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PRESS: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« on: June 02, 2010, 04:40:38 PM »


This is Yleisradio/Rundradion:

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« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 02:43:46 PM by Finland »
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 03:37:19 AM »
Elections Announced; Nation Awaits Destiny
Helsinki


Interim President Sauli Niinistö announced today that elections would be scheduled for this month, at the earliest, 8th June, in order to determine the makeup of the unicameral parliament and who will fulfil the role of president of the Republic. This announcement was met with political parties clamouring to be registered in time and who immediately began canvassing for votes.

Three main parties are to contest this first election: Niinistö’s own National Coalition Party (NCP Kansallinen Kokoomus), a liberal conservative party who are strongly pro-European; Jutta Urpilainen and the Social Democratic Party (SDP Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue), a centre-left party; and the Centre Party under Matti Vanhanen, a liberal centrist, agrarian party.

Of course, there are notable fringe parties including the Communist Party (SKP) and a growing Green movement headed by Anni Sinnemäki and the Green League. One party that threatens to cause an upset is the Swedish People’s Party that commands strong support among the Swedish minority, particularly on the Åland Islands and along the coast of Ostrobothnia. With such strong, localised support, the SFP is likely to be invited by the winning party to form a coalition government.   

A further problem is caused by the Karelian Question – the territories seized by Russia after the Second World War including Southern Karelia, Petsamo, parts of Salla, and four islands in the Gulf of Finland – which has risen to prominence under the constant campaigning of the Karjalan Liitto (Karelian Association). This sentiment is shared by the right-wing True Finns (Perussuomalaiset) party under Timo Soini, who is actively campaigning for the return of the provinces.  Soini has already threatened to undermine any coalition formed unless an answer to the Question is found.

Identity politics and regionalism aside, the main issue for whoever wins the election is to stabilise a fragile economy and promote growth, while at the same time ensure peaceful relations between both the Swedes and the Russians. However, the answers to these questions are not going to be found easily, owing to the system of proportional representation that guarantees a coalition regardless of the victor.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 02:11:38 AM »
Election Campaign In Full Swing; Early Gains For True Finns
Oulu (Uleåborg)


The election campaign started in earnest today as representatives of the major parties began touring the nation in order to encourage and foster support. The three major parties – SDP, NCP, and CP – all began their campaigns in Helsinki with three mass rallies attracting over 20,000 people each; The True Finns Party also announced their campaign with a rally in Oulu, with a substantial turnout.   

Elections for the Åland Island Lagtinget and the Sami Parliament (Saamelaiskäräjät) are also scheduled on the same day as the national elections. Political parties on Åland are slightly different to those on the mainland, with a much more introverted political outlook. The party so far with the most support seems to be the Liberalerna på Åland (Liberals for Åland).   

Already early exit polls conducted by YLE suggest substantial gains for the SDP but owing to the voting system inherent in Finland, there will be a coalition government formed and that is to where the SDP strategists are already looking with worry. The True Finns Party is fast becoming an important fourth party, with support strong enough to rival the lagging Centre Party. Timo Soini has already began formulating the necessary deals to ensure his party are a part of any coalition, with the insistence that any government of which he is a part tackles the Karelian Question. This brand of Finnish nationalism has come as a shock to the established political parties, all of whom in some form wish for greater coöperation in European affairs. The particular shock is that the many Finns seem to share the sentiments of Soini which, according to Jutta Urpilainen of the SDP, threatens the established practice of harmonised relations between both Russia and Sweden.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 01:12:16 PM »
Election Update: SDP/True Finns Coalition Likely
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


As the Election Day moves closer, a clearer picture as to who will make up the first independent Finnish parliament is evident, and what it will mean for Finland in the future. With less than a week to go until polls open nationwide, opinion polls continue to show the True Finns Party gaining enough votes to force the SDP into an unlikely coalition alongside the Swedish People’s Party.  Bankrolled in large by the Karelian Association, Timo Soini continues to call for the return of the Viipuri and Petsamo regions, with a veiled call for the entirety of eastern Karelia. While the major parties adhere to the Treaty of Tartu (1920) as the guideline for the Finnish boarders, none of the parties have openly demanded the return of the two regions in the hope to normalise relations with Russia.

