New Finnish Government Announced, Will Explore NATO Membership

Photo: Sakari Piippo, Finnish Government

Incoming Prime Minister Juha Sipilä announced today that former PM Alexander Stubb will become the his coalition governmnet’s new finance minister and Timo Soini, leader of the eurosceptic Finns party, will become foreign minister.

Soini’s appointment comes as a surprise, as most Finnish pundits predicted that Soini would be appointed finance minister.

Soini made clear that Finland had made a “political choice” to join the EU but also said that the EU requires reform. He said that Finland will remain a friend within the organization.

The incoming foreign minister also said that the government will prepare a report to explore the benefits of NATO membership for Finland. The previous Finnish government’s position was unclear on NATO membership, with former foreign minister, Erikki Tuomioja favouring a policy of Finlandization and appeasement towards Russia, while others in former PM Stubb’s government supported stronger defence cooperation with NATO members.

Soini also said the government will prepare a report in which they will assess the benefits of Nato membership for Finland. This marks a clear change of direction to the previous government, which agreed at its outset in 2011 not to embark on a process of joining the military alliance.

The New Finnish Coalition Government Portfolio Allocations:

Center

  • Juha Sipilä: Prime Minister
  • Minister of Economic Affairs
  • Environment and Transport
  • Family and basic security minister
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • municipal and Reform

The True Finns

  • Timo Soini: Foreign Affairs
  • Justice and the Minister of Labour
  • defense secretary
  • Health and Social Services

Coalition

  • Alexander Stubb: The Minister of Finance
  • Education and Culture
  • Minister of the Interior
  • Foreign Trade and Development

Source: YLE

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