Finland: New curse

“Finland’s central party” has won the parliamentary elections in the country of a thousand lakes. The elections were held 19 April. On Monday morning, it became clear that after counting all the ballots, “Central” taking 21.3% of the vote won 49 seats in parliament of the country

In second place was “True Finns” party was (17.6% of the vote, 38 seats). Following the Court “National Coalition” and social-democratic party comes. They will gain respectively, 37 and 34 mandates. In the opinion of the experts, they are judged as knocked down.

The victory of “Central,” party was not a surprise for the international observers, nor for the Finns. If we would believe numerous inquiries, in recent months party has been supported by 25% of the population. Now, center party, especially with their leader Juha Sipila, who appeared on the political scene only in 2011 will formulate the ruling coalition.

Alexander Stubb, admitted that the victory of the opposition. Interestingly, in the midst of elections, the popular British publication “The Economist” has published the caricature. In this caricature the leader of the “Suomen Keskusta” repel Stubu from bent sauna. The comments which were given to the picture imply the difficulties experienced in recent years, and it can be concluded that the current government will be the target of the wrath of the voters.

By the way, the British policy supposes that Finland policy is “bored” and the economy is “problematic” and think that all the Europe should not learn “how to live”, otherwise Suomi’s economic problems can come to them.”

Sipila offers phased reduction of budget expenses, reduction of state debt, to open 20 thousands job places over the next 10 years, at least 2% increase in the GDP of the country. Furthermore, in order to force people to actively look for a job offer to reduce payments related to unemployment. Reduce the number of ministries and departments in governments (now, there are 13) and to avoid repetition of some mistakes.

Center party cannot form a government alone, but many political experts now confidently are talking about the possibility of a coalition with social-democratic party (SDP). SDP party, which is one of Finland’s oldest (founded in 1899) is in favor of reducing taxes for the poor and the middle class. An aim of the party is to encourage domestic consumption and to create new jobs.

The collected votes may be sufficient to allow centrist and social democrats to create a two-party government. If they could not hold the majority in the parliament, the collaboration options with small parties will be reviewed.

True Finns party was founded in 1995 in Finland on the basis of the agrarian party. Practically party is constantly criticizing the government on all issues and defender of unemployed, the poor, single mothers and small entrepreneurs. Timo Soini is headed the party who is ambitious enough.

The aim of the “True Finns” party is to create a welfare government which will provide high standards of living for the poorest level of the population. It is much more populist slogan, because party does not offer a clear and realistic program in order to achieve to these goals. “True Finns” is in favor of out of the European Union and offer to put more restrictions to the immigrants from poorer countries. Although the Soin’s party is ready to cooperate with “Center”, their joining to the coalition has less chance due to the differences in political and economic matters.

Polls show that the main force of the past coalition government, “Conservative Assembly,” the center-right party has lost the support of most Finns. This is mainly due to the failures in economy. State debt up to 60% (this is the highest number for the euro zone countries) to increase 3-4% increase in the tax burden, reduction of investments in the industry, the high level of unemployment (8.9%), the recession, increase of the age of retirement to 65 years – these are some of the results of Stubb’s government. Most Finns are not satisfied with such economic situation. Even, the steps which were taken in the international community by Stubb are not welcomed with satisfaction in the country. Stubb’s call to become a member of NATO was supported by 25% of citizens and the expansion sanctions against Russia was not supported by 50% of the citizens.

Helsinki’s principle regarding the expansion of NATO in Europe was known before the elections. Thus, the country’s Foreign Ministry has criticized the NATO training which to be held in the Baltic countries.

As for Russia, it should be noted that the forces that came to head of government are convinced that they need to be in good neighborly relations with Russia. Even, Spilla who earlier in relation to the eastern neighbor accused of excessive loyal was not in hurry to raise issue regarding to release sanctions against Russia. He told to local media in his interview in March that, Finland’s milk and food industry was seriously damaged by Russia’s counter-sanctions and all damage have to be compensated by EU.

The country to membership of EU is also “painful issue” in agenda of new parliament. Tendency in decreasing dependence from Brussel show itself on the foreign policy program of the “True Finns” party. Its attitude to membership in the EU was demonstrated by youth wing of the party in February. In spite of, the objections of the party leadership, youth of the party burned the EU flag.

Of course, we are not talking about going out from the EU, but the new parliament will try to reduce union’ influence in the internal affairs of Finland. It is still not known how mutual relations between Helsinki and Brussels will be set up in the near future.

It is likely that Finland will not join to NATO. No doubt that, Sipila will pursue a very cautious policy towards Russia. The remaining aspects will be realized in practice not in theory.

 

Shukur Mukhtarov
Student at Riga Technical University, Latvia