This week APN's party leader interview series features Swedish People's Party chair and Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson.
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We asked Henriksson what Finland can do to counter depopulation in rural areas, as she is also a local councillor in her hometown of Jakobstad (Pietarsaari), north of Vaasa.
"You can have a house in Jakobstad for the same price as a small apartment in the middle of Helsinki," she said of lower living costs attracting families to more rural areas, adding that "life is local" in that people deserve the same level of public services no matter where they live.
Our discussion also touched on environmental policies becoming a battleground for culture wars. We asked Henriksson what she thought of the Finns Party's attempt to attract voters in Ostrobothnia, a region with many Swedish-speaking residents.
"I've never heard of a person from the Finns Party speaking about the importance of providing daycare or schools in Swedish," she said.
Some five percent of Finland's population is made up of the Swedish-speaking minority, but the group's proportion has steadily declined since the early 1900s, when nearly 13 percent spoke the language. However, Swedish remains one of the country's official languages.
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This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Ronan Browne. The producer and show editor was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Pekka Nisu.
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