Vuosi 1988 Suomen ulkopolitiikassa
In his New Year's Speech President Koivisto noted that superpower relations had improved during the year and emphasized that the treaty abolishing intermediate-range missiles was a step forward. He expressed the hope that negotiations to reduce conventional weapons would commence within the CSCE framework in 1989. Since we depend on international economic co-operation, he said, Finland must alertly follow the development of the EC's single market and increasing co-operation between the EC and Efta. As to Finnish policy on refugees, he pointed out that its basis was an international convention on the legal rights of refugees.
The Finnish Communist Party and Sweden's Party of the Left-Communists held a seminar in Stockholm to discuss Western European integration, Finnish and Swedish refugee policies and environmental questions.
The Democratic Alternative (formerly minority communists) approved a 12-point election programme calling for more trade with the Soviet Union and the appointment of a joint working group to monitor this trade and study pan-European co-operation as an alternative to economic integration in Western Europe alone.
The Government appointed an advisory committee to study the competitiveness of the Finnish defence industry and means of increasing the Defence Forces' purchases from domestic sources.
The 88 Movement's presidential candidate, Kalevi Kivistö, said he supported the appointment of a parliamentary defence committee to study the tasks of the Defence Forces and that it should include a representative of the peace movement.
The Ministry of Defence published its financial and operational plan for 1989-93. It proposes that the acquisition of new interceptor aircraft begin in 1993 and Includes three alternatives for increasing defence spending. The figures are based on the 1988 budget and the basic plan follows the recommendations of the Parliamentary Defency Committee, although the overall plan also includes projects not envisaged by the Committee.
The National Coalition's presidential candidate Harri Holkeri launched his campaign in Helsinki.
An appeal calling for the scope of civilian service (an alternative to compulsory military service) to be broadened was submitted to Parliament by the Association of Conscientious Objectors and 64 other organizations.
A working group appointed to study arms exports submitted its proposal to Minister of Defence Ole Norrback. It recommended that export permits be granted following principles determined by the Government. Special licenses should also be required for exports of arms-related know-how and transit shipments of war materials through Finland.
The Social Democratic Party's and Rural Party's presidential candidate Mauno Koivisto began his campaign in Turku. He said that, providing politicians could agree to limit the president's incumbency to two terms, he would be prepared to retire in 1994. He also announced that he favoured a direct popular election, although there was nothing wrong with the present system, either. A further theme that he mentioned was that of limiting the powers of the president.
Presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen (Centre Party) proposed the appointment of a parliamentary committee to examine ways of promoting trade with the Soviet Union. Two of the rival candidates, Koivisto and Holkeri, said they did not consider such a committee necessary. Another, Kivistö (of the Finnish Peoples Democratic League), called for increased imports of natural gas and in general diversification of imports from the Soviet Union. In the view of the communist candidate Jouko Kajanoja, the present leadership was too passive in this question.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said in Helsinki that there was no reason for undue haste with the scheme to create a nuclear-free zone in the Nordic region, because the Nordic countries held different views in many questions relating to the scheme. He added that the work of a joint committee of officials studying the matter had made good progress.
President Koivisto said in a radio "election test” that Finland was active in foreign policy matters only if initiatives had realistic prospects of being accepted. In environmental questions, Finland was playing an, active role at the UN and within the CSCE framework.
Prime Minister and presidential candidate Holkeri said that the president could be limited to two terms and that the present system of election could be replaced by a direct two stage popular ballot.
Finnish UN ambassador Keijo Korhonen was appointed as the Prime Ministers foreign policy advisor. Under-Secretary of State Klaus Törnudd was appointed to succeed him as UN ambassador.
A political research seminar was held in Tampere. It was proposed there that the so-called approval method might be used in presidential election. In this method, voters mark the names of all candidates that they consider suitable and the candidate receiving most marks of approval is elected.
At a meeting of the Central Committee of SKP (y), a splinter group from the Communist Party, Chairman Taisto Sinisalo called for the appointment of a broadly-based security-policy committee to study factors affecting the security of Finland. The Central Committee also demanded that the Government give Parliament a formal statement of its policies with regard to trade and economic integration.
It was agreed that Finland would grant a maximum of 315 million finnmarks in development aid to Egypt in 1988-91.
Chairman Pertti Paasio of the Social Democratic Party said in Jyväskylä that the future of the Finnish arms industry must be safeguarded, if necessary through exports. He added that he was prepared to relax his party's programme of principles, in which arms exports are now absolutely opposed.
Minister of Defence Ole Norrback called for increased local purchases by the Defence Forces. This, he said, would strengthen Finland's resolve to remain neutral.
National Coalition chairman and Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen said that exports are necessary if the Finnish arms industry is to remain viable.
In an interview in Helsingin Sanomat, presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen said the Finland should join the Council of Europe. The timing of such a move should be carefully thought out, he added. In principle, he said, a direct popular vote was the best way to elect a president, although a model suiting Finnish conditions had not emerged.
Paavo Väyrynen accepted arms exports at a moderate level as a necessary means of maintaining defence preparedness and employment.
In an interview in Suomen Sosialidemokraatti, the Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, Ulpu Iivari, said that her party accepted a direct popular presidential election, which could be introduced already in 1994. Limiting the president to two terms was, she said, also something that could be discussed.