However, the calls for a “Greater Finland” or “Suur Suomi” are not the only attraction in the True Finns to which many young people are drawn; Soini himself is a charismatic man who, while not promising all the answers, advocates a larger welfare state and greater government protection of industry and regulation of the economy. This idea of government protection is an ideal that resonates with the young, many of whom can still remember the chaotic situation that came after the Russians withdrew, causing mass inflation and substantial unemployment.

 The Social Democrats currently seem to be the likely leader in such a coalition owing to the similar economic and social policies that the party shares with the True Finns. Both parties advocate a restraint of the free market in order to harmonise wealth distribution, and avoid a repeat of the events after the Russian withdrawal. Jutta Urpilainen, candidate for prime minister for the SDP, has denounced the National Coalition Party’s policies of reducing the welfare state because “The services organized by the state and the local authorities increase equality and welfare in the society. The provision of public services is a responsibility of the society.”  Obviously the young and the elderly are opposed to the cuts the NCP plan to make to the welfare system, something that Sauli Niinistö has called a “necessary measure if Finland is to be solvent…”

Jutta Urpilainen has called on Soini to stand together with her in order to “safeguard the provisions that Finnish society needs and deserves” and has proposed a committee-level plan to reassess the boarder situation should Soini join with the SDP in a coalition against the NCP.   
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 02:36:34 AM by Finland »
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 02:58:03 AM »
Election Update: Polls Open
Helsinik (Helsingfors)


At 9:00am this morning across the nation, the polls opened as crowds had been gathering since late last night to ensure a place in line. This election has been a closely contended one, with all major parties vying for the necessary majority of sixty-five percent that would give them overall control, without the need for a coalition. However, this seems unlikely as already early exit polls from Helsinki and Espoo show the SDP tying with the True Finns in a tight race.

“Whoever wins this election needs to ensure that the welfare of the Finnish people and the privileges that they enjoy are maintained,” says a young student at Helsinki University, a common theme that particularly the young seem to share – the extensive welfare system must be maintained to protect those less fortunate from the free market. This common sentiment has enabled both the True Finns and the SDP to make substantial gains ahead of the NCP, whose fiscally responsible policies call for a reduction in “unnecessary benefits”.

YLE will continue to bring live coverage of the election results as each region declares throughout the day. 
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 09:39:00 AM »
Election Results In; SPD/True Finns Coalition; SFP Gains
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


The results of the parliamentary and presidential elections have been announced: the Social Democrat Party and the True Finns will enter government as a coalition, with support from the Swedish People’s Party while the National Coalition Party was relegated to the Opposition alongside a reduced Centre Party.  However, in the presidential elections the National Coalition Party retained the presidency, meaning that Interim President Sauli Niinistö becomes the first elected President, though with curtailed powers in line with the Constitution’s definitions.

Jutta Urpilainen, who will be the first female prime minister, appeared in public outside her Helsinki home alongside her husband and children, to give a formal acceptance speech. She also announced that Timo Soini would become Deputy Prime Minister, with other key ministerial positions will also be held by True Finns’ MPs as part of a coalition deal made earlier today. Soini accepted the offer in a televised speech from his home in Tampere. The composition rest of the cabinet is as follows: of the fourteen posts, four are to be held by the True Finns, seven by the SDP, and three by the SFP. The True Finns Party though holds the key positions of Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Finance, and Deputy Prime Minister.

This new government has many challenges to tackle in its first term, particularly the economy that is still suffering in part from the inflation and stagnation after the Russian withdrawal. Alongside economic problems is both parties’ promise not to reduce welfare benefits, something that Niinistö condemned as “risking Finland’s financial safety…” There is also a delicate balance to be kept in European politics, with the two rival camps led by Russia and the Latin Union respectively, something previous Finnish governments failed to do without attracting criticism of Finlandization, ensuring foreign policy does not conflict with one’s powerful neighbours.  However, one of the key aims of the True Finns, and something about which Urpilainen promised a review, is the restoration of the border according to the 1920 Treaty of Tartu, something that promises problems with Russia.

