Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the Finns Party, attended an election debate organised by MTV in Helsinki on 15 March 2023. Purra on Tuesday claimed, citing discussions with nursing associations, that nurses with insufficient Finnish skills are an “additional burden” that is driving employees away from the nursing sector. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

SILJA PAAVOLA, the chairperson of the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (Super), has rejected the claim that employees with inadequate Finnish skills are a burden that is driving professionals away from the nursing sector.

“That isn’t true,” she said to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday. “If we didn’t have these people, workplaces would have even fewer employees and we’d be in an even worse situation. And that’d drive people away.”

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Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition, spoke to his fellow party members on a campaign cruise on 28 January 2023. Despite seeing its approval rating plummet by 3.4 points since November 2022, the National Coalition holds a 1.5-point lead over its rivals with less than two weeks to go until the parliamentary elections, shows a poll by Helsingin Sanomat. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION has kept its rivals at bay despite seeing its approval rating fall by half a percentage points to 20.8 per cent, reveals the latest opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Its popularity has fallen by 3.4 points since last November.

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Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen (Centre) attended a plenary session in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 22 February 2023. Kurvinen told Ilkka-Pohjalainen last week that he is “proud” about claims that he is covertly supporting meat production and agriculture in Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

SHOP STEWARDS at the Finnish Food Authority are accusing the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of covertly supporting meat producers, pointing to a roughly three-million-euro deficit in revenue from inspections conducted at meat production facilities in 2022, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The ministry, they claim, has refused to raise the inspection fees to a level that covers the actual inspection costs despite the law stating that the services should be sold at cost price.

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Campaign posters of parliamentary election candidates in Espoo on Monday, 20 March 2023. The Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva) has reported that male and female voters gravitate increasingly toward different parties. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE DIVERGENCE of party preferences among men and women has increased in Finland.

The Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva) on Friday reported that Finnish political parties can today be divided relatively clearly into men and women's parties based on the gender make-up of their support base.

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Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. LEHTIKUVA

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has assured Sweden that their security will not be compromised even if Finland joins NATO first. Niinistö stated that Sweden’s security is not in a vulnerable position, and that he does not believe their chances of joining NATO have weakened. The comments were made in an interview with Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to join NATO on the same date in May 2022.

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Candidates advertisements at Narinkkatori, Helsinki on the 15th of March 2023. LEHTIKUVA

A recent survey of Finnish parliamentary candidates reveals differences in opinions on religious and cultural issues, with age playing a significant role in shaping the candidates' views. The information was gathered from a questionnaire hosted on the Uskonnonvapaus.fi (freedom of religion) website.

Among candidates under the age of 45, 80% favored lowering the age limit for joining or leaving religious communities from the current 18 years,

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Citizens are looking at the campaign advertisements for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Kamppi, Helsinki on March 16, 2023. The parliamentary election day is on Sunday, April 2nd. LEHTIKUVA

Nearly 500 entrepreneurs are running for parliament in the upcoming Finnish parliamentary elections, according to a survey conducted by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. The number of entrepreneur candidates has significantly increased compared to the previous parliamentary elections in 2019, where there were 437 entrepreneur candidates.

The largest entrepreneur party in terms of number of candidates is the Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), with 71 candidates,

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Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) was photographed in Helsinki on 9 March 2023. Kaikkonen on Wednesday told YLE that Finland has a permission on Friday to wait for a confirmation that Turkey is prepared to ratify its bid to join Nato. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) stated on YLE A-studio on Wednesday that Finland is close to acceding to Nato.

President Sauli Niinistö indicated on Twitter earlier yesterday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made his decision about the membership application and intends to “fulfil his promises directly from one president to another” as the two heads of state meet in Turkey on Friday.

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Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the Finns Party, attended a question-time debate in the Parliament House on 16 February 2023. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

RIIKKA PURRA, the chairperson of the Finns Party, believes living on social security benefits is too easy for immigrants but not for native-born people in Finland, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Purra is the only political party leader who agreed fully with the statement that living on social security benefits is too easy in Finland on voter guides produced by both YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) addressed the public in the City Library of Kokkola on Monday, 13 March 2023. While on the campaign trail, the premier was was asked repeatedly about her comments on the Finnish Air Force’s Hornet jets in Kyiv on Friday. (Elina Paavola – Str / Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has denied making any promises about the ageing fighter jet fleet of Finland.

“No one has made any promises about the Hornets,” she was quotoed saying at a campaign event in Vaasa on Monday by Helsingin Sanomat. “Europe is widely having discussions about supporting the air defence systems of Ukraine, including with fighter jets. It’d be good for Finland to prepare for that discussion.”

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Finland's National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) has proposed 15 measures to prevent youth and gang-related crime. The party's chairman, Petteri Orpo, and vice-chairman, Antti Häkkänen, say that Finland needs to wake up to the reality that violence committed by minors and even children is on the rise and has become more brutal. The party is calling for stricter punishments for crimes, increased resources and powers for law enforcement agencies, and measures to prevent youth from becoming marginalized.

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