Three Days’ Political Turmoil in Finland
I am writing this in a train heading for Tampere, where the Greens in Finland will have there the annual Party Congress. But that will not, probably, be anything like a turmoil, even if we will elect a new chair after the 6 years’ era of Ville Niinistö.
The real turmoil happened during and after the corresponding Party Congress of the racist and anti-Europe party of True Finns, one of the three parties in the Government.
The latter congress elected as the chair Mr. Jussi Halla-aho, a MEP and an extremist even by the yardstick of the Party. He had announced already before the vote that he would lead the Party from Brussels and would not assume a minister post if he would be chosen for the chair. What was even worse, all elected three vice-chairs represented the same fraction and views.
The other two Government parties, Center Party (former Farmer Party) and right wing Conservatives requested for a meeting with a new chair, in order to discuss “the values” of the True Finns after an election like this, and in particular Mr. Halla-Aho’spossibilities of daily co-operation from Brussels with the other two chairs.
The result of this discourse was that a government crisis was announced – Center Party and the Conservatives rejected the possibility to continue in the same Government with the radically changed True Finns. Two smaller Parties were preliminary asked to join the Government.
In order to re-organize the Government the former Government must first resign, by a decision of the President. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä was already on the way to President’s summer residence when he received shocking news: the Parliamentary Group of True Finns split in two. Those promoting the co-operation in the Government, naturally including all the five Ministers of True Finns and 15 other members of the Group had established a new Parliamentary Group, called for the moment a New Alternative (sic!). And they were willing to continue the work of the Government.
The Prime Minister’s car made a U-turn, and he did not meet the President at all. And so everything was in order in Finland! Now the press and the internet are full of conspiracy theories: all this was a plot to force the True Finns (or in this case the fraction) to be humble (and quiet) members, not causing anymore the trouble they have caused for the last two years.
But the real reason why I’m writing this is the result of the latest poll of our major daily paper Helsingin Sanomat. The question made to 1080 people between 18 to 74 years (sic! again – next year they will not be interested on my opinion anymore!) was: which Parties they were likely to vote if the election was held today. Several people mentioned more than one Party – therefore the sum of percentages is almost 200. The surprising result for us was that the Greens (brown pillars) is the most favored Party! The blue pillars show the results for the voters of True Finns, and therefore the pillar for Greens is low.
For explanation: keskusta = center, kokoomus = conservatives, perussuomalaiset = true finns, uusi vaihtoehto = new alternative, sdp = social democrats, vasemmistoliitto = socialists, rkp = Swedish party, kristillisdemokraatit = Christian democrats, last three: other or no opinion.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, 2017
Senior Financial Empowerment Act
Members of the European Networking of Green Seniors (ENGS) were present on the Global Green Conference in Liverpool on 28 march to 2 April 2017. They exchange their experiences with other countries about caring elder people and how to come up to defend the senior rights in society.
They also participated with the delegates of the Greens of the European countries on the social pillar on social rights; viewing from an age perspective.
A resolution for the European Parliament was elaborated and amendment. A final text was voted. But ENGS and many other participants want to going further on with this resolution and work in groups to make it better and stronger. So they think that both, decision makers and citizens, will have to shape new avenues in terms of life-long education, conditions governing the transition from working age to retirement, the funding of pension systems, but also on solutions that enable our senior citizens to live longer at home or in Senior Homes, in their communities of choice.
The board of the European Green Seniors, who is new since half 2016, worked also on his own program and activities and will help develop age related questions to put it on the European agenda. Also they will support initiatives of their members to put questions on the table of local governments.
On the photo: the board of ENGS: Tony Cooreman (Flanders/Belgium), Anette Muggenthaler (Germany), Vivianne Gunnarson (Sweden), Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel (Austria), Frank Hauser (Germany), Reino Lampinen (Finland).
Commenting on the 60th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome, European Party Co-Chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
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European Green Council Paris 2012 – but always up to date
Demografie-Conference Poetry Slam from Svenja Gräfen
City Council Vienna, Budget Discussion, 12 December 2016
EUROPE Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel
A week ago yesterday, something happened, the importance of which may only become apparent in a few years.
The Austrian population made a choice and thus took a decision which was noted all over the world.
Politics during the last months had been characterized by an almost unstoppable rise of right populist and extreme right parties and by so-called ‘anger votes’ at referenda, which quite often left behind them a ‘political pile of broken glass’.
But on December 4, something happened, that seems like a fairy tale, considering the events worldwide: A small people in Central Europe defies the tendency noted everywhere and clearly rebuffs rightwing populism and demagogics!