The first session of parliament opens in two days time, when Urpilainen will give her inaugural address along with President Niinistö and begin debating draft bills, the first of which is an economic recovery aimed at safeguarding Gasum from Russian interests, and expanding Finland’s nuclear power capabilities. In the meantime, the new cabinet will meet and discuss the aims for the first few months of government.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 02:35:59 AM by Finland »
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 05:16:09 AM »
Second YYA Treaty Signed; Viipuri Returns To Finland
Pietari (St. Petersburg)


Landing at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport just this past hour, Minister for Foreign Affairs Paula Lehtomäki brought the confirmation that the Second YYA Treaty of friendship, coöperation, and mutual assistance between Finland and Russia (now the Holy Orthodox Empire) had been signed in St. Petersburg earlier that morning. Disembarking from her private aircraft, she held the Treaty high as reporters clamoured to photograph her.  “This new YYA Treaty not only secures Finland’s independence and freedoms, but also and importantly, creates a new friendship between ourselves and the Russians,” Lehtomäki said to reporters at the airport.

The Treaty ensures Finland remains neutral in European affairs unless an attack via Finland is launched against Russia to which Finland must defend herself and the Russians.  Further clauses create a joint Russo-Finnish search-and-rescue agency in the Baltic, which will also jointly operate customs searches. However, the most important clause, representing a major triumph for the new administration is the return of Viipuri (Vyborg) Province to Finnish jurisdiction, but with the cost of the use of Eckerö (Ekkerö) in the Åland Islands as a Russian military base, circumventing the demilitarization of the islands, which has been in place since the 1920s.

While the True Finns and the SDP support the treaty, the NCP have declared that while the return of Viipuri is an important step in restoring Finnish territorial integrity, “that the people of Eckerö should have been consulted before signing away their home…” according to the leader of the NCP, Jyrki Katainen, earlier today. Further criticisms come declaring Prime Minister Urpilainen as an advocate of Finlandization, shunning vital contacts and relations with the rest of Europe in order not to antagonise the Russians. The NCP in particular see it as a covert way in which Russian influence can unduly enter Finnish politics, something Urpilainen flatly denies. She responded to these criticisms by saying, “Finland must remain neutral in Europe’s unnecessary conflicts and with this treaty, we can retain our independence and still engage in friendly relations with Russia and other European nations.”

The Prime Minister will visit the newly liberated territories later this week, when she will announce the new governor of Viipuri Region in a visit to Viipuri and Sortavala.     
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 05:19:22 AM by Finland »
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 06:01:55 AM »
Nuclear Power Expansion; Green League Protests
Eurajoki (Euraåminne)


In an early morning session of parliament, the bill outlining the expansion of the Finnish nuclear power programme was passed with a majority. The bill outlines the expansion of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant from two boiling water reactors, to two BWRs and two pressurised water reactors, meaning four nuclear reactors on site. This increases the total electrical output to over 2,000 megawatts. The CEO of Pohjolan Voima, the owner and operator of all Finland’s nuclear power plants, Timo Rajala praised the planned expansion, saying, “This goes a long way to ensure Finland is self-reliant in energy production”.

 Further expansion of the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant in Loviisa (Lovisa) is also planned with upgrades to the 1970s reactors to make them more efficient and productive, alongside the building of a third reactor – similar to the pressurised water reactors at Olkiluoto.

However, these far-reaching plans have caused concerns, particularly from the Green League and local residents’ committees anxious about waste disposal – a factor not discussed when the plan was approved though both Fortum and PVO already have waste disposal operations on Olkiluoto Island. The Green League voted in their entirety against the plans, and Anni Sinnemäki vowed to protest and block the building programme “until all alternative energy sources have been considered and exhausted”.  A protest march from Rauma (Raumo) to the construction site, led by Sinnemäki herself, is planned for later in the week.

Despite concerns, emphasised by the Green League, Timo Rajala, CEO of Pohjolan Voima Oyj declared nuclear power “the safest, most efficient, and cleanest alternative to oil and gas, ensuring energy independence”.  PVO shares climbed twelve percent as Rajala accepted the contract to run the power plants while the shares of Areva, the company to build the plants, also climbed ten percent.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 11:15:38 AM »
Finnic Peoples' League Announced
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


Timo Soini alongside representatives from Estonia, Karelia, Ingria, Livonia, and the Finnish minorities in both Sweden and Norway announced the creation of the Finnic Peoples’ League at a ceremony in Helsinki earlier this afternoon.

