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Finland
About Finnish society & culture. From snow to sauna, from natives to Nokia.
Curated by Ulla M. Saikku
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Finnish government plans to trim generous welfare model

Finnish government plans to trim generous welfare model | Finland | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Finland's government announced a long-term plan to start scaling back its welfare system, one of the most generous in the world, aiming to preserve its triple-A credit rating in the face of a slower economy and aging population.

In a statement on Thursday, the government laid out a wide range of measures, including a hike to the effective retirement age to 62.4 in 2025 from a current 60.9. It also said it could force municipalities to consolidate and speed up health care reforms.

The changes are not immediate but are likely to put off some voters who may see them as steps towards destroying a welfare model which, like those of its Nordic neighbors, emphasizes social equality and well-being.

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Finland Turns to Venture Funds to Rescue Economy: Nordic Credit

Finland Turns to Venture Funds to Rescue Economy: Nordic Credit | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland is turning to venture capital financing as it searches for ways to jolt the economy out of a recession without jeopardizing its AAA rating.

 

The northernmost euro member wants to attract investors for a new 1 billion-euro ($1.28 billion) program and help startup companies without adding to its budget deficit. Finland is promising that investors who buy into the venture will take the lion’s share of potential profits. The program will also target growth companies.

“The debt crisis caused investors to retrench from this riskier startup funding,” Petri Peltonen, head of the enterprise and innovation department at Finland’s Economy Ministry, said in a telephone interview. “We’re now trying to attract private investors to take more risk that will help boost economic growth and create jobs.”

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North is north

North is north | Finland | Scoop.it

LAPLAND is just about as far from Cyprus as one can go in Europe. But on a spring day the sun reflected on an endless expanse of snow can be as bright as a Mediterranean beach. Russian pleasure-seekers and businessmen may flock to both countries. Yet in economic terms they are worlds apart. This week Cyprus became the fifth euro-zone country to negotiate a euro-zone bail-out; AAA-rated Finland, in its laconic way, is perhaps the most hardline of creditor states.

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The next supermodel - Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries

The next supermodel - Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries | Finland | Scoop.it

SMALLISH countries are often in the vanguard when it comes to reforming government. In the 1980s Britain was out in the lead, thanks to Thatcherism and privatisation. Tiny Singapore has long been a role model for many reformers. Now the Nordic countries are likely to assume a similar role.

That is partly because the four main Nordics—Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland—are doing rather well. If you had to be reborn anywhere in the world as a person with average talents and income, you would want to be a Viking. The Nordics cluster at the top of league tables of everything from economic competitiveness to social health to happiness. They have avoided both southern Europe’s economic sclerosis and America’s extreme inequality. Development theorists have taken to calling successful modernisation “getting to Denmark”. Meanwhile a region that was once synonymous with do-it-yourself furniture and Abba has even become a cultural haven, home to “The Killing”, Noma and “Angry Birds”.

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Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland: Nordic ETF Investing 101

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland: Nordic ETF Investing 101 | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland is the only nation on the list that uses the euro as its currency and thus, remains the best choice for investors looking to invest in the Nordic region. The economy is expected to grow 0.8% this year supported by relatively low public debt and favorable current account balance. The nation does a great deal of exports outside the euro zone or Germany, ensuring that the impact of the crisis is not too severe for the nation.

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Competitive advantages: A comparison of competitiveness and wealth

Competitive advantages: A comparison of competitiveness and wealth | Finland | Scoop.it

SWITZERLAND tops the latest global competitiveness ranking of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum, best known for its annual shindig in Davos (a Swiss ski resort). It is closely followed by Singapore, while Finland has replaced Sweden in third place. That may be some comfort to the Finns, whose economy is lagging while Sweden’s is thriving.

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North-South Divide Marks Euro's Struggle - In Portugal, Finland, Two Different Views of Financial Crisis

North-South Divide Marks Euro's Struggle - In Portugal, Finland, Two Different Views of Financial Crisis | Finland | Scoop.it
Though Finland and Portugal share a common currency, their divergent economic outlooks echo the divide between the euro-zone's strongest and weakest members. Finland's economy is still growing, and unemployment is low. In contrast, Portugal is suffering a high jobless rate and entering a second year of recession.

 

The feeling of being almost untouched by economic turmoil is shared by Finns more than 2,000 miles away at a resort in Espoo, north of Helsinki. Here, where sunlight is shining nearly 24 hours a day, Finns flood into Serena, a ski resort that stays busy in the summer thanks to a water park.

"We are just beginning our family vacation, so we are mostly concerned about the weather," said homemaker Marja Laine, spending €94 ($115) for entrance for a family of four. Her husband, Jani, says the euro-zone crisis isn't on his mind. "For the moment it has not had any impact on us."

