Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) led her fellow cabinet members on the steps of the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 21 April 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is losing popularity among the public, indicates a survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Slightly fewer than half (48%) of the respondents estimated that the government has performed its responsibilities relatively or very well, representing a decline of 23 percentage points from June 2020.

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Kai Mykkänen of the National Coalition spoke as lawmakers debated a bill to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for social and health care personnel in Helsinki on Tuesday, 28 December 2021. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH PARLIAMENT on Tuesday voted 107 for and 32 against a proposal to temporarily amend the communicable diseases act to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for social and health care staff.

The Christian Democrats and Finns Party both voiced their opposition to the proposal in the debate leading up to the vote, pointing to broad-based rapid testing as a viable alternative.

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Booths inside a polling station in Espoo on 27 May 2021. (Silja-Riikka Seppälä – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION is in pole position ahead of the first county elections to be organised in Finland on 23 January, indicates a poll commissioned by YLE.

The right-wing opposition party, the poll found, would be the choice of 21.8 per cent of voters if the elections were held today, securing it a comfortable lead over the Social Democratic Party (18.9%) and the Finns Party (17.6%).

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Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to return tear gas canisters amid clashes with Israeli security forces in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Kedumim in the occupied West Bank on December 10, 2021, during a protest against the expropriation of land by Israel. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Member of the Finnish Parliament, Veronika Honkasalo (Left Alliance, Finland), has introduced a legislative motion to ban the import of goods originating from certain occupied regions. The scope of the proposed act would cover the occupation exercised by the state of Israel and the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory that are in violation of international law.

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Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition, had the floor during a question-time debate in the Finnish Parliament on Thursday, 16 December 2021. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION has fastened its grip on its status as the most well supported political party in Finland, indicates a poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Popular support for the right-wing opposition party crept up by 0.3 percentage points to 21.4 per cent, providing it with an over two-point advantage over the Social Democrats (19.3%). The Social Democrats, in turn, holds a nearly equivalent advantage over the Finns Party (17.5%).

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke to reporters outside the Parliament House in Helsinki on Wednesday, 8 December 2021. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has issued an apology for her actions last weekend.

“I should’ve used better judgement and refrained from going out, refrained from being around other people,” she stated before a group of reporters behind the Parliament House in Helsinki on Wednesday. “I apologise for my actions and behaviour.”

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) was photographed arriving at the Parliament House in Helsinki on 24 November 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has come under criticism for going to a nightclub following news about the coronavirus infection of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens).

Marin went to a nightclub in Helsinki between Saturday and Sunday, after being notified of the infection and being told that other cabinet members need not quarantine themselves if they have received two vaccine injections.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) tested positive for the new coronavirus on Saturday. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT has taken precautionary measures following the coronavirus infection of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens).

Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre), for example, will be replaced in meetings of the Eurogroup and Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday by Maria Kaisa Aula, a state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, according to a tweet sent by the Ministry of Finance.

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The Finns Party, led by Riikka Purra, has emerged as the second most popular political party in Finland, ahead of the Social Democrats, reveals a poll by YLE. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

POPULAR SUPPORT has increased for the two largest opposition parties in the Finnish Parliament, the National Coalition and the Finns Party, reveals the most recent opinion poll commissioned by YLE.

Support for the National Coalition, the poll shows, jumped by 0.8 percentage points to 18.7 per cent, its highest level since 2017.

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New Minister of the Environment Emma Kari in Helsinki on November 19th 2021.

Milja Henttonen, Jarno Lappalainen and Erkki Perälä have been appointed as Special Advisers to the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Emma Kari. Antti Heikkinen and Riikka Yliluoma will continue as Special Advisers to the Minister.

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Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens) at a question-time debate in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Thursday, 18 November 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT has decided to raise the refugee quota for next year from 1,050 to 1,500, according to Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens).

“As Afghanistan’s crisis was at its most acute, I made a proposal [to the government] to raise the refugee quota. The government today decided to raise the refugee quota for 2022 to a historically high level of 1,500 people,” she tweeted on Thursday.

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