Finnish Political Crisis – PM Threatened

The Finnish Prime Minister is currently the acting President of the European Council and is facing pressure to resign from a very weak Center Party that is currently reeling from a halving of voter support in the polls.

This type of political infighting could not have come at a worse time for Finalnd and for the EU. 

This type of political infighting could not have come at a worse time for Finalnd and for the EU. 

How can the Prime Minister be expected to work effectively on home and EU affairs if his authority is being undermined for domestic political reasons?

The EU is right in the middle of huge upheaval because of the newly appointed leaders; because of the critical negotiations regarding the future EU budget; because of Brexit is looming on the horizon with a failed UK government that appears to be striking out in a crazy manner in all directions; because Trump is attacking China, France, the EU, Nato, and pretty much everything else that does not fill his pockets with gold.

The reasons for open war in Helsinki is because the Minister for International Development failed to stop the board of the Post Office from cutting workers’ wages by 30%! She was sacked over the weekend. 

The PM may have been messy in the manner of handling the matter when informed about her failure top act, but he had made his position clear well beforehand. 

It is already abundantly clear that none of the opposition parties, nor the Center Party that sits with the Social Democrats in government, would have accepted such a decision to reduce wages unilaterally because they all know that a general strike would have been on the table within 5 minutes.

Finland has a labor market with strong centralised unions on both sides of the negotiating table. They run a system of centralised labor contracts, which can run into hundreds of pages and deal with the finer details of the labour market. In most other EU countries these details are handled at the company level. 

Every year or two there are big and complex negotiations going on all night between the employers unions and the trade unions. The government is expected to stand to the side and listen in. It may intervene and add sweeteners by reducing social security payments, pension payments, or taxes, etc. 

In the matter of the Post Office the Prime Minister felt it necessary to intervene directly and broke with tradition when support strikes started to close down the airports and harbours.   

Now the knives are out for what must be described as a petty affair from a political party that carries the epitaph “The Center Party always Deceives”.

The drama will unfold over the next few days and the parties may or may not agree on anything useful – it is still to early to say! Keep watching this space, but do not hold your breath like the Brits waiting for Brexit… 

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