Finland
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Finland
About Finnish society & culture. From snow to sauna, from natives to Nokia.
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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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Government wins vote of confidence

Government wins vote of confidence | Finland | Scoop.it
 The vote of confidence followed an interpellation measure criticising the government for supporting the recently negotiated bail-out fund for Greece. The motion was tabled by the Finns Party and backed by the entire opposition.
A debate on the motion took place on Tuesday but Parliament voted on the issue on Wednesday.
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Halonen: Gov't must tackle economy & racism

Halonen: Gov't must tackle economy & racism | Finland | Scoop.it
President Tarja Halonen has expressed the hope that the cabinet will be able
to cope with two major problems simultaneously this autumn. She says that
along with the financial crisis, it should also ensure that racism does not
proliferate.
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Finnish General Gov. Debt Decreases In Q1

Finnish General Gov. Debt Decreases In Q1 | Finland | Scoop.it
Finnish general government debt declined in the first quarter, data from Statistics Finland showed Friday.

General government debt, that excludes items between sub sectors, fell by EUR 2.3 billion from a year earlier to EUR 84.6 billion during the first three months of the year.
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Finland’s new international relations team - BarentsObserver

Finland’s new international relations team - BarentsObserver | Finland | Scoop.it
Social democrat Erkki Tuomioja is taking over the reigns of the Foreign Ministry, while Alexander Stubb is becoming Minister of Foreign Trade and European Affairs.
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Katainen named Finland's new prime minister - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Katainen named Finland's new prime minister - Europe - Al Jazeera English | Finland | Scoop.it
Jyrki Katainen chosen to head six-party coalition, two months after his party won parliamentary elections.
The comparatively young politician took over the party at the age of 33 and, in 2008, the Financial Times named him the best finance minister in Europe
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New Finnish Government Could Reshape EU Neighborhood Policy « Russian News From Russia

New Finnish Government Could Reshape EU Neighborhood Policy « Russian News From Russia | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland has finally announced its new six-party coalition government after months of negotiations.
The Euroskeptic True Finns party, which had threatened to veto bail-outs for the Eurozone’s struggling economies, was left out but two appointments to the new government might nonetheless have an impact on how the European Union is run. Or at least shape Brussels’ activities in its eastern neighborhood.


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Soini off to fiery start as opposition leader

Soini off to fiery start as opposition leader | Finland | Scoop.it
True Finns' leader Timo Soini was unanimously re-elected as party chair in Tampere on Saturday -- while taking his first shots at the newly-formed government.

The leader of the main opposition party addressed some 1,000 members of the party's faithful at the True Finns' congress. He took the opportunity to lambast the newly-baked government and its agenda.
Soini particularly criticised the Left Alliance for joining the conservative-led cabinet. He heaped scorn on Left chair Paavo Arhinmäki, noting that he had not even made any public complaint about the new cabinet's EU policies.
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Ministerial posts announced

Ministerial posts announced | Finland | Scoop.it
Prime Minister-designate Jyrki Katainen also confirmed that the coalition had agreed on the allocation of ministerial posts.
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Agreement on the new Government Programme - An Open, Fair and Bold Finland

On Friday, 17 June, the negotiators to form a new government reached agreement on the new Government Programme entitled An Open, Fair and Bold Finland. The distribution of ministerial posts was also agreed on. The new government will include 19 ministers: National Coalition Party 6, the Social Democratic Party 6, the Left Alliance 2, the Swedish People’s Party in Finland 2, the Green League 2 and the Christian Democratic Party 1 ministers.

The agreement on the new government programme and the distribution of ministerial posts can be read at www.valtioneuvosto.fi.
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NEWSMAKER-Finland's PM Katainen faces reform challenge

* 39-year-old finance minister steps up to premiership
* Steered Finland through crisis, negotiated in Brussels
* Must deal with voter discontent over EU bailouts

HELSINKI, June 17 (Reuters) - Jyrki Katainen, Finland's new prime minister, struggled to form a government and will face more tough times with his six-party coalition in the Nordic country in need of prompt fiscal reforms.
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Finnish coalition to put tough terms on Greek aid - Financial Times

Finnish coalition to put tough terms on Greek aid - Financial Times | Finland | Scoop.it
Finnish political parties have reached agreement on forming a new government after nine weeks of on-off talks, clearing the way for Helsinki to enter negotiations over fresh financial...
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New Finland govt aims to cut spending -PM elect

HELSINKI, June 17 (Reuters) - Finland's new government willbe a broad coalition of six political parties, and aim tomaintain fiscal health by cutting spending and hiking sometaxes, prime minister-elect Jyrki Katainen said on Friday.
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ID yourself by phone

ID yourself by phone | Finland | Scoop.it
Many local government offices, healthcare centres and insurance companies now accept mobile phone identification in Finland. In future, online banking services will also accept secure ID certificates provided by users' mobile phones.
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Finland officials plan spending cuts for next budget - Reuters

HELSINKI Aug 18 (Reuters) - Finland's finance ministry is planning to cut government spending by 1.16 billion euros ($1.63 billion) and raise tax revenues by 1.1...