The ceremony, held at the Main Building of the University of Helsinki, which was arrayed with the flags of the participating regions and countries, was well attended with over 1,500 people the majority of whom though were Finns. Soini, leader of the True Finns Party, together with leaders of the various ethnic groups gave a series of speeches aimed at exhorting unity between “the Finnic peoples all of whom share a common history and present”. The most rousing speech was given by Tõnis Uluots, one of the Estonian representatives, who said in part:

“The Finnic peoples have long been separated by those foreign nations who ruled over us. Indeed that is still the case today so I call upon us – the Finnic people – all of us, be we Estonian, Finnish, Karelian, Livonian – to unite as one for the liberation, peacefully, of our land, our isamaa!”

The FPL as it is to be abbreviated has declared its intentions purely peaceful and aims to liberate the lands in question solely by peaceful protests, demonstrations, and persistence. Prime Minister Urpilainen gave her support to the League in a telephone conversation. 
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 04:55:31 AM »
Emergency Budget Announced
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


The Minister of Finance, Eero Heinäluoma of the True Finns’ Party, announced today the first emergency budget that aims to encourage economic growth and ensure that Finland will be able to maintain an unprecedented three-point-four percent quarterly growth rate.

Heinäluoma announced the budget with a series of cost-cutting measures directed at public sector pay and pensions, both of which currently cost the state over 1.2 billion markka every year. Public sector workers will receive a 'pensions’ levy', which would require them to contribute far more if they want to continue to enjoy the benefits of their schemes. Charging an extra 2.5 per cent of salary in pension contributions will raise about £3.2billion a year. Effectively, such a move would be a pay cut for more than six million employed by the state.

However, this proposal has met with substantial opposition from members of the government, particularly within his own True Finns’ Party that inherently opposes public sector pay cuts. Though traditionally opposed to cutting welfare state benefits, the SDP have understood the necessity of cutting benefits in order to reduce a severe deficit and to foster private sector growth, by offering tax breaks and cuts to small businesses. Again, the True Finns’ opposed that measure, calling for an expansion of the welfare state at the expense of the rich, offering a safety net for the disadvantaged.

However, Soini managed to include a series of taxes aimed at the top five percent: those who earn of 500,000mk per annum, by increasing income tax in that bracket, thus the budget passed the parliamentary vote. The consternation over the budget, particularly by the left wing of the coalition proves that Urpilainen has her work cut out if she wants to govern moderately without alienating the SFP or the centre of her own party. 
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 08:45:31 AM »
Right Wing Party Revives Spectre of Fascism
Lapua (Lappo)


Long since regarded as a symbol of an age consigned to memory, the right-wing of Finnish politics has been silent since the end of the Second World War, but now, amid the flourishing of Finnish democracy, the fascist right has re-emerged. The Patriotic People’s Movement (IKL, in Finnish: Isänmaallinen Kansanliike, Swedish: Fosterländska Folkrörelsen) has reformed under the leadership of Erkki Räikkönen in the former hometown of the IKL.

The party has already published its manifesto, which proclaims ardent nationalism including the return of Eastern Karelian and the inclusion of Ingria and Estonia into the Republic, strong anti-communism and anti-socialism, along with hostility towards the Swedish language. Already proving a shock to the established political parties, the IKL has already drawn substantial support from the urban workers, agricultural workers, and those in lower income brackets, which has alarmed not only the traditional anti-Right parties – SDP, VL – but also the True Finns whose monopoly on populist nationalism has been broken.

In a press conference in Lapua, Räikkönen announced, “the IKL is able to participate in Finnish democracy because the people to whom the IKL now appeals have been ignored for too long. Mainstream politics has alienated them and left them disadvantaged, but the IKL is ready to answer them with a promise for a better Finland – a Finland united with Karelia, Ingria, and Estonia.”

The IKL plans to contest a series of seats in the north and west in a series of by-elections that threaten the SDP-SFP-True Finns coalition
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 02:10:35 AM »
Finland Qualifies For World Cup
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


Finnish football fans were overjoyed last night as Finland successfully qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Israel, the team’s first major appearance at a tournament since 1950. Though without much experience at competing in a major tournament, Coach Stuart Baxter is confident that the Finnish team will perform well, citing their enthusiasm and hard work the team have put in to qualifying.

Baxter has also called upon the nation to rally behind the Finnish football team, despite football not enjoying the same popularity as ice hockey, currently Finland’s biggest and most successful sport. However, the fact that Finland has qualified for the World Cup has been enough to increase support for the game, with Prime Minister Urpilainen promising a new investment programme to ensure the next generation of Finnish players have the support necessary.

