Finland 2003

Finland Border Map

In 2003, Finland was a small Nordic country with a population of around 5.2 million people. It had a GDP of $156 billion and its economy was largely based on the export of technology products, forestry, and manufacturing.

According to computergees, the country had been under the leadership of Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen since 1995 and the government was committed to maintaining economic stability and pursuing free-market policies. Finland had made strong progress towards economic growth over the past decade due to increased investments in research and development as well as reforms to improve labor markets.

The political landscape in 2003 was dominated by Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen who had implemented several reforms to promote economic growth and social equality. There was an emphasis on free market policies such as low taxes, deregulation, privatization, and free trade agreements with other countries in Europe. Additionally, access to free education and healthcare services were improved due to increased investments in these areas. Economic growth was further supported by robust infrastructure development projects as well as reform initiatives aimed at reducing corruption levels in the country. The country also faced some challenges due to its fragile environment which included increasing pollution levels from industrial activities and deforestation.

Yearbook 2003

Finland. According to, Finland Independence Day is December 6. Domestic politics was a dramatic year, but the drama was rooted in foreign policy. The campaign before the parliamentary elections in March developed into a controversy over the post of prime minister between the incumbent Social Democratic head of government Paavo Lipponen and center leader Anneli Jäätteenmäki.

At the end of the electoral movement, Jäätteenmäki accused Lipponen in a TV debate that, during a meeting with US President George W. Bush, he had given Finland support for the war against Iraq. Lipponen denied this, but Jäätteenmäki was able to publish detailed information on the meeting at the White House on his website.

The debate on the Iraq war had a major impact and judges said it contributed to the Center Party’s success being slightly larger than the Social Democrats in the election. The center received 24.7% of the vote, took seven new seats and ended with 55 seats. The Social Democrats went up 24.5%, won two new seats and got a total of 53. The party gathered in the cloud for the fight, lost six seats and stayed at 18.5% and 40 seats. The Left Union gained just under 10% of the vote, the Green League rose strongly to 8% and the Swedish People’s Party backed to 4.6%.

Through the election victory, Jäätteenmäki was commissioned to form a new government, and she negotiated a coalition between the Center Party, the Social Democrats and the Swedish People’s Party. The former prime minister resigned from a post of minister under his rival Jäätteenmäki. Instead, Lipponen was elected Riksdag’s new President.

When Jäätteenmäki was asked questions about how she could know the details of the Lipponen and Bush meetings, she explained that an opposition leader also has access to some papers. The answer raised new questions about how Jäätteenmäki came across secret documents from the Foreign Ministry.

The new Prime Minister was hired more and more and tangled in conflicting tasks. At a debate in the Riksdag in June, Jäätteenmäki stated that in March she had received information via fax from President’s adviser Matti Manninen and that he had acted on his own initiative. Manninen rejected Jäätteenmäki’s version; according to him it was she who had asked for the information. The situation became untenable for the prime minister, who was faced with the threat that all S-ministers would resign if she did not leave her post. Jäätteenmäki chose to resign just as she was about to travel to her first EU summit. It was the first time in Finland that a “media drive” was considered to have forced a politician to step down.

The government’s party composition did not change after Jäätteenmäki’s departure and the center had to propose a new prime minister. The party appointed former Defense Minister Matti Vanhanen. He was approved by Parliament and took office at the end of June as new head of government.

Jäätteenmäki also resigned as chairman of the Center Party, and at the Center’s congress in November, Matti Vanhanen was elected new party leader. The so-called Iraq scandal was investigated by police and prosecutors because the information leaked to Jäätteenmäki was confidential. In December, Manninen was indicted for breach of professional secrecy and Jäätteenmäki for instigating and assisting in crime.

1990 Deep crisis after Soviet collapse

In the 1980’s, the government supported the timber industry and increased expansion of the other industry as well as an expansion of foreign trade. This policy showed relatively good results up to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which hit Finland hard when the Soviet Union reduced 25% of its exports. In 1991, Prime Minister and Center Leader Esko Aho implemented a tough crisis program that met fierce resistance from the working class. The crisis led to a real fall in living standards and unemployment rose from 3½% to over 20% in December 1993. In the 1994 presidential election, Social Democrat Martti Ahtisaari won in the second round with 54% of the votes of Finnish-Swedish Elisabeth Rehn’s 46%. It was the first time a woman had stood for the post. By the formation of the government in 91, women had sat on 7 out of 17 ministerial posts.

1995 Entering the EU

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the road was politically paved for much closer relations with the developed capitalist countries, and at the same time the crisis made such a development necessary. In 1992, Finland applied for admission to the EU. In 94, a referendum confirmed this wish, and Finland joined Sweden and Austria on 1 January 95. The negative impact of agriculture on agriculture was mitigated through special subsidies to agriculture, which with its cold climate has a number of disadvantages compared to the rest of the EU. . The state was also allowed to maintain its monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Since joining the EU goods reality, declared President Ahtisaari that Finland does not would apply for accession to the WEU (Western European Union), which otherwise could have been a first step towards joining NATO. The Finnish government believed that a common defense policy should be based on consensus and that traditional neutrality policy had become obsolete after the end of the division of Europe. The government also drew the West’s attention to the dangers of isolating Russia and the environmental dangers of this country’s nuclear industry.

In the March 95 elections, Social Democracy, led by Paavo Lipponen, overtook the former government party, the Center Party, as the largest party in parliament. Lipponen replaced Esko Aho as prime minister, and in October presented a plan to reduce unemployment, which remained at around 17%. In 1996, the government confirmed that it did not want to join any military alliance, but at the same time expressed its willingness to participate in the EU’s single currency cooperation, EMU 1999. Unemployment fell slightly – to 16% – and inflation was just as good 0%. A level that was maintained throughout 1997. Industrial production growth was 3.2% among the highest in the EU, and in October 97 unemployment fell to 12.6%.

Finland Border Map