Commanding General of the Defence Forces Valtanen addressed the Paasikivi Society on "superpower principles concerning the use of armed force and the defence of Finland”. In his view, Finland had succeeded in following the development of the defence doctrine pursued by the superpowers and European countries. Nuclear weapons had, he said, practically lost their military usability. Finland's security-policy position was stable and there was a broad awareness of the need to develop our defence capability. As the General saw it, an extremely protracted international crisis was a greater threat to Finland than an open war.
The Ministry of the Interior announced that the Aliens' Office would be replaced by a Centre for Foreign Affairs, to be directly subordinate to the Minister of the Interior and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. The aim is to speed up processing of business and improve the legal security of foreigners. A working party was appointed to review the Aliens' Act.
In a pre-election panel discussion on Swedish-language TV, candidates Koivisto, Holkeri and Väyrynen said that they saw no reason why Finland should not join the Council of Europe in the near future. Kivistö said that one condition should be that the Council strive more emphatically for pan-Europeanism. Kajanoja opposed the idea of joining.
Elections in which voters could vote directly for presidential candidates and/or for candidates for a 301-member electoral college took place. 83.3% of the 3.8 million entitled to do so voted. Mauno Koivisto received 47.9% of the votes and 144 members in the electoral college, Paavo Väyrynen 20.2% and 68; Harri Holkeri 18% and 63; Kalevi Kivistö 10.5% and 26, whereas Jouko Kajanoja got 1.4% and no member in the electoral college. 2.1 % of the votes cast in the direct election and 4.8% of those for the electoral college were discarded as spoiled.
A so-called Bangemann meeting of EC and Efta ministers was held in Brussels to seek a political basis for cooperation between the organizations and prepare for a ministerial meeting in Tampere in June. Agreement was reached on seven areas of co-operation in which was hoped progress would be made in Tampere. The Finnish representative was Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen, who had chaired Efta's Ministerial Council for six months.
In an open letter to President Koivisto, SKP (y) called for diplomatic links between Finland and South Africa to be severed immediately.
The Social Democratic Party's Executive proposed that legislation facilitating a direct two-phase presidential election be enacted as soon as possible.
The Christian League's parliamentary group called on the Government to introduce, at the earliest opportunity, legislation providing for a direct mode of presidential election.
In his speech at the opening of the 1988 session of Parliament, President Koivisto proposed that the present Parliament decide to replace the present presidential election system with a two-stage, direct popular vote. In the same conjunction, the division of power should be revised in Parliament's favour and the president limited to two terms.
The Communist Party's central committee urged the Government to make a formal statement of its position on integration policy to Parliament. It further issued a statement on European integration, in which it emphasized the importance of co-operation encompassing the whole of Europe, and noted that membership of the Council of Europe could lead to conflict with Finland's policy of neutrality. A further demand was that the Government issue a decision-in-principle to ban arms exports.
The 36th meeting of the Nordic Council was held in Oslo. The Finnish delegation was led by Member of Parliament Elsi Hetelmäki-Olander, the ministerial delegation by Prime Minister Holkeri. In a recommendation approved by the meeting, Nordic governments were urged to increase their co-operation in the energy field so that nuclear power could be abandoned. After some argument, it was decided that a study concerning the implementation of the Telex satellite project would be completed by 10.5. It was further agreed that Nordic co-operation would be important in arranging relations with the EC.
Minister of Defence Norrback said the period of non-military national service could be shortened to 14-16 months.
Helsingin Sanomat outlined the amendments to Finnish legislation that joining the Council of Europe will require. They will relate to the length of the period for which persons can be detained and to the contents of the Aliens' Act.
The Commission for the Protection of the Baltic met in Helsinki. On 15.2, ministers of the environment from all states around the Baltic held a meeting in conjunction with the Commission's meeting. They signed a declaration in which they pledged to cut the amounts of heavy metals, toxic organic compounds and nutrients discharged into the sea by half by 1995. They adopted 11 recommendations concerning subjects including provisional bans on seal hunting, limiting agricultural pollution and reducing discharges of effluent from paper and pulp mills. Greenpeace applied for observer status.
President Koivisto was re-elected for a second term in the second ballot of the electoral college. He received 144 votes in the first ballot, Väyrynen 68, Holkeri 63 and Kivistö 26. In the second ballot Koivisto received 189, Väyrynen 68, Kivistö 26 and Holkeri 18.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament briefly deliberated a Soviet proposal that a meeting to discuss northern sea areas should take place between the Nordic countries, the Soviet Union, the US and Canada.
Foreign Minister Sorsa addressed the UN-sponsored Disarmament Conference in Geneva. He said that if a convention completely banning chemical weapons could be accomplished, any country signing it should be entitled to received assistance in defending itself if attacked with gas weapons. The treaty under which the superpowers had agreed to eliminate intermediate-range missiles would, he said, enhance Finland's security by removing nuclear weapon systems from the environs of the Nordic region.
An opinion poll conducted by l-Helsingin Sanomat in January revealed that 54% of those entitled to vote wanted a direct presidential election, whilst 31 % considered a combination of direct election and electoral college the best alternative.
An appeal signed by 52 Members of Parliament was handed to the Israeli Ambassador. It demanded that Israel cease using violence against Palestinians and strive for negotiated solutions to problems.
Foreign Minister Sorsa, who is Co-Chairman of the Fenno-Soviet Economic Commission, said he supported the idea of appointing a committee to study trade with the Soviet Union if Parliament was also in favour.
Finnish Refugee Aid submitted a proposal concerning a common European refugee policy to members of Parliament and the Government. The proposal was drafted by ECRE, of which Finnish Refugee Aid is a member.