As the team make their last preparations at the training ground, team captain, Sami Hyypiä said to YLE “That Finland has been able to progress to a major tournament is credited to the hard work of the players, the coaching staff, and the dedication that the fans show in supporting us every day. Thus we are confident of success and will play our very best.”

Follow all World Cup matches on YLE and online at www.yle.fi/urheilu.     
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 03:59:41 AM »
Football Friendly Fires Up Fans
Jerusalem


Finnish football fans have arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate the first international match that Finland will play against Austria, before the group stages of the tournament begin. Over 4,500 fans have descended on the city, eager to support the Finnish team in an important test for manager Stuart Baxter, who has promised success at the World Cup.

The Finnish team have checked into their hotel and are going through key routines to be played against the tournament favourites, Austria, who continue to be on form. Captain Sami Hyypiä said in a press conference that, “the team have trained well and are confident of success.”

Manager Stuart Baxter has announced the team line-up for the game, with Jonatan Johansson and Jari Litmanen both playing up front supported by a four-man midfield. Problems selecting a goalkeeper meant that Otto Fredrikson will play instead of Peter Enckelman as he recovers from a thigh injury.

YLE will bring you live coverage of the game along with post-match interviews and reviews, and a summary of the group stages tomorrow.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2010, 07:30:09 AM »
Despite Loss, Finns Confident
Jerusalem


In a closely fought game that could have seen far more goals, the Huuhkajat were defeated 1-0 by an Austrian team, whose performance was distinctly lacklustre, considering how they are the tournament favourites.

The Finnish team spent the first half on attack, with six major chances successfully cleared, yet despite constant attacking, the Austrian defence would not yield. At halftime, two substitutes were made by the Finnish team who suffered a substantial reversal in possession as the Austrians went on the attack and easily out-played a bewildered team. Despite being out-performed, the Finnish defence held firm until the last quarter when Otto Fredrikson was caught unawares and the Austrians scored a thunderous goal, muting the once-raucous Finnish fans.

There were attempts on goal by both teams afterwards but Finland’s fate was already sealed. Despite this early loss, both the fans and players remain confident that success will come in the upcoming group stages. Manager Stuart Baxter in his post-match interview said:

“We’re still confident that we can win our next game. Our players did well and we were unlucky not to score a goal. I am sure that our players can perform better than today, and win. We as a team stand behind Otto [Fredrikson] because he is a good keeper, we will train harder and I am sure he will perform better.”

For the next game, Baxter aims to keep the same team and formation, which this unlucky defeat notwithstanding has performed admirably. Although Fredrikson is a competent keeper, his inexperience at the international level shows, a solution to the goalkeeping problem needs to be sought as Enckelman is still not back from injury.

All of Finland’s group games will be broadcast live on YLE-TV2 – first place for sports and entertainment.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 04:03:06 AM »
Finnish Football Team Reach Semi-Finals
Jerusalem


Football fever has overrun Finland as the Finnish team’s excellent run in the World Cup continues, placing the novice team in the semi-finals for the very first time.

After a thrilling final qualifier against Stellaland, in which Jonatan Johansson scored twice to ensure Finland earned a place in the quarterfinals against the winner of Group A, Helvetica. Peter Enckleman again proved himself an excellent goalkeeper as he maintained the Finnish lead, saving several determined shots from an increasingly desperate Stellan team.   The final score was 2-0 to Finland and the team progressed onwards to the quarterfinal.

In a sell-out quarterfinal match against Helvetica, the Finnish team excelled beyond all expectations as once again Jonatan Johansson scored alongside teammate Jari Litmanen, who despite his age has proved to be still agile enough to compete on the world stage. The score should have been higher but thanks to a determined Helvetica goalkeeper, the score remained 2-0 to Finland. The Finnish remained long after the final whistle blew; cheering their team as they completed two laps of honour around the pitch.

Finland has now advanced to the semi-final, the furthest any Finnish football team has progressed and the nation is euphoric. The semi-final match against the winner from the Austria-Israel match is guaranteed to be exciting and with the whole nation expecting, Manager Stuart Baxter knows he must get the very best out of his team.

