Finland. At the beginning of the year, a debate was held on Finland’s role in the Second World War. Historians proposed a commission of inquiry to clarify how things went for thousands of civilians and prisoners of war who were extradited from Finland to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, respectively.
Land grief was announced in March, after 23 young people were killed in a nightly bus accident in central Finland. The youngsters were on their way to a ski holiday when the bus collided with a truck, whose seven tonnes of heavy paper rolls were thrown into the bus and over its passengers.
In March, alcohol taxes were reduced by an average of 33% in an attempt to halt Finns’ purchases in the low-price country of Estonia after its EU entry on May 1. But after a few months, political demands came for the tax to be raised again. Although the tax reduction had reduced the import of alcohol from Estonia, at the same time increased alcohol consumption, increased drunkenness, more drunk driving and more reported rapes and sexual abuse of children.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Finland is 5,540,731 people in 2020. Former Prime Minister and Center Leader Anneli Jäätteenmäki was acquitted in court in March of charges of incitement and assisting in breach of professional secrecy. Jäätteenmäki, as opposition leader in 2003, would have persuaded the president’s adviser to release secretly stamped material. The information was used by Jäätteenmäki in the election movement before the parliamentary elections, which led to the center leader becoming prime minister. When the scandal was discovered, Jäätteenmäki was forced to resign.
In April, the government decided to abolish the requirement for examinations in Swedish in the Finnish-language schools’ graduation from the autumn term. At the same time, tests were also conducted in Finnish on a voluntary basis for Swedish-speaking students. Finnish-Swedish politicians were worried about the decision, which they saw as a step towards abolishing Finland’s official bilingualism.
In June, 32-year-old Jyrki Katainen was elected new leader of the bourgeois Socialist Party. Katainen explained that he had a lot in common with the Swedish Moderator’s chairman Fredrik Reinfeldt.
The election to the European Parliament in June became a revenge for Anneli Jäätteenmäki, who was forced to resign as prime minister and party leader the year before. She became the election’s biggest voting magnet and took one of Finland’s 14 seats in the European Parliament.
In September, the government approved new guidelines for security and defense policy. Finland thus accepts the international agreement on the ban on personal mines, but the ban will only take effect in 2012 and the mines will be destroyed by 2016. Finland continues to develop its defense as an unalloyed country, but the possibility of joining NATO remains. Cuts are expected within the defense.
In the municipal elections in October, the Social Democrats, the Socialist Party and the Swedish People’s Party advanced in the country as a whole, while the Center Party, the Left Union and the Green League went backwards.
Finnish flagship business Nokia lost market shares during the year and the price fell on the stock exchange. Although the company was not in crisis, it could not contribute to Finland’s economic growth in the same way as before. The government budget for 2005 included a reduction in corporate tax from 29 to 26%. The unemployment rate for the year was calculated at 8.8%.
It was thanks to Kekkonen’s personal efforts that the eastward relations stabilized and that the agricultural party government got Finland into EFTA in 1961 as an associate member. This development culminated with the signing of a cooperation agreement with the EC in 1973. The agreement was first ratified in 1974 at the same time as a cooperation agreement with COMECON. At the same time, negotiations were also started to increase the exchange of goods with the small socialist countries, and laws were passed to seek to neutralize the harmful effects of cooperation with the West. All this was a sign that the domestic political situation in Finland has changed dramatically.
Participation in Western European cooperation accelerated the development of new industrial branches. In the 1950’s, wood processing products’ share of exports was still approx. 75%. Two decades later, it had fallen to approx. 45%. The share of the metal industry grew from approx. 10 to approx. 40% and the “other” industry increased to approx. 20%. The scientific-technical development also increased the specialization and thus the interdependencies within the industry. expressed by the old export monopolies becoming groups spanning several industries.
An industrialized and specialized production was also needed in agriculture. The changes in industry and agriculture were closely linked to a strong migration within the country, and with strong economic growth concentrated in southern Finland. New housing, transport, planning, day care, etc. problems were created, while the position of the outskirts was deteriorating. The changes that have taken place in society are reflected by figures: In 1950, the primary occupations employed 36% of the population, while the corresponding figure in 1975 had fallen to 15%. For the industry, the figures were 28% and 35%, for the service and other tertiary industries 25% and 50%.