The Government issued a statement deploring a decision by South Africa to ban several anti-apartheid organizations and to restrict the activities of opposition politicians.
Foreign Minister Sorsa addressed the Turku Paasikivi Society on trade with the Societ Union. He said that Finland must actively adapt to changing conditions in the Soviet market in order to preserve her competitiveness. Convertible currency should be introduced alongside the clearing-account- based system of payments.
The organization Suomalaisuuden liitto (‘the Association of Finnishness”) demanded that English replace Swedish as the language of co-operation between the Nordic countries. Swedish should be only an optional subject in schools, with English replacing it as the first compulsory foreign language.
President Koivisto was sworn in for his second term. He said in his inauguration speech that it was the president's task to deal with matters that concerned and united the whole nation.
The trade-union congress SAK, the church, several civic organizations and some of the parliamentary groups condemned South Africa's decision to ban 17 anti-apartheid groups.
The Fenno-Soviet Economic Commission met in Moscow. The Finnish participants were its Co-Chairman, Foreign Minister Sorsa, and its Finnish Vice- Chairman, Minister of Trade and industry Suominen. The Soviet Co-Chairman was Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kamentsev. The Commission appointed a working group to study problems in handling payments. The Finns proposed a changeover to Finnish markkas rather than roubles. Sorsa said that exceptional measures might be needed to remedy imbalance in trade between the two countries.
The Finnish delegation to the Nordic Council rejected demands by the pressure group Suomalaisuuden liitto ("The Association of Finnishness”) that English be substituted for "Scandinavian” as the language of co-operation in the Nordic countries.
President and Mrs Koivisto made a private holiday trip to the Virgin Islands.
In a panel discussion at Tasavalta-Seura ("The Republic Club”), professors Jan-Magnus Jansson, Ilkka Saraviita and Kauko Sipponen deliberated the mode of electing a president and the president's powers. They argued against precipitate change, since the present system has proved that it works well.
The columnist who writes under the pseudonym Kunto Kalpa in Keskisuomalainen presented UN ambassador Keijo Korhonen as a suitable presidential candidate for the non-socialist parties in 1994.
A working group appointed by the Defence Economic Planning Committee to study means of ensuring food supplies in a crisis caused by nuclear fallout completed its report.
At a public meeting arranged by the Committee of a Hundred, Pertti Joenniemi from the Tampere Peace Research Institute demanded that power of decision concerning Finnish arms exports remain with the Government. He also urged more public discussion of this matter and argued that arms exports would not solve Finland's production problems.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen wrote an article in Helsingin Sanomat dealing with the arrangement of Finland's relations with the EC. They must, he wrote, be handled through Efta, although bilateral and Nordic channels should be used when necessary. This should take place within the same timetable as the EC's internal integration. The target was to create a European Economic Space containing 18 countries.
Minister of Justice Matti Louekoski said that legislation to change the mode of presidential elections and reduce the powers of the president would not be submitted for preliminarily handling by a parliamentary committee. He added that the Government would have to submit a proposal in the matter.
Foreign Minister Sorsa visited Central America and Australia. In Mexico he met President Miguel de la Madrid and Foreign Minister Bernado Sepulveda. In Nicaragua he met President Daniel Ortega and Foreign Minister Miguel D'Escoto. He also met President Oscar Aries and Foreign Minister Madrigal Nieto in Costa Rica. Agreements providing development credits were signed with Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Sorsa said that Finland supported the Central American peace plan sponsored by President Aries. He arrived in Australia on 23 March and had talks with Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Foreign Minister Bill Hayden. From there he continued to New Zealand on 29 March and met Prime Minister David Lange and Foreign Minister Russel Marshall. He then returned to Australia for the "Finland Day” festivities arranged by Finnish immigrants. One of the purposes of his trip was to sound out Finland's prospects of gaining a seat on the UN Security Council.
At a meeting of the European Space Agency, ESA, in Paris, Finland announced her interest in joining two satellite research programmes.
David Johansson, the head of the development co-operation department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced that Finland had not suggested that it would discontinue contributing funds to the FAO unless that body agreed to reforms demanded by the Nordic countries. Denmark, he said, had planned such a move, thereby creating the erroneous impression that the other Nordic countries would follow suit.
In a joint Nordic position announced by the Finnish UN Ambassador Keijo Korhonen, it was stated that the PLO has the right to maintain an observer-status representative office at the UN.
The spring meeting of Nordic Foreign Ministers was held in Norway. Under-Secretary of State Åke Wihtol substituted for Foreign Minister Sorsa. A working group was appointed to study developments in the Middle East. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, concern was expressed at events in the territories occupied by Israel. A working group that had studied the preconditions for creating a Nordic nuclear-free zone gave its report. Wihtol said Finland had no objection to the planned participation of a West German battalion in military manoeuvres in northern Norway in 1990.
At a meeting of the Paasikivi-Society, Juha Harjula, a researcher at the Institute of Military Science, and Pertti Torstila, a head of office at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, spoke on "Europe after the Euromissiles Treaty”. They viewed the matter from their respective military and political perspectives.
It was announced that US President Ronald Reagan would visit Finland between 26 and 29.5 on his way to the summit in Moscow.
A hundred members of Parliament signed a written question to the Government. In it, the Government was requested to make a policy statement outlining Finland's attitude to European economic integration and to do so before the end of the spring.
