Politicians adapt traditional May Day speeches to the online new normal

Party leaders stuck to familiar themes, with a focus on the coronavirus crisis.

File picture of Sanna Marin (SDP) in May Day online speech / Credit: Demarit

Finnish politicians traditionally use the May Day holiday to give speeches in their home constituencies, setting out policy ideas or promoting some of their recent parliamentary work.

However with coronavirus restrictions in place this year, many have taken their message online.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) used her speech to encourage people to look to the future, even during a time of crisis. “Our goal of building a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable society has not changed” says Marin.

Left Alliance’s Li Andersson proposed giving €100 to everyone in Finland to help boost the economy; while the Green’s Maria Ohisalo called for welfare reforms.

“This is the moment when welfare state support measures and massive recovery are needed. It is important for us Greens that the subsidies distributed now and in the future do not flow into tax havens or companies that distribute large dividends, but to those who need them the most” said Ohisalo.

From the opposition, the Finns Party’s Jussi Halla-aho used his speech to talk about the impact of globalisation on Finland, and criticised the use of foreign workers in Finnish agriculture.

Halla-aho also criticised the government for the mistakes he says they have made in their handling of the coronavirus crisis.