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APN election edition: Maria Ohisalo

All Points North asked the Green League leader how she felt about the interior minister's job.

Photo of Green Party chair Maria Ohisalo, featuring All Points North podcast logo.
Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle

Party leader interviews continued this week with the chair of the Greens in Finland, Maria Ohisalo.

After a controversial report on the impact of Home Care Allowance on employment rates among immigrant women, we asked about women who move to Finland and would prefer to work, but don't get a fair chance due to discrimination among employers.

Ohisalo signalled a willingness to consider changing the law on discrimination to try and help people moving to Finland find work.

"We need to be able to show that this society is open to everybody and all the tools we can use, we need to use," said Ohisalo.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

Article continues after audio.

Audio: Yle News

There has been some discontent among environmentalists over the scale of the government's climate ambitions. Although the government says it will reach net zero by 2035, the measures agreed so far have not been as big as many hoped.

Ohisalo said that climate action in a coalition is not always easy, but the government has found a way to move towards its climate goals.

"Sometimes we're not agreeing on all the tools, but even when we are disagreeing, we tend to find the solution which takes us into that path," said Ohisalo.

More voices needed?

Low participation rates among foreign citizens resident in Finland have been a feature of Finnish local elections. Ohisalo told APN that she wants a more diverse range of candidates.

"I think the responsibility [to encourage new candidates] is on our shoulders, as party leaders, as members, as candidates," said Ohisalo, reminding non-Finnish citizens resident in Finland for a certain period that they have a right to vote in the upcoming election too.

"Media has a good place to help in this, that we are telling about the elections to everyone, that we are saying that you don't have to be a citizen to vote," said Ohisalo.

"We need as politicians to say that politics isn't only happening at elections. It happens between elections too, over the next four years. We need to go around the city, to meet people."

She cited the government's 'library tour', during which newly-installed ministers toured libraries nationwide meeting citizens in 2019.

"For example I went to Itäkeskus and Vuosaari libraries and the place was packed. People were so excited about the new governmental programme," said Ohisalo, who also agreed to return to the podcast between elections.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Ronan Browne. The producer and show editor was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Anders Johansson.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.

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