Monday, April 20, 2015

Changes in Finland

It takes a great deal more knowledge about various aspects of the problem than most commentators have shown to write sensibly about the high tragedy that is going on in the Mediterranean. For the record I do not think it was particularly sensible of Nigel Farage to blame David Cameron not because this is "playing politics with people's lives" but because it was silly and unserious. As to playing politics, he is a politician so he plays politics.

In other words, this blog is for the time being, refraining from comments or analysis except to say that undoubtedly the EU will try to use this ghastly tragedy as a beneficent crisis and attempt to create another single or common policy out of it, though, so far as we know there already are various EU policies that are meant to deal with migration, legal or otherwise; undoubtedly the attempt will bog down in discussions about the policy and how it should benefit the EU until more migrants either appear on our shores or drown off them.

Instead, we turn to the far less dramatic events in Finland that, in the long term, may well have a greater effect on politics across Europe. Sadly, we have had tragedies with migrants before and apart from calls for all sorts of things in the EU and outside it, nothing much has changed.

The Finnish election brought in a new government, or will do just as soon as the coalition can be put together. The winners are the Centre Party, led by businessman and millionaire Juha Sipila.
Sipila's main concern will be to repair the Nordic country's spluttering economy, although the centrist politician told journalists on Sunday evening that “it will be about 10-year project to get Finland in shape again”.

“A combination of cuts, reforms and growth” is needed, he added.
As Tim Worstall points out on the Adam Smith Institute blog,
We think it’s fairly obvious that over the past decade the most successful economy in the eurozone has been that of Germany. And we also think it’s fairly obvious why this has been so, the so-called Hartz IV reforms. Which appears to be very much what the new Finnish likely Prime Minister believes in.
He quotes from an article in the Telegraph
Opposition Centre Party leader Juha Sipila, who advocates a wage freeze and spending cuts to regain Finland’s competitiveness, beat pro-EU and pro-NATO Prime Minister Alexander Stubb after four years of policy stagnation and a bickering coalition.
Not sure how NATO comes into it unless we are talking about the usual attempt by the europhiliacs to assure all and sundry that if you are not enamoured of their project you are clearly against every kind of international co-operation.

As Mr Sipila starts negotiations it will be very difficult for him to ignore the party that came second, the eurosceptic Finns Party (formerly known as True Finns).
[W]hile the populist anti-establishment party, led by Timo Soini, lost one of its seats, other parties lost more. Soini now leads the second-largest party in parliament, with 38 seats.
The party is anti-immigration but what is of greater importance for the immediate future is that it is against any more bail-outs for Greece and in favour, if needs be, of Grexit. As Mr Worstall says, Finnish politics has just become more interesting.

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