Docent Esko Antola wrote an article on Finnish integration policy and neutrality in Turun Sanomat. He pointed to a lack of discussion in Finland concerning how deeply we, as an independent and neutral country, could become involved in integration and how it might alter the character of our neutrality. In his view, the Government should present an assessment of trends leading to political change in Europe and of how they would influence Finland.
Minister of Defence Norrback addressed the Turku Paasikivi-Society on the subject of Finnish arms exports. He said that although the degree of supervision was satisfactory as it is, efforts were being made to make it more effective.
The National Coalition Party arranged a seminar on the FCMA Treaty. The party's Chairman, Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen, said it was important that the Fenno-Soviet payments system be made more flexible. The Soviet representative at the seminar, Vladimir Pugin, said his country wanted the same thing.
The main festivities marking the 350th anniversary of Finnish immigration to the US and the Year of Friendship between the two countries was held in Helsinki with President and Mrs Koivisto attending. US Ambassador Rockwell A. Schnabel conveyed President Reagan's greetings.
In an article in Helsingin Sanomat foreign ministry official Jukka Valtasaari wrote about the effects on the security of the Nordic region of abolishing intermediate- and short-range nuclear missiles and on how naval armament was affecting the region. The missiles treaty would, he said, enhance the stability of the region, although submarines operating in northern sea areas continued to pose a problem. The military alliances' security interests in the region had not changed, although the development of disarmament did appear to be creating greater flexibility and opening new vistas.
A treaty concerning reciprocal removal of obstacles to trade with Bulgaria.
The Finnish delegation attending ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance (FCMA) in Moscow was led by Speaker of Parliament Matti Ahde. The Government was represented by Minister of Forestry and Agriculture Pahjola and Minister of Defence Norrback.
A delegation led by Politbyro member Lev Zaikov participated in Finnish celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the FCMA Treaty. Mr. Zaikov had talks with President Koivisto.
The Socialist Democratic Party celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance. Chairman Paasio said that the Treaty created the basis for trust and open relations between the two countries.
President Koivisto spoke on radio and TV in conjunction with the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance. He said that the treaty has proved to be historically important and permanent. Its influence extended even further into northern Europe and to the general system of security in Europe.
The Finnish Communist Party published a communiqué marking the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance.
The main event marking the 40th anniversary of the FCMA Treaty was held in Helsinki with President and Mrs. Koivisto participating. Prime Minister Holkeri emphasized the significance of the Treaty as the foundation for relations between the two countries in the fields of security policy, trade, culture and science. Representing the Soviet Union, Lev Zaikov said the work of Finnish post-war presidents had contributed greatly to preserving good relations.
Observers from 34 CSCE countries watched the Tuisku (Snowstorm) military manoeuvres in Lapland.
The Centre Party's parliamentary group stated its support for direct popular election of the president, but not following the so-called French model.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Markus Aaltonen, proposed the appointment of a minister of development co-operation. He also called for legislation regulating development co-operation.
Interviewed in Suomen Sosialidemokraatti Chairman Paasio of the Social Democratic Party said his party's next presidential candidate would be Foreign Minister Sorsa if President Koivisto did not continue after 1994.
Minister of Education Taxell attended ceremonies in Delaware commemorating the 350th anniversary of Finnish immigration and the year of friendship. On 13 April he presented President Koivisto's greetings at a festival in Wilmington.
Centre Party vice-chairman Juha Pentikäinen demanded the creation of a parliamentary committee to review the mode of presidential election and the Constitution.
The Turku Paasikivi Society held a seminar marking the 40th anniversary of the FCMA Treaty. Professor Jukka Nevakivi assessed Paasikivi's contribution to accomplishing the Treaty. Minister Ilkka Kanerva spoke on its importance to both countries today.
Minister of Justice Louekoski said that the opposition would be given a chance to air its views on the revision of the mode of presidential election. He added that he did not consider it necessary to set up a parliamentary committee to study the matter.
The Foreign Ministry's Disarmament Advisory Committee called for the UN's role in disarmament to be increased.
The speakers at the Helsinki Paasikivi Society's celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the FCMA Treaty were Foreign Minister Vladimir Vinogradov of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federation and Chancellor Jan-Magnus Jansson of Åbo Akademi. The former spoke on the permanent importance of the Treaty to states and others, the latter on "40 years of the Treaty”.
Foreign Minister Sorsa spoke at the spring meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce's Finnish section in Helsinki. He reviewed the Finnish position on the EC's project to create a single market and said that co-operation between Efta and the EC had made satisfactory progress, although only limited tangible results had emerged so far. Work to implement the recommendations of the Luxembourg Declaration was being done in nearly 20 sub-sectors, which indicated that there was a real desire to achieve results. The goals of the Treaty of Rome and of the Luxembourg Declaration did not differ in principle from each other to the extent that this would cause problems.
Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Government had made preliminary plans to bring forward the fighter aircraft procurement project scheduled for the early 1990s and to opt for MIG-29s in order to alleviate the imbalance in Fenno-Soviet trade.
A seminar on the FCMA Treaty was arranged by the parliamentary parties and the Fenno-Soviet Friendship Society. Foreign Minister Vladimir Vinogradov of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federation said that Finland had and would continue to have a special position in Soviet foreign policy. The main Finnish speaker, Docent Juhani Suomi, rebuked his compatriots for having lapsed into self-satisfaction regarding relations with the Soviet Union since the mid1970s.
The Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions held its 6th "Peace Days” in Oulu. The topics discussed included the situation in northern sea areas, Western European integration and Finnish arms exports. The organization's peace prize was awarded to the Helsinki branch of KTV, an affiliated union representing local-government officials and employees.
In an interview published in Turun Sanomat Foreign Minister Sorsa denied that the Government had considered bringing forward a planned purchase of attack aircraft for the Air Force in order to eliminate the imbalance in trade with the Soviet Union. Some of these trade problems would, he said, have to be dealt with before Mr. Gorbachev's visit, and the remaining ones could be sorted out during it. Finnish companies had too many doubts about joint-ventures in the Soviet Union. The question of Finland joining the Council of Europe would come up during the spring. In Sorsa's view, Finland's biggest problem in arranging relations with the EC related to free movement of labour.
Interviewed In Suomen Sosialidemokraatti, General-Secretary Reijo Käelä of the Finnish People's Democratic League said that the party could support Foreign Minister Sorsa in the 1994 presidential election, provided the leftwing parties began co-operating in the near future.
Franz Blankart of the Swiss Ministry for Foreign Trade spoke to the Paasikivi Society on the theme "Between Isolation and Membership: the Problem of Swiss Integration Policy”.
70 civic organizations submitted a petition to Foreign Minister Sorsa calling for environmental problems to be given a growing amount of consideration in development co-operation.
Interviewed in Aamulehti, Centre Party Chairman Paavo Väyrynen said that a single candidate supported by all non-socialist parties would not be a realistic alternative in the 1994 presidential election. He added that his party did not accept the so-called French model as an election mode.
The Government's Foreign Affairs Committee decided to begin negotiations with the Council of Europe on questions associated with Finland's accession. After a decision to join was taken, the statement said, negotiations on practical aspects could take up to a year. Representatives of the Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Swedish People's Party and the National Coalition were in favour of joining, those of the Communist Party were against it.
The Kreisky Commission (a western European commission which studies employment) met in Helsinki. A draft report was prepared on the employment situation and mass unemployment in the region.
Meeting in Tampere, the Executive of the Centre Party called for the proposed constitutional overhaul to be deliberated by a parliamentary committee. The Government was urged to report to Parliament on the premises underlying Finnish policy on European integration. A further demand was for the appointment of a Development Co-operation Minister, who would also be responsible for international co-operation in environmental questions. Regulations restricting foreigners' rights of ownership should be retained in the Executive's view.
Prime Minister Holkeri said that it might be useful to set up a body corresponding to a parliamentary defence committee. It should examine the Defence Forces' needs in relation to general social development and the resources available.
The Finnish Centre held an FCMA seminar in conjunction with its congress in Tampere. Boris Pjadesev from the Soviet Foreign Ministry said that cooperation between Finland and the Soviet Union served as an example for similar co-operation on a pan-European scale, Party Chairman Paavo Väyrynen said that the fundamental idea in the Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line is that Finland handles her relations with the Soviet Union without resorting to the help of others.
It was discovered that a guide booklet for political asylum-seekers arriving in Finland had not been distributed at frontier crossing points, although the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health had specifically sent them to the police authorities for distribution. The latter announced that they would distribute the booklet only when instructed to do so by the Ministry of the Interior and claimed that it contained inaccurate information.
Commanding General of the Defence Forces Valtanen said that starting from 1989 a new working group should be set up to study the Defence Forces' requirements and resources from 1992 onwards.
Chairman Pertti Paasio of the Social Democratic Party said that there was no need to establish a defence committee. Instead, the appointment of a permanent advisory committee on security policy could be considered.
The Government raised the refugee quota for this year to 300.
Minister of the Interior Rantanen ordered the guide booklet for asylum-seekers to be distributed at all frontier crossing points. The minor errors in it were not a problem, he said.
The Director of the UN's Environmental Programme, Mostafa K. Tolba, visited Finland. He met Minister of the Environment Bärlund and discussed the problems of ozone layer depletion and the greenhouse effect. On 29.4 Finland proposed that measures to protect the ozone layer be stepped up.
Commanding General of the Defence Forces Jaakko Valtanen spoke at the annual meeting of the Defence Academy Association. In his view disarmament in Continental Europe would not necessarily stimulate an arms race in areas fringing Europe. The arms race in northern sea areas was due to other causes.
Efta Secretary-General Georg Reisch from Austria, visited Finland and met Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. They discussed the Efta-EC ministerial meeting planned for Tampere in June, multilateral negotiations between the organizations and world trade barriers.
The Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee announced its support for the Government's decision to begin negotiating for full membership of the Council of Europe.
Minister of Education Taxell represented Finland at a meeting of Nordic ministers of culture in Stockholm. It was decided to abandon the joint Nordic Tele-X satellite project.
Minister of Defence Norrback attended a Nordic defence ministers' meeting in Tromso, Norway.
A SWAPO information office was opened in Helsinki.
A group of ice-hockey players left for South Africa in defiance of a law banning sporting relations with that country and without the permission of the Ice Hockey Federation.
The Communist Party and the Finnish People's Democratic League demanded that Parliament debate membership of the Council of Europe before a decision to join was taken.
Foreign Minister Sorsa attended the Council of Europe's ministerial meeting as the representative of the country currently chairing Efta.
After an appeal by the Ice Hockey Federation, the players terminated their visit to South Africa and returned home.
