It was a long Sunday of suspense and tension, with a head-to-head meeting of Social Democrats, SDP members of the European Socialist Party and led by Antti Rinne and the sovereigns the “True Finns”.
Antti Rinne, a former trade unionist and former finance minister, declared himself the winner. “To a limited extent, but we are still the first party in the country for the first time in twenty years, since 1999,” he said. (Sunday)The final result is 17.7% for the Social Democrats and 17.5% for the populists.
A result of the highest level for the entire European Union, in view of the European Parliament’s universal suffrage elections on 26 May and the Finnish presidency of the EU from 1 July.
It is a victory by a whisker, very tight, that of Antti Rinne who had proposed an increase in taxes to increase the costs for welfare, pensions, social security, school, science and high technology in order to revive the economy and restore equality social in favor of increasingly numerous elderly and other disadvantaged classes, starting with the most numerous unemployed in Finland and elsewhere in the North. And also for a serious policy of environmental protection against climate global warming.
The PDP at 17.7 against the 17.5 of the True Finns, the National Coalition Conservatives around the 17th, the Center of former Prime Minister Juha Sipila around the 15th. The other two leftist parties fly, the Greens at 10.3 per cent and the Left Coalition (popular left / radical distant heir to the communist party) to 8.4.
Translated into seats, out of a total of 200 that counts the Eduskunta, unicameral parliament, this would mean 40 to the socialists, 39 to the sovranisti, 37 to the conservatives, 30 to the Center, 23 to the Greens, 15 to the radical left, 9 to the party of Swedish minority, 5 to the Christian Democrats.
To try to form a government, therefore, Antti Rinne (or anyone) will not have the numbers for a homogeneous block in the new legislative assembly in the next few hours. And it will have to look for laborious compromises: for example the conservatives are absolutely opposed to increasing the tax burden, which at 51 percent is at the highest world level.
The maximum loser is the centrist leader, the tycoon Juha Sipilä. To the government since 2015, it had reduced expenses for many sectors of welfare, health, social security and also for schools, national pride given the very high level of the education system.
A month ago he had asked for other cuts in welfare pensions and pension insurance and in parliament he had not had the majority. Then he resigned hoping in vain to make it. The real Finns are strong especially in the countryside where environmental policy is considered excessive. They have strong Eurosceptic and xenophobic positions.
In Finland migrants, 6.6 percent of a total resident population of 5.5 million, are the lowest number in the EU, but in recent months a dozen arrests of non-EU accused and suspected of sexual abuse or rape had alarmed no small part of public opinion.