Next phase of government negotiations launched today
The next phase of government negotiations begins today in Helsinki’s House of the Estates. The Social Democrats have chosen the Centre Party, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party to form the next coalition government and the talks are focused on specific areas. SDP parliamentary group leader Antti Lindtman told MTV Uutiset this morning that talks will be carried out in a new way this week. Inside the main meeting room are 8 tables, each representing a different policy line for discussion between the participants. The tables include rule of law; carbon neutral / biodiversity; fair, equal and inclusive Finland; knowledge, education and innovation, among others.
Some ex-MPs start claiming their allowances
Two former members of parliament who either left their jobs or were not re-elected in April’s general election, have started claiming their “adaptation money” allowances according to Talouselämä newspaper today. Jani Toivola (Green) and Maria Lohela (Blue) both started claiming the money, which is a minimum of €2100 per month for up to two years. Lohela can receive more because of her previous role as one of the speakers of parliament. A much more generous system of lifetime allowances for former MPs was scrapped during the previous parliament’s term and replaced now with this more streamlined, and time limited, adaptation allowance system.
Caretaker Prime Minister Sipilä to EU Romania meeting
Finland’s caretaker Prime Minister Juha Sipiä (Centre) is in Romania today, attending a meeting of the European Council in the city of Sibiu. At the event, EU heds of state or government will be discussing future priorities for the union, including on areas to protect citizens and freedoms; developing the EU’s economic base; and environmental issues, according to a government statement.
Europe Day marked
Thursday is Europe Day, an EU-wide event to mark the 1950 signing of the Schumann Declaration which is widely regarded as the starting point for the modern European Union. One of the main events is taking place in Helsinki with the European Union setting up a festival at Kamppi shopping centre which will be promoting participation in the upcoming European Parliament elections at the end of the month. One aim of the Finnish government is to get more young people voting in that election – four years ago only 10% of young Finns under 25 cast a ballot in European Parliament elections.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a bright and sunny start to the weather all across the country today except for some light cloud cover through parts of east and central Lapland. Temperatures range from a brisk +4 in Lapland to +8C in Oulu; +8C as well down the eastern border; +5C for Vaasa; and +8C across the south, south west and capital city region.