The Fenno-Soviet Environmental Protection Mixed Commission convened in Helsinki. The meeting approved a programme for co-operation between the two countries in environmental protection in 1988-89. The Soviet Union promised to reduce sulphur emissions on the Kola peninsula to half the 1985 level by 1993.
The director of the OECD environmental department, Bill L. Long, and Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund presented a report on Finnish environmental policy drafted by the organizations' experts. The report recommended that Finland link environmental protection with other social policies more effectively than it has done in the past. Co-operation between different branches of administration is inadequate in environmental questions and legislation too diffuse, the report went on. It also criticized the standard of information made available to the public. It further recommended a reduction in the quantities of fertilizers used in agriculture.
Chairman Pertti Viinanen of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) led a delegation to a European trade-union congress in Stockholm. The themes discussed at the congress concerned questions of economic and social policy caused by European integration.
Social Democratic Party Chairman Paasio, Secretary Ulpu Iivari and the Chairman of the Socialist International's Disarmament Committee, Sorsa, were in Madrid for meetings of the SI's Council and Special Committees. At a meeting of the Disarmament Committee, Sorsa appealed to the superpowers to continue disarmament after intermediate-range missiles have been removed from Europe.
The Norwegian authorities proposed that the frontier pass used on the Finnish-Norwegian border be abandoned.
Interviewed in Helsingin Sanomat, Foreign Minister Sorsa assessed the CSCE process and said he believed that the Vienna follow-up meeting would be concluded in summer 1988. Progress had been made in environmental question and in matters relating to economic co-operation. In military questions, he said, the 23 members of the alliances, although willing to negotiate only among themselves, would commit themselves to observing the views of all CSCE countries.
Foreign ministers from the nonaligned and neutral CSCE countries held a meeting in Vienna to try to speed up preparations for the follow-up meeting. Foreign Minister Sorsa participated. A draft final document was produced in an effort to resolve the remaining awkward issues.
A meeting of chairpersons of Nordic centre parties was held in Mariehamn. The Finnish participants were the Finnish Centre's Chairman Paavo Väyrynen and the Swedish People's Party's Deputy-Chairperson Margareta Pietikäinen. Resolutions passed at the meeting emphasized the common interests of the countries in Western European integration and recommended that developed countries devote a certain proportion of their GDPs to environmental protection, along the lines of the practice followed in development aid.
Enso-Gutzeit announced a plan to build a pulp mill at Uimaharju in a joint venture with the Soviet Union. Enso's holding will be 80%. The mill is due for completion in the early 1990s.
Finance Minister Liikanen and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen attended an OECD ministerial meeting in Paris. On 18.5. Liikanen spoke on behalf of the Nordic group and said that an inadequate level of investment was the greatest cause of concern in Europe. In his speech, Salolainen emphasized the importance of measures to speed up GATT trade-liberalization plans as envisaged in the so-called Uruguay round. In conjunction with the meeting, an unofficial Efta ministerial meeting took place to prepare for the Efta-EC meeting in Tampere in summer 1988.
The Advisory Committee for Refugee Affairs arranged a seminar to deliberate a working group's report on Finnish refugee policy. The report recommended that refugees be provided with services in the municipalities of domicile. Special support measures immediately after arrival in Finland should be financed by the state.
Director Pekka Korpinen of the Workers' Economic Research centre suggested that Finland's receivables with respect to trade with the Soviet Union be converted into a long-term credit within the clearing system. There would be a notional link with international exchange rates, but repayments would be made in goods over a long period.
Parliament gave the go-ahead for questions connected with Finland's joining the council of Europe to be studied. Its Foreign Affairs Committee requested that it be kept informed of progress in negotiations concerning membership of the Council. it also said that its position in the management of foreign affairs should be strengthened.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said that President Reagan's visit to Finland was an indication of the esteem accorded Finland's foreign policy.
An opinion poll conducted for the Planning Committee for National Defence Information studied citizens' views on the necessity of arms exports. 46% wanted to stop arms exports, more than a third to increase them. 50% considered the present level of defence budgets appropriate, a third wanted it lowered.
A treaty concerning economic, industrial and technological co-operation with Thailand.
President Reagan visited Finland. He met President Koivisto and they discussed the forthcoming meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev progress at the CSCE meeting. On 27.5 Reagan spoke at the Paasikivi Society and said that the CSCE process based on the Helsinki Final Act was a functioning one and that implementation of the confidence- and security-building measures agreed on in Stockholm had been a success. Further steps in this direction would, he said, be discussed at the Vienna follow-up. Human rights had not been respected as well as hoped for in Eastern Europe, although here too progress could be seen.
In an interview published in Helsingin Sanomat, President Reagan said that confidence- and security-building measures were not needed in northern sea areas. Regional security measures could not on their own regulate naval and air operations, he added. Where the Stockholm disarmament conference was concerned, he said, the 1975 CSCE Final Act had performed according to expectations. There had been deficiencies in the way that human rights are implemented.
The Government submitted new legislation on friendly societies. If enacted, it will permit Nordic citizens to join Finnish political parties. Any foreigner will be allowed to hold office in ordinary associations without the special permission required under existing legislation.
Prime Minister Holkeri addressed the Third UN Special Session on Disarmament. He said that increased naval activities in northern sea areas were a cause of concern for Finland and expressed the hope that the positive results of the Moscow summit would be reflected in multilateral disarmament talks.
The Defence Forces held their 70 annual parade in Hämeenlinna. President Koivisto said that a tensing international situation or adverse development in international relations would be felt in Finland as well. Consequently, Finland was striving to improve her own security and that of her environs.
