The Prime Minister has decided to back down after one week of labour strikes by meeting the unions and agreeing on a few simple changes that he could have done weeks ago instead of creating losses for industry and cause inconveniences for many people with young children.
It is no wonder that this present government enjoys the lowest poll rating ever recorded in Finland.
The PM has agreed to new conditions that make it slightly easier for all companies to fire staff for misbehaviour while at the same time shortening the period from 90 days to 60 days after which a fired worker can receive unemployment benefits. The original proposal that caused the strikes was limited to tiny companies (less than 10 staff) and has now been changed to cover all companies! The unions did not want employees in these small companies to be at greater risk of being fired than those folk working in large companies. The changes are insignificant and will be challenged in the courts by lawyers for years.
Although the changes to his proposals are not that significant the fact that he consulted and agreed with the unions is a big step that he should have done before.
The strikes have been called off and now the Prime Minister will slowly walk into his forest licking his wounds, from which he is unlikely to recover.
The Greens have still not decided to who will be their new leader but a few strong names have been put forward. The Greens need to get their house in order quickly because the next election is already in April 2019, and that is just 6 months away.
At this stage it looks quite likely that there will be a coalition between the Social Democrats, the Conservatives and the Greens. The Centre Party looks like they will be in opposition, a position they already appear to manage rather well today!
The other parties, with the exception of the Left, appear to be around the 5% level and thus are irrelevant for political significance except to their few and far between party loyalists.
The interesting thing about the next few weeks is, however, not in Finland but in Sweden. The “Bookies” are betting on whether the Swedish Social Democrats can form a coalition government.
So far this has not been possible because either the Right Wing Parties or the Left Wing Parties have always managed to achieve their own majority in Parliament until the Sweden Democrats arrived on the scene to stop this “Self-Evident” Block System!
Something has to change in Stockholm, since none of the incumbent parties on the Left or on the Right want to share their bed with the Sweden Democrats, who have their roots in a Neo-Nazi association!