For Portuguese families though, the crisis is front and center.

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AAA to Y* of Finland (*The letter Z does not exist in the original Finnish alphabet, only in 'loan' words, we'll have you know)

AAA to Y* of Finland (*The letter Z does not exist in the original Finnish alphabet, only in 'loan' words, we'll have you know) | Finland | Scoop.it
A is for Alvar Aalto...

 

AAA to Y* of Finland (*The letter Z does not exist in the original Finnish alphabet, only in 'loan' words, we'll have you know)
Finland is now the last eurozone country to hold a triple-A credit rating. So, why are things so rosy in the Scandinavian state?

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Apple, Android and The Decline of the Euro - Forbes

Apple, Android and The Decline of the Euro - Forbes | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland’s GDP is about $238 billion. It grew steadily from the mid-1990s onwards and peaked about three years ago. That trajectory is roughly in line with Nokia’s growth and decline, though of course Nokia is falling faster. Since the early 2000s Nokia has contributed between 4 and 6% of Finland’s GDP. Nokia and mobility are both very important to a country that has grown spectacularly but solidly over the past twenty years...

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Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com

Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com | Finland | Scoop.it

 

Like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Finland is on the geographical periphery of the eurozone, but it has little else in common with these three, which have all received international bailouts in the past two years.
Richer, happier and better educated than the OECD rich nations’ club average, Finland is also one of only a few countries that all the main credit agencies still judge as triple A-rated.

There are challenges, for sure, such as a population that is ageing more rapidly than any country apart from Japan and a faltering industrial base, but these troubles seem minor compared with those that face other European states.

 

http://on.ft.com/JtlMkV

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The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited

The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited | Finland | Scoop.it
Obama seems hell-bent on expanding the US welfare state at any cost, and of course no welfare-state debate is complete without bringing up the Scandinavian countries as the example of statism causing prosperity.

 

As the Heritage index shows, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have more economic freedom than most of their European counterparts, including Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. While the Scandinavian countries do tend to have higher taxes and government spending than most other European states, the other states tend to have more regulation and less efficient and transparent legal systems, which cancel out the positive effects of the lower taxes.

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Euro Leaders Need to Step Up Austerity, Finland’s PM Says

Euro Leaders Need to Step Up Austerity, Finland’s PM Says | Finland | Scoop.it

European policy makers can’t rely on the central bank to manage the region’s crisis and must now follow with measures to cut debt and restore economic confidence, Finland’s Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said.

“Crisis management can’t be outsourced to the central bank,” Katainen said in an interview in Saariselkae, Finland. “Member states have a couple of years to take austerity measures to restore and strengthen credibility for when the operations end.”

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Finland retains its AAA credit rating

Finland retains its AAA credit rating | Finland | Scoop.it
American credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has affirmed Finland’s AAA rating for long-term and short-term credit. However, the outlook for the long-term rating is negative, according to Finland’s Ministry of Finance. 
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Map: How 35 countries compare on child poverty

Map: How 35 countries compare on child poverty | Finland | Scoop.it

A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, on the well-being of children in 35 developed nations. Finland scores the highest.

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CNN.com - CNN's Richard Quest speaks with Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen about the state of the European economy

Watch the latest breaking news, politics, entertainment and offbeat videos everyone is talking about at CNN.com. Get informed now!
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Why Nordic nations are a role model for us all

Why Nordic nations are a role model for us all | Finland | Scoop.it
Scandinavia is officially hot. In a recent issue, The Economist crowned the Nordic economic experience as a “supermodel.” Last month, the New Yorkercelebrated Denmark’s hugely successful noir fiction and the egalitarian society behind it as something of a “post-modern” paradise. While these characterizations may be accurate, America and other advanced democracies can be forgiven for dismissing the case of these small, wealthy economies in a remote corner of Europe as an extravagant exception. Not so: the real secret of the Nordic performance is applicable to all, for it is a paradigm of enlightened self-interest at its finest. 
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, February 11, 2013 9:35 PM

There is somethings to learn from and share between everyone on this planet. Here's some things the far north brings to the world.

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Northern lights - The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism

Northern lights - The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism | Finland | Scoop.it

THIRTY YEARS AGO Margaret Thatcher turned Britain into the world’s leading centre of “thinking the unthinkable”. Today that distinction has passed to Sweden. The streets of Stockholm are awash with the blood of sacred cows. The think-tanks are brimful of new ideas. The erstwhile champion of the “third way” is now pursuing a far more interesting brand of politics....

Ulla M. Saikku's insight:

...Finland is harnessing the skills of venture capitalists and angel investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.


...The Nordic countries have a collective population of only 26m. Finland is the only one of them that is a member of both the European Union and the euro area.