The Swedish People's Party held its congress in Pietarsaari. In a communiqué, it called for the appointment of a Development Co-operation Minister and for a special commission which, working under the auspices of the Nordic Council, would broaden cooperation between the Nordic countries alongside European co-operation.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said in a radio interview that the characteristic features of our present foreign policy are activity and a high profile. High- level visits were an indication of this. Finland's main foreign policy goal at the moment was, he said, to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council.
President and Mrs Koivisto paid an official visit to Hungary. Koivisto discussed the development of bilateral economic co-operation and international questions with Party Chairman and Prime Minister Károly Grósz. On 8.6 President Koivisto spoke to the Hungarian Parliament on the subject of "Changing Europe”. He emphasized the importance of European unity from the Atlantic to the Urals and called for solutions to economic, security and environmental questions that would help to alleviate the bifurcation of our continent. Foreign Minister Sorsa and the Hungarian Minister for Social Affairs and Health Judit Csehák signed an agreement providing for citizens of both countries to be given cost-free medical care during short tourist trips. An agreement protecting investments in Hungary was also signed during the visit.
The Social Democratic Party announced its stance on European economic integration. Full EC membership is ruled out. Integration, the party says, does not require revision of our basic foreign policy line nor profound reassessment of trade policy. Economic integration should include also Eastern Europe and not just the EC. Efta and Nordic co-operation must be availed of in this development.
The Confederation of Finnish Industries announced its stance on western European integration. Competitiveness must be maintained, Finnish companies must have a full opportunity to function in the new market now taking shape, Finnish legislation should be partially harmonized with EC regulations and internationalization must be taken account of also in administration and education.
A meeting of the Nordic Council's presidium and Nordic co-operation and environment ministers was held in Copenhagen. The presidium announced its support for the creation of a European environmental fund, through which wealthier nations could help finance environmental projects in poorer countries. The environment ministers promised to present a Nordic environmental programme by 30.8.
In an interview published in Keskisuomalainen, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that the Finns were now in the throes of "West fever” due to European integration. That notwithstanding, he said, we should not forget the core question in our foreign policy: good relations with the Soviet Union. The large volume of our trade with the Soviet Union meant that it was also a political question, he pointed out.
Prime Minister Holkeri attended a meeting of Nordic prime ministers in Harpsund near Stockholm. They discussed European integration, East-West relations, environmental questions and economic matters.
Meetings between the EC Economic and Social Affairs Committee and the Efta Consultative Committee, Efta ministers, and Efta ministers and the EC Commission were held in Tampere. It was agreed that the regulations concerning the origin of goods would be amended. The EC announced that it would approve procedures facilitating the development of technical information systems designed to mitigate barriers to trade. An Efta dispute concerning liberalization of the fish trade within the organization was referred to a working group of officials. The Efta ministers signed a convention on the testing of technical equipment.
The Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Economic Development Aid, Lauri Kontro, proposed the establishment of a new committee to assess development co-operation and study new principles to be followed in it. This was needed, he said, in order to accomplish an improvement in even the quality of our development co-operation.
Keskisuomalainen's Kunto Kalpa commented on the reception given to President Reagan in Finland. In his opinion, the Finns had lost their self-control during the visit. The celebrations marking the anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance, which is politically more important to Finland, had not been as elaborate as those during Reagan's visit.
A meeting of parliamentarians in Copenhagen discussed the proposed Nordic nuclear-free zone.
Interviewed in Uusi Suomi, Docent Esko Antola said that the Government should study other channels besides Efta for arranging its relations with the EC. The structural changes that integration would bring were only beginning, and so far had hardly affected Finland. Parties, pressure groups and experts should make a greater effort to assess the whole process of integration.
An appeal by more than a hundred civic organizations to allow foreigners resident in Finland to join political parties was submitted to Parliament. This could be done in conjunction with the passage of new legislation regulating the activities of friendly societies.
An interview with Soviet Ambassador Vladimir Sobolev was published in Hufvudstadsbladet. He called for trade between the two countries to be kept at its present high level, in his view, Finnish shipyards should be given export credits to help overcome the present problems in trade. On the whole, he said, Fenno-Soviet relations were developing on a stable basis.
54 new projects were announced at a Eureka ministerial meeting in Copenhagen. Finland is taking part in 4 of them. All in all, Finland is participating in 22 of the 214 ongoing Eureka projects.
The Centre Party held its congress in Kajaani. Chairman Paavo Väyrynen called for a direct, two-phase presidential election. Limiting the president to two terms of office was also possible, he said. A committee should be set up to deal with the mode of election and the president's powers. The Party changed its official, hitherto unilingual, name to Suomen keskusta rp, Centern i Finland (Finnish and Swedish for "The Finnish Centre”).
The 29th Conference of Workers from Baltic countries, Norway and Iceland was held in Kiljava. 200 delegates attended. In his opening speech, Chairman Viinanen of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions said that European economic integration must be accepted as a fact and in this conjunction the opportunities arising from reform policies in Eastern Europe should be taken into account Environmental questions must, he said, be considered an aspect of occupational safety and health.
The Ministry of the Environment ordered that a consignment of whale meat in transit to Japan be returned to Iceland. Greenpeace had called for it to be seized. Minister Bärlund promised to take up the matter at the Nordic Council's next meeting of ministers of the environment.