In a press conference at the team’s training ground, manager Stuart Baxter said,

“We know that so much is riding on this game and yet we also know that whoever our opponents are, they are going to be one of the best teams still in the tournament. Therefore, we cannot afford to be cocky or proud of our accomplishments thus far, when we know there is still a greater prize to be won. We are very happy to know that back home the whole nation is behind us and we want to do them proud.”
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 12:43:05 PM »
Coalition Collapses: True Finns Resign
Turku (Åbo)


In a press conference in Turku earlier today Timo Soini formally announced the True Finns’ resignation from the SDP-led coalition, owing to what Soini called “differences over where to lead Finland and how best to accomplish those aims”.

The move was received with shock in Helsinki, the SDP and SFP both caught unawares, leaving Prime Minister Urpilainen to announce that while “the coalition has received some unwelcome news, it shall continue to govern until elections are rescheduled.” Privately, the Prime Minister is said to be furious at the betrayal by her coalition allies, her party now left at the mercy of the National Coalition and Centre Parties, who could easily derail Urpilainen’s social welfare programmes.

This shock resignation means that the President Niinistö must call new parliamentary elections by as early as 3rd August, while the SDP will continue as the head of a minority government. 

With new elections thus announced, the main threat to the established political parties comes from the extreme left and right – the SKDL and the IKL, both of which look to gain at the expense of the SDP. The SKDL, which the Finnish Communist Party leads, has already promised to violently contest the election and leader Yrjö Hakanen has vowed to “smash the reactionary and capitalist forces of the IKL and pronounce a workers’ triumph”. In a counter statement the leader of the IKL, Erkki Räikkönen spoke of the “need to defeat the growing threat of leftist thought that threatens Finland.”

With both extremist parties rapidly escalating their war of words, the fear now is of political violence, echoing the aftermath of the bloody Civil War in which thousands died. Prime Minister Urpilainen called for “compromise and understanding, emphatically stating that violence would severely damage Finland and play into the hands of her enemies abroad.”
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2010, 04:08:31 AM »
Violence Across Nation As Election Announced
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


President Niinistö announced today that parliamentary elections would be held to determine a new government, in the wake of the shock collapse of the SDP-led coalition, on 20th August. Furthermore, the emergency government led by Prime Minister Urpilainen will continue until that date. 

This news was met with mixed reactions across the nation but always with violence – something Finnish politics has not seen for nearly a century. The violence began in Helsinki as the President made his announcement by television, the timing coinciding with an SDKL march by factory workers airing grievances over pay, which soon escalated into clashes with the police, leaving three dead and fifteen wounded – one policeman was among the dead. Somehow gaining access to weaponry, the instigators of the riot continued to harass the police as they tried to contain the angry workers.

Members of the IKL paramilitary organisation, Sinimustat (Blue-Blacks), also armed, soon arrived and the riot became politicised, leaving a further nine dead.  President Niinistö was evacuated from the presidential palace to the outskirts of the city, as riot police and armed soldiers were dispatched to contain the fighting. By midday, the fighting had been broken up but left twelve dead and thirty-five wounded.

Further fighting broke out in Turku (Åbo), Oulu (Uleåborg), and Tampere (Tammerfors) between radicalised members of the SKP and the IKL in all instances. The police managed to contain all the outbreaks of violence but not without casualties.

Prime Minister Urpilainen has threatened to suspend the SDKL and IKL from competing in the elections should any more violence occur but without the necessary majority to pass an emergency powers act, it seems this might be a hollow threat.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2010, 01:31:51 PM »
Journalist Murdered; Political Violence Increases
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


Late last night, police were called to an apartment in downtown Helsinki after reports of shots being fired. There they discovered the body of Jaakko Korhonen, a reporter for the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, and his girlfriend Liisa Laine, a waitress. Both had been shot twice in the chest and head, while the apartment was ransacked, with money and electronics stolen.

In the subsequent investigation, it has been revealed that Korhonen was working on an exposé of the illicit connections the IKL had with high-ranking officers in the armed forces. Further connections were made with Korhonen’s ties to the SDP; in particular, he wrote a number of editorials praising the coalition government and denouncing the return of the IKL. The IKL’s paramilitary wing, Sinimustat, claimed responsibility but did not divulge the names of those who killed Kohonen and Laine.

The suppression of free speech by violence was unknown in Finland until this act, and raises new fears for the safety of Finnish democracy, particularly as the IKL provoke further clashes with the SKP and their allies. In Uuras (Trångsund), a dockworkers march led by the SKP was ambushed by Sinimustat members who in the ensuing violence severely injured three though suffered four injuries themselves. Matters have not been helped by the increasingly volatile rhetoric of Yrjö Hanaken, leader of the SDKL, who has vowed to make the ‘streets run red with blood’ in order to defeat the IKL.