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Global Competitiveness - World Economic Forum

Global Competitiveness - World Economic Forum | Finland | Scoop.it

Persisting Divides in Global Competitiveness as Switzerland, Singapore and Finland Top Competitiveness Rankings in 2012

 

Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th).

 

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Daren Ng's curator insight, June 26, 2013 5:54 AM

In global competitiveness, Switzerland, for the fourth consecutive year, tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, released today by the World Economic Forum. Singapore remains in second position and Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th). These and other Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and United Kingdom (8th). The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) complete the ranking of the top 10 most competitive economies. Singapore still remains as a thriving and highly effecient society with thriving economy as it places 2nd amongst the top 10 countries in terms of performance in the global market. Singapore is amongst the pinnacle of countries in terms of its economy and has surpassed many other countries and is able to compete in a global outlook. Hence, is Singapore able to maintain its high position amongst the other countries in global competitiveness of economy? What factors contribute to Singapore's highly effecient economy, causing it to be of such high ranking amongst global competitiveness?

Wai Kit's curator insight, June 29, 2013 10:52 AM

This article shows the rankings of countries economic status. In this article, we can see that Singapore is also listed in the top 10 in the ranking list. This thus shows that Singapore is quite competitive and is doing quite well in the global community.

Seamus Ong's curator insight, July 4, 2013 8:36 AM

From the article we can see that Singapore is economically competant on a global scale and more productive than her most of her neighbours. As we can see, Singapore has managed to maintain 2nd place on the ranking list which is a great acheivement. This article makes me think that Singapore must definitely be a role model in the global community and also a great influential country considering it being ranked so high on the list. The article also makes me wonder how hard our goverment have worked to get Singapore to where she is today.

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The Finn red line

The Finn red line | Finland | Scoop.it

...It is true that Finland has the most to lose from a pooling of sovereign debts. The IMF reckons the combined gross debt of euro-area countries will peak at 91% of GDP next year, when the ratio in Finland will be just 53%, the lowest of any euro-zone country bar Estonia and Luxembourg. Finland’s borrowing costs are roughly the same as Germany’s. After Japan and Italy, Finland has the most rapidly ageing population among rich countries, so it is wary of adding to its debts. And having recovered from a nasty banking crisis in the 1990s through their own efforts (albeit with a favourable tailwind from the world economy), Finns are hostile to bail-outs.

 

http://www.economist.com/node/21560879

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The Independent paints a rosy picture of Finland

The Independent paints a rosy picture of Finland | Finland | Scoop.it
In its Sunday issue, the British newspaper highlights Finland’s credit rating miracle with a humorous list of factors contributing to the country’s success.
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How Finland keeps its head above eurozone crisis

How Finland keeps its head above eurozone crisis | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland – home of reindeer, pickled fish and Nokia – is now the only eurozone country with a stable triple-A credit rating, according to Moody's. Moody's said that while Finland would not be immune to the eurozone crisis, it had "strong buffers which differentiate it from the other AAAs". Among these were the fact it has no debt on a net basis. cont.http://bit.ly/NQou9D ;

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Germany says Canada, Finland, Baltic States show debt cuts work ...

Germany says Canada, Finland, Baltic States show debt cuts work ... | Finland | Scoop.it
The euro region's troubled southern members should look to Finland, Canada and the Baltic states for evidence that debt cutting can promote economic growth, according to a German government policy paper.
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Finnish economy

Finland has transformed its economy in a matter of decades to become one of the richest countries and most stable societies in the world. In the 1950s the Finnish economy was still largely based on primary production and an agrarian workforce. Today Finland is leading or near the top of most international comparisons in terms of growth and development in the economic, technological and social spheres.  www.etla.fi/eng/index.php?did=399

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Finland's success with 'growsterity' - video

Finland's success with 'growsterity' - video | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland's PM Jyrki Katainen discusses how the government is handling its debt and stimulating growth at the same time.

 

This week Sir David takes another look at the eurozone and dissects the need for a larger rescue fund.

How could one country, Finland, propose to cut its budget by nearly €3bn when other countries were struggling with debts?

Jyrki Katainen, the prime minister of Finland, a country that still holds a AAA rating, tells Sir David how the government is going about it.

"We had to take care of our confidence toward our economy so that's why we had to turn our debt development downward, at the same time we're putting more pressure on growth. We're saying that we have chosen the line of 'growsterity' – austerity measures and growth. watch the video interview http://aje.me/HspwRI

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Finland keeps S&P's triple-A but outlook negative

HELSINKI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S.ratings agency Standard & Poor's affirmed its triple-A long-term rating onFinland but gave a negative outlook, the Finnish finance ministry said on Friday on its website.The negative outlook means a downgrade is possible in 2012 or 2013, the ministry said.  
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