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New polls suggest more support for Finland joining Nato

An HS poll showed 54 percent support for Nato, while three-quarters of Chambers of Commerce members said yes to joining.

The worsening escalation in Ukraine is reflected in recent polls enquiring people's opinion on whether Finland should apply for Nato membership. Image: Mårten Lampén / Yle

Helsingin Sanomat's (HS) most recent (siirryt toiseen palveluun) poll about Finland's possible Nato membership suggests that a slight majority of people in the country are in favour of joining the military alliance, with about 54 percent of respondents saying they would back such a move.

The proportion of a similar poll the paper carried out in early March (siirryt toiseen palveluun) was 48 percent in favour of joining.

About one in five of the poll's 1,062 respondents said they were against joining while one in four declined to express an opinion on the matter.

The paper's poll further showed that men were more likely to support the move, with 64 percent in favour of membership compared to 45 percent of women.

Age-wise, those aged between 60 and 69 were most eager for Finland to join the military alliance. In contrast, just under half of respondents aged between 31 and 39 supported membership.

Three in four business managers say yes to membership

Nearly 75 percent of businesses belonging to Finland's Chamber of Commerce answered the burning membership question with a "yes."

Meanwhile out of the nearly 2,000 member companies just seven percent were against Nato membership and nearly 20 percent opted for 'cannot say.'

Recent surveys seem to suggest that the business sector is more eager for Finland to join Nato compared to Finnish citizens, at least according to poll results.

"Decision-makers in the business sector tend to follow society and the operational environment closely. They do not just have a gut feeling, but a more information-based view that Nato membership would be a good thing for Finland," chief executive of the Central Chamber of Commerce Juho Romakkaniemi told Yle.

The Chamber of Commerce also looked into the economic impact that the war and the sanctions against Russia has so far had on its members.

Half of respondents said that the war and sanctions had negatively impacted their businesses 'to some extent,' however, the Chamber of Commerce's director said it was still too soon to know the full picture.

"The effect of the sanctions as a whole is yet to be seen in the economy, while Russia's counter-measures still remain a mystery," Romakkaniemi said.