An almost empty session hall in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 16 September 2022. Almost 90 per cent of Members of the Finnish Parliament also have a seat on a municipal council. Such dual mandates give rise to possible conflicts of interest, says Libera, a politically unaffiliated think tank based in Helsinki. (Seppo Samuli – Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of Finnish decision-makers who hold political offices at several levels of governance has grown election after election since 1996, reports Libera, a politically unaffiliated think tank in Helsinki.

Such “superpoliticians” are a prominent feature especially in the newly established well-being services counties.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen attended a news conference in Helsinki on Wednesday, 28 September 2022. Marin viewed that the explosions in the Nord Stream I pipeline could be part of a wider effort to de-stabilise the Baltic Sea region and whip up fears in Europe. (Antti Yrjönen – Str / Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT on Wednesday discussed a number of foreign policy issues as part of its informal weekly meeting, the so-called evening class, including the explosions in Nord Stream I.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) stated that she has discussed the explosions with her counterparts from Denmark and Sweden, offering them all the support needed to investigate to investigate the incident.

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Finnish border officials were flanked by motorists making their way toward the border-crossing point in Vaalimaa, Virolahti, on Sunday, 25 September. Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that the Finnish government is expected to make its decision on denying entry to Russian tourists by Thursday. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

JOHANNA VUORELMA, a research professor at the Centre for European Studies of the University of Helsinki, has identified a number of inconsistencies in the decision-making process that is set to restrict the ability of Russians to enter Finland.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on Friday said Finland would take action to prevent all entries based on tourism, signalling a complete turnaround in the government’s stance.

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Minister of the Environment Maria Ohisalo (Greens) addressed the Green League’s party conference in Kuopio on Saturday, 24 September 2022. Ohisalo argued in her speech that state-owned companies should not invest a single euro more in fossil industries. (Matias Honkamaa – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of the Environment Maria Ohisalo (Greens) is calling for greater continuity in policy-making dealing with the climate and green transition.

Ohisalo on Saturday underlined in her speech to the party conference that the outlook for businesses making investments in projects that create benefits for the climate and environment must be upheld beyond electoral terms, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) was photographed leaving a government meeting at the House of the Estates on 4 September 2022. Haavisto on Friday announced Finland has made a tentative decision to effectively deny entry to Russian citizens holding a tourist visa. The restriction, he added, could enter into force in the coming days. (Seppo Samuli – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on Friday announced a plan to restrict the entry of Russian citizens to Finland, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

All Russians holding a tourist visa, he revealed, will be prohibited from entering the country and prevented from using the country as a transit country to other parts of the Schengen Area. Finland will also enable the revocation of multiple-entry visas granted to Russians.

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The Left Alliance’s Jussi Saramo and Li Andersson spoke to reporters in the Parliament House on Thursday, 15 September 2022. On Monday, several members of the left-wing party broke the government line by voting against a controversial bill to limit the right of nurses to resort to industrial action. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH PARLIAMENT on Monday passed a government bill for a new patient safety act by a vote of 109 for and 38 against, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The highly controversial act enables regional state administrative agencies to order nurses to perform certain essential duties during industrial action and to impose a one-week moratorium or suspension on an industrial action up to four times.

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Chairpersons Millariikka Rytkönen of the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) and Silja Paavola of the Union of Practical Nurses (Super) took part in a demonstration calling for higher wages and better working conditions for nurses in Helsinki on 9 April 2022. The two unions announced last week they will follow through with their threat to stage mass resignations in response to the government moving forward with a bill that would limit the right of nurses to go on strike. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

MOST MEMBERS of the Left Alliance are expected to vote for a disputed government bill that would limit the right to industrial action after the party managed to introduce amendments to the bill.

Helsingin Sanomat on Friday reported that nurses would face no repercussions for failing to comply with an order to work while on strike or after resigning under the amendment bill. Trade unions, in turn, could be subjected to more sanctions if they fail to engage sufficiently in talks over the essential duties to be protected during industrial action.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin spoke at a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 8 September 2022. Marin’s ruling five-party coalition presently has the support of 53 per cent of the public, according to the latest opinion poll by Helsingin Sanomat. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

POPULAR SUPPORT for the Social Democratic Party has decreased by 0.9 percentage points to 19.2 per cent, according to the latest opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

The poll was carried out during extensive media reports and spirited public debate about the pastime activities of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), between August and September. The debate, however, appears not to have a major impact on the popularity of the ruling party.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) delivered a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday, 13 September 2022. Marin on Tuesday also offered her thoughts on the political dispute over means to protect patients from the effects of intensive care strikes announced by two nurses unions. (Frederick Florin – AFP / Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has commented on the political dispute over a government bill that would restrict the right of nurses to stage strikes, reports YLE.

Marin on Tuesday stated in Strasbourg, France, that she hopes all ruling parties will play by the commonly agreed rules. “The government will be unanimous on this and everyone will vote for this law. I’m sure we’ll have to have a discussion about the common rules in the Parliament,” she declared.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) attended a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki on 8 September 2022. Footage of Marin partying appears to have not had an impact on the popularity of the Social Democrats, writes YLE. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

POPULAR SUPPORT for the National Coalition has increased by 0.8 percentage points to 24.2 per cent since early August, according to the latest opinion poll commissioned by YLE.

Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus, stated to the public broadcasting company last week that support for the right-wing opposition party rose due to its ability to hold on to its old supporters while winning over new supporters from other right-wing parties.

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Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Aki Lindén (SDP) gestured during a plenary session in the Parliament House on Thursday, 8 September 2022. Lindén estimated that the government will be able to present its patient safety act bill in time to limit the ramifications of intensive care strikes scheduled to take place later this month in Oulu and Turku. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Family Affairs and Social Services Aki Lindén (SDP) on Thursday revealed that the government will present its proposal for a patient safety act early next week to limit the nursing strikes hanging over intensive care, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (Super) and the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy) are to commence their first strike next Friday.

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