In response to this, Prime Minister Urpilainen has promised tougher sentences for IKL members caught flouting the law yet with increasing numbers of judges and court employees either members of the IKL or on their payroll, it is yet to be seen what effect Urpilainen’s tough talk will have.   
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2010, 07:31:16 AM »
Breaking News: Prime Minister Abducted
Helsinki


Late last night in Helsinki, it was discovered that Prime Minister Jutta Urpilainen was missing from her house in Kruununhaka, apparently not returning from her evening run in the Esplanadi Park, from where it is believed she was kidnapped.

Both Helsinki City Police and Suojelupoliisi (SUPO) officers arrived on the scene of the abduction to discover that her two bodyguards had been shot dead and tyre tracks belonging to an unknown vehicle, probably a van or large SUV.  There has been no ransom demand and no major organisation has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Her husband, Juha Mustonen , on behalf of her family released this statement:
“We are all very worried for Jutta’s safety and we ask that whoever took her please release her back to her family. We are willing to pay a ransom demand and ask for her safe return. We do not want an escalation of violence and instead ask for her peaceful return. The children sorely miss their mother and I miss my wife. I ask that these people who took her turn themselves in and end this nightmare.”

Politically, the kidnapping of a prime minister has far-reaching ramifications, particularly as an election was recently scheduled. Since the party to which the deputy Prime Minister belonged resigned from government, the premiership falls to Stefan Willan of the Swedish People’s Party (SFP), who has pledged all possible support in order to find the kidnappers. He also released this statement at a press conference:
“With the kidnapping of a prime minister, these criminals show that they hold the law and the people of Finland in true contempt. No expense will be spared and all support is offered in order to find Prime Minister Urpilainen and restore common decency to Finland.”

President Niinistö has refused to reschedule the elections and has called on the major parties to show strength, “in such testing times so that in times of war, the laws do not fall silent.”  The President also received a message from Yrjö Hanaken, leader of the SDKL, pledging support against the IKL, who are growing more violent each passing day. Rumours of a popular front comprising the SKP, SYP, SDP, and the SFP in order to resist the IKL have not been confirmed by the SDP or the President but neither have they been denied.

 This abduction comes at a testing time for the SDP and their coalition government, besieged on all sides by radical extremists of the left and right, and suffering substantial declines in the opinion polls because of unpopular domestic policies. The right-wing IKL has clashed with other political parties and groups in running street battles, leaving many wounded and even dead. The growing fear is of a similar episode to the Finnish Civil War, in which thousands died in politically motivated bloodshed.
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Re: YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Company
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 09:44:03 AM »
SDP/SDKL Alliance Against IKL; Lapland Declares For IKL
Helsinki (Helsingfors)


Marking a milestone in Finnish political history, the formation of an emergency popular front comprising the comprised the Social Democratic Party, Swedish People’s Party, Åland Social Democrats, Finnish Communist Party, and the Socialist Unity Party under the joint command of SFP leader Stefan Wilan and SKL leader Yrjö Hanaken was announced today, in order to combat the IKL.

While the SDP-SFP coalition will continue to government Finland day-to-day, the Kansanrintama is strictly an anti-Fascist front though the implementation of certain policies will see the SKP consulted.

The popular front marks the first time since the Civil War that the leftist political parties united to stop a threat to Finnish democracy, and Stefan Wilan did not fail to capitalise on the war-like scenario facing him and the Popular Front (Kansanrintama).

Faced with the abduction of the Prime Minister and now unrest in Lapland, Wilan’s show of strength could not have come any later. Police and soldiers were dispatched to Rovaneimi and Tornio (Torneå) in order to combat the violence. Running street battles with IKL paramilitary groups ensued, leaving over fifteen dead and thirty wounded, including six soldiers. Army units stationed in Lapland openly mutinied as the Lapland Government declared its support for the IKL government, now established in Rovaneimi. 

This lack of support from the Lappish government already undermines the Kansanrintama, leaving without the support of the largest region and politically disadvantaged. Wilan has dispatched further soldiers to regain control of the region but with the IKL firmly in control, Wilan must also hope other region do not jump ship as well.
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