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Thousands protest education cuts in Helsinki

Roughly 2,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Helsinki to protest planned cuts to education spending by the government. A similar show of opposition took place in the capital less than one week ago.

Mielenosoitus.
Image: Jaani Lampinen / Yle

The protesters converged on Citizens’ Square in central Helsinki Tuesday afternoon to make a statement against the government’s austerity programme and its plans to gouge hundreds of millions of euros from education spending.

Protest organiser Tuomas Sadeniemi said that the reduced education budget would put the country’s future at risk.

"It will endanger the country’s economic future as well as civil society and its foundations. In other words this is just such an important matter that it can’t be allowed to die quietly," he added.

"I’m a teacher trainee and these cuts will seriously affect my future. If they cut what they say they will cut from early childhood education, and from basic education, not to mention from Helsinki university and polytechnics – I can’t really see where this is heading in the long run," said Rekar Abdulhamed, one of the protesters.

Last Thursday a crowd of an estimated 2,000 people marched in Helsinki to protest planned cuts to early childhood education. At the time similar demonstrations also took place in other parts of the country.

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