicle tax are not as impactful as incentives for motorists to reduce emissions because their amount does not depend on mileage.

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Most of the votes against came from the Finns Party and Christian Democrats. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE RECOVERY FACILITY of the European Union has received a two-thirds majority backing from the Finnish Parliament, reports YLE.

Members of the Parliament on Tuesday voted 134 for and 57 against the 750-billion-euro facility devised to jump-start the recovery of the 27-country bloc from the economic crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic.

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