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Finnish politicos react to Trump inauguration – Yle live stream of Washington DC march

Finnish politicians have been reacting to Donald Trump's inauguration as US president yesterday. Meanwhile demonstrators gathered in Helsinki to protest what they see as Trump's threat to the international community. Yle will stream the Women's March on Washington live.

A crowd of some hundreds gathered on Saturday afternoon in central Helsinki for a hastily-arranged anti-Trump protest in solidarity with those planned across the US and other countries. Dubbed the Women's March, the event took place at Citizens' Square, featuring music and speeches by opposition politicians.

One of the demonstrators interviewed on the scene had a clear message.

"The fact that I'm a woman doesn't make me any better or worse than if I were a man," the protester told Yle. "I can't stand that the most powerful human in the Western world thinks that I have less worth just because of my gender."

Others analysed the broader scope of Trump's presidency.

"I'm not a fan of his, but I certainly hope he will surprise us all positively when he takes office," another protester said. "I'm afraid I'm not very optimistic about it though, based on his inauguration speech."

Politicians comment

Political figures from the government parties have been cautious in their comments about Trump's inauguration.

Former prime minister Esko Aho, chair of the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, told Yle on Saturday that American isolationism would give more leeway to other world powers, including Russia. Aho, who is also on the board of a Russian bank, said Finland must prepare itself for this eventuality.

Fellow Centre Party politician, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä wrote in his blog on Friday that Trump's inauguration address gives some indications of future US policy, but that the new leader will be judged by his actions in the coming days. Sipilä says that his government agrees with Trump on one issue at least: that Europe must take more responsibility for itself.

The chair of the populist Finns Party, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, observed in his blog that "the media takes Trump's speeches literally but not seriously. The people, or some of them, take his words seriously but not literally."

Yle is streaming live footage of the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. The march, preceded by a rally hundreds of thousands strong, is scheduled to last until midnight Finnish time.

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