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Analysis: 2nd Greek bailout to hit Finnish collateral snag ...

That will run up against the Finnish collateral condition, which is non-negotiable because it has been agreed by the Finnish parliament. Waiving it would bring down the government in Helsinki, euro zone officials involved in the talks on Greece said.
“This is not something that we merely wish for — no, it is something that we must have in order to be able to go along with a new programme for Greece,” said a document prepared for Finnish diplomats and seen by Reuters.
“It is highly unusual for Finland to place very firm red lines, but this is such a case,” the document said.
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How ‘International’ is the New Coalition? | 65 Degrees North

How ‘International’ is the New Coalition? | 65 Degrees North | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland’s political elite have long talked of the need for the country to be more ‘international.’ But how ‘international’ are the politicians in the ‘Six Pack Coalition’?
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The Finnish "six pack" Joe state by Thanos Kalamidas

The Finnish "six pack" Joe state by Thanos Kalamidas | Finland | Scoop.it
Midsummer in Finland means cottage, lake, beer and makkara – the Finnish sausage – not necessary in this series. It means empty cities and packed lakes, it means singing and drinking and for this year it meant the end of a month long negotiation for a government with the “six pack” agreement. There is no sarcasm into the name and humour – especially self-sarcasm - is not one of the Finnish strongpoint. For the Finns “six pack” meant the agreement between six parties from a very wide political spectrum to form a coalition government keeping the “six pack” Joes of the extreme right, the True Finns out of the government.
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A coalition of extremes - thisisFINLAND: Facts: Politics & economy

A coalition of extremes - thisisFINLAND: Facts: Politics & economy | Finland | Scoop.it
The composition of Finland’s new government will surely raise eyebrows in many countries. The six-party coalition, led by Jyrki Katainen, Chairman of the centre-right National Coalition Party, includes parliamentarians from the far left and right of Finland’s political spectrum. Meanwhile two parties who position themselves between these extremes – the Centre Party and the True Finns – have been left in opposition.
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Katainen government taking shape

Katainen government taking shape | Finland | Scoop.it
The names of the ministers in the upcoming six-party government of Jyrki Katainen (Nat. Coalition Party) are emerging.
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In St Petersburg, Halonen voices approval

In St Petersburg, Halonen voices approval | Finland | Scoop.it
President Tarja Halonen, on a visit to Russia on Saturday, she expressed satisfaction that the new cabinet had been formed, while predicting that it would face difficulties.

Also at the forum, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev praised Russian-Finnish relations, saying they are "on the highest level".
He added that Moscow wants to expand the relationship with "new contracts and agreements in the humanitarian and other fields".
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Government agreement announced - Ministries allocated to parties

Government agreement announced -  Ministries allocated to parties | Finland | Scoop.it
After having spent nearly two months to form a new government, National Coalition Party leader Jyrki Katainen announced that an agreement had been reached on the composition of a six-party coalition on Friday evening.
Perhaps the most unexpected turn of events was that the Left Alliance will get the weighty portfolio of the Minister of Transport. The post will likely be taken by the party’s chairman Paavo Arhinmäki. The next Minister of Culture will also be from the Left Alliance. Merja Kyllönen from Kainuu is expected to take on the post.
The new government will have a total of 19 ministers.
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Social spending high on government agenda

Social spending high on government agenda | Finland | Scoop.it
One of the major planks of the new government agenda is the enhancement of basic social services in its bid to reduce inequality, narrow income gaps and slow the resulting marginalisation of vulnerable groups in society...
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6-party government in Finland after lengthy talks | The Associated Press | News | San Francisco Examiner

Six parties across the political spectrum united Friday to form a government, saving Finland from the embarrassment of having no prime minister at a key European Union summit next week.

Coalition talks had dragged on for weeks, marred by disagreements over economic policy and European bailouts, following an April 17 election that for a while appeared to have catapulted a nationalist party into power...
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Economists: government agenda half-baked

Economists: government agenda half-baked | Finland | Scoop.it
The new government programme has come in for harsh criticism from Finnish economists. Commentators from the Government Institute for Economic Research and Tampere University have labeled the policy programme as half-hearted and accused the six-pack politicians of lacking courage.
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