Government parties work to build trust
Finland’s incoming prime minister says “we have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust” after ten days of political turmoil that saw the government’s junior coalition partner withdraw support for Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP), who promptly handed in his resignation. In reality, the trust-building has already started before Sanna Marin (SDP) moves into Kesäranta, the PM’s official residence in Helsinki. Changing the prime minister “gives the possibility for a fresh start. We hope for a re-set for the whole cooperation” says Antti Kurvinen, the Centre Party’s Parliamentary Group leader, and one of the principal architects of Rinne’s demise along with party leader Katri Kulmuni. The Centre Party says they need to work to rebuild trust, and know they also must “look into the mirror” to reflect on their own role in six months of poor communication and worsening relations inside the government that lead to Antti Rinne’s downfall. Read more of Kurvinen’s frank assessment of what happened last week, who is to blame and how to go about restoring trust in Finnish politics at our original story here.
Finland gets a new government today
Finland will get a new government today and it looks very much like the old government. President Sauli Niinistö will arrive at parliament’s plenary session this afternoon where he will appoint Sanna Marin as the new prime minister. Marin will lead a five-party coalition government headed by her own Social Democrat Party, the Centre Party, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party – and they’ve agreed to stick to the same government programme which was adopted in the spring after a month of negotiations.
Large majority of Finns support EU membership
A clear majority of Finns say they consider Finland’s membership of the European Union a good thing. According to a recent Eurobarometer study some 69% of Finns said they felt this way. It’s one percent below the same survey carried out in June, but still well above the EU average of 59%. Support for EU membership is highest in Ireland and Luxembourg, with the most negative attitudes in Italy, Czech Republic and the UK. The Finland result is in stark contrast to national politics, where the EU-skeptic Finns Party have been sitting on top of opinion polls for several months now.
Defence Minister meets US, Swedish counterparts in DC
Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) is meeting with his US and Swedish counterparts for talks in Washington DC today. Kaikkonen, Mark Esper and Peter Hultqvist will discuss defence cooperation between the three countries. In May 2018 Finland, Sweden and the USA signed a Tripartite Declaration of Intent on defence cooperation.
Tuesday morning weather
There’s clear skies over a good portion of the country on Tuesday morning – but in the capital city region, along parts of the south coast going east and into Lappeenranta expect some wet snow or sleet to fall as temperatures dip just below freezing. Expect strong winds and rain or snow moving into the country on Wednesday however, when the weather becomes more unsettled. Temperatures this morning range from -20°C in Enontekiö to -1°C in Hanko.