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Support for Military Alignment Increases

A recent poll indicates that the percentage of supporters of military alignment has grown. Nevertheless, a majority of Finns continue to support the current policy of military non-alignment.

The poll, which was commissioned by the Advisory Board for Defence Information, found that 61 percent of Finns want Finland to remain non-aligned. According to the survey, 34 percent said that they favour military alignment. A year earlier a similar poll showed that 64 percent were opposed to joining an alliance and 24 percent in favour.

The issue sharply splits Finland's political groups: a majority of supporters of the Left Alliance are opposed to alignment, while just over half of supporters of the National Coalition Party are in favour.

If Finland were to give up its policy of non-alignment, the partner of choice would be NATO, for more than 50 percent of those answering the poll. Even more popular was Finland's participation in the NATO-led Partnership for Peace programme; 70 percent of those interviewed approved of the Partnership.

The development of the European Union into a military alliance was backed by 40 percent.

Maintaining the current defence forces based on universal male conscription was supported by an overwhelming 77 percent.

The poll was based on interviews with 1039 Finns, with a margin of error of three percentage points.

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