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Prime Minister Sanna Marin emphasises "most vulnerable citizens" in New Year message

Marin said that society’s strength can’t be measured by the wealth of its most affluent members.

Pääministeri Sanna Marin eduskunnan kahvilassa Helsingissä 17. joulukuuta 2019
Prime Minister Sanna Marin Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

In her Prime Minister's traditional New Year message, Sanna Marin said that Finland’s strength lies in "its people and their knowledge", with education playing a key role in the country’s success.

Marin also lauded changes her government brings in from 1 January, which she says will raise the incomes of some 70 percent of Finns.

"The strength of a society is measured not by the wealth of its most affluent members, but by how well its most vulnerable citizens are able to cope," writes Marin. "The question we need to ask is whether everyone has the chance to lead a life of dignity."

The premier said that she wants to make Finland "a financially responsible, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable society".

Carbon neutrality work to do

She cited the government’s goal to make Finland carbon-neutral by 2035, which is one of the most ambitious goals in the world.

"We are entering a decade during which we must find solutions for combating climate change," wrote Marin. "This calls for decisions that reduce emissions and strengthen carbon sinks. We will rely on scientific data, while taking account of the social and regional impacts of the solutions proposed."

She stated that Finland and Europe have the chance to be trailblazers in finding climate solutions, and suggested that bold decisions will need to be taken.

"There is enormous demand and a huge market for new climate technology," wrote Marin. "Will our country have the bold pioneering spirit needed to prosper?"

Koivisto guidance

Finland has been criticised for maintaining subsidies for high-emission peat extraction and failing to implement measures to meet its lofty climate ambitions.

Closing out her message, Marin said she had enjoyed an Yle documentary series about former president Mauno Koivisto, which she said put recent turbulence in Finnish politics in its proper perspective.

She then quoted his guidance in uncertain times: "If we can’t know for sure how things will go, let’s assume that all will go well."

You can read Sanna Marin's New Year message in English in full here.

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