Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (left) was heading to brief the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group on the situation of Finnish nationals in al-Hol, Syria, on 12 December 2019. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

NO MAJOR SWINGS have taken place in popular support for the two largest political parties in Finland, indicates the most recent opinion poll commissioned by YLE, the public broadcasting company of Finland.

YLE on Friday reported that almost a quarter (24.3%) of the public would cast their vote for the Finns Party and almost a fifth (19.3%) for the National Coalition.

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Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party: “If we pretend that climate change caused the forest fires elsewhere in the world and therefore stop using and looking after our forests, also the forests here will be burning soon.” (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva).

JUSSI HALLA-AHO, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has come under heavy criticism for suggesting that the climate crisis is not linked to the bushfires raging in Australia.

Halla-Aho on Wednesday estimated that several countries are suffering from uncontrollable wildfires because they have neglected to manage their forests and lack a road network that serves the forest industry.

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Ilkka Kanerva (NCP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Defence Committee, spoke to members of the media about the participation of Finland in the US-led OIR in Helsinki on Thursday, 9 January 2020. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE CRISIS MANAGEMENT operation underway in Erbil, Iraq, may be the most dangerous in the history of Finland, views Ilkka Kanerva (NCP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Defence Committee.

Around 80 Finnish troops are stationed in the city participating in an international crisis management operation amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States.

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PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has reiterated her support for transitioning to a shorter work week or workday as technological advances continue to boost productivity.

“This is one possible future scenario, and I believe it can be discussed both within the social democratic movement and within the society at large,” she stated during an official visit to Sweden on Wednesday, 8 January.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) was recently the subject of a number of complaints filed with the Chancellor of Justice. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE CHANCELLOR of Justice Tuomas Pöysti will take no further action on complaints made about the recent actions of Pekka Haavisto (Greens), the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Haavisto was the subject of a number of complaints due to his actions in connection with the effort to repatriate Finnish nationals from al-Hawl, a detention camp for the women and children of the so-called Islamic State, in Syria.

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All sorts of things took place in 2019, including a great many good things, says Katri Kulmuni, the chairperson of the Centre and Minister of Finance. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

KATRI KULMUNI, the chairperson of the Centre and Minister of Finance, has admitted that last year was not easy.

“Many have described it as a wild year in politics,” she commented on Facebook on New Year’s Day. “It became obvious during the elections last spring that politics is characterised more and more strongly by the creation of divisions rather than doing together.”

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) says the Finnish government is committed to developing the society in a way that is financially responsible, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND must have the courage to invest in people and knowledge and do its utmost to ensure no citizens and regions are left behind in the development of the society, underlines Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP).

Marin on Tuesday said in her New Year’s message that the government has taken up the challenge of delivering bold, stable and sustainable reforms designed to develop the country as financially responsibly, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable society.

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Juha Sipilä and Katri Kulmuni of the Centre Party talked during a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki on 17 December 2019. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE DIFFICULT SITUATION of the Centre Party has become a nationwide topic of discussion following news that the traditional agrarian party has slumped to its worst result ever in a poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

The poll found that slightly over a tenth (11.1%) of voters would currently cast their vote for the Centre.

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Jussi Halla-aho and Riikka Purra of the Finns Party talked during an extraordinary meeting of the opposition party’s parliamentary group in Helsinki on 2 December 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNS PARTY has emerged as one of the largest right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, highlights Heikki Paloheimo, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Tampere, Finland.

Helsingin Sanomat on Friday reported that popular support for the opposition party has crept up to 22.7 per cent, matching its all-time high from mid-2011.

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Jussi Halla-aho’s Finns Party is more than two times as popular as Katri Kulmuni’s Centre Party, shows the latest opinion poll by Helsingin Sanomat. (Markku Ulander, Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

POPULAR SUPPORT for the Centre Party has plummeted to 11.1 per cent, indicates the most recent opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Katri Kulmuni, the chairperson of the second largest ruling party, commented on the difficult situation of the party in an interview with the daily newspaper on Friday, admitting the centrist agrarian party has a long road ahead of itself.

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President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, posed for a photograph before the annual Independence Day Reception in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on 6 December 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

ONLY ONE PER CENT of Finns believe President Sauli Niinistö has performed his duties poorly, finds a survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

The daily newspaper reported yesterday that 91 per cent of the public are of the opinion that the president has performed his duties either very or relatively well and six per cent that he has performed his duties neither well nor poorly.

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