A protocol amending the agreement signed on 26.3. 1980 by Norway, Sweden. Finland and Denmark concerning taxation on goods carried by passengers on aircraft and ferries between these countries, and tax-free sales at airports.
Icelandic Fisheries Minister Halldor Asgrimsson said that that an Icelandic export company had received a transit permit for the whale meat from the Finnish authorities prior to its despatch. He was against the matter being discussed at a meeting of the Nordic ministers of the environment. Instead, he said, it should be brought up at a meeting of fisheries ministers in August.
Speaker of Parliament Matti Ahde attended, as an observer, a meeting of speakers from Council of Europe member countries' parliaments in Bern. Various forms of co-operation between European parliaments were deliberated at the meeting.
Marrack Goulding, the Un official in charge of peacekeeping operations, visited Finland, where he met Prime Minister Holkeri, Defence Minister Norrback and Defence Forces Commander General Valtanen. They discussed Finnish participation in UN peacekeeping operations and related financial aspects.
The Government decided to order French-made Crotale medium-range surface-to-air missiles. The order is worth 800 million finnmarks and will be linked to counter-purchases.
The Export Guarantee Board guaranteed a loan to enable Outokumpu Oy to import copper concentrates from Chile. The Government had given its approval a week earlier. The loan, which is being provided by a consortium of Finnish banks, will go towards developing a mine, which an international group of companies has acquired. Shipments of concentrates are planned to begin in 1991.
Interviewed in Helsingin Sanomat, Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen said that Outokumpu's plan to obtain copper from Chile was being supported, because otherwise the company would have to close down its smelter in Harjavalta. The decision was not against the prevailing political line; Finland has other trade with Chile as well.
The Finnish Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in Tampere. It condemned the Government's support for Outokumpu Oy's plans to import copper from Chile.
The Nordic foreign ministers issued a communiqué marking the 20th anniversary of the nuclear test ban treaty, which they described as an important instrument for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The political committee of the Communist Party called on the President to intervene in the worsening situation regarding trade with the Soviet Union.
Icelandic whale meat on its way to Japan via Finland and the Soviet Union was sent back to Iceland from Helsinki.
The Government said that there is no reason to withdraw a state guarantee covering Outokumpu Oy's Chilean copper project despite allegations that Outokumpu's partner in the project was in the hands of South African interests. The South African holding was so small as to be devoid of significance.
The Transport Union AKT called on the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, SAK, to boycott imports of Chilean copper. It said it was considering a unilateral boycott, even if SAK did not take action.
A group of members of the Nordic Council's economics sub-committee proposed that a unit be set up to monitor compliance in the Nordic countries with legislation concerning the isolation of South Africa.
The head of the Eastern Trade Unit at the Turku School of Economics, Professor Urpo Kivikari, reviewed Finland's trade with the Soviet Union in an article in Helsingin Sanomat. He said that cutting back export licences would not solve anything; instead, receivables should be covered using credits. The management of trade with the Soviet Union should be made clearly the responsibility of one minister. Kivikari considered it unwise to limit exports at a time when the Soviet Union is increasing its trade with the West.
A Nordic "peace camp” was held on the Åland Island. The themes were: the situation in Europe after the missiles treaties, the proposed Nordic nuclear-free zone, the condition of the Baltic and alternative future.
The Nordic foreign ministers sent a telegram to imprisoned South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela to congratulate him on his 70th birthday.
A security-policy summer academy "Peace in the North 2000” was arranged by the town of Kuhmo and The Finnish Peace Association. The theme was co-operation within the Arctic region and its potential. Participants came from the Nordic countries, the Soviet Union, Canada and the United States.
Interviewed in Kansan Uutiset, Soviet trade Official Vladimir Pugin said that Finland could include metal products in its purchases from the Soviet Union and warned that Finland risked being excluded from industrial projects on the Kola Peninsula, since negotiations had so far not led to agreements. He added that he could not understand the strict policy pursued by the Licencing Office.
President Jacques Delors of the EC Commission paid an official visit. He met President Koivisto, Prime Minister Holkeri and Foreign Minister Sorsa. Delors evaluated Finnish policy on the EC and said that the arrangement of relations through Efta and direct bilateral negotiations would not suffice. The development of integration called for new means of arranging relations. Associate membership of the EC without political and military co-operation was not possible, he said. Prime Minister Holkeri invited the EC to open an official representative office in Finland.
AKT demanded that the Government take action to make Outokumpu Oy discontinue copper imports from Chile. It reappeared to SAK to condemn the plan.
The Ministry of Labour proposed to the Ministry of Defence that the term of non-military national service be shortened from 16 months to 14, because the long term had increased the number of total objectors. The Association of Conscientious Objectors said that shortening the term by 2 months would not reduce the number of total objectors.
In an interview published in Aamulehti, Minister of Labour Matti Puhakka said that Finland should prepare itself for an influx of foreign labour as European integration proceeded. That required a debate on international labour policy and joint responsibility for it.
Outokumpu Oy rejected AKT's threat to boycott the company's copper shipments from Chile, but said it was willing to negotiate to clear up the matter.
The Metal Workers' Union promised to support AKT's boycott of Chilean copper.
In a telephone interview with Helsingin Sanomat, the Chairman of the Chilean Copper Workers' Confederation, Nicanor Araya, supported the boycott proposed by the Finnish Transport Union (AKT). This, he said, would create pressure to improve the terms of agreements with foreign mining companies.
The Swedish People's Party decided that at the next meeting of the Liberal International, in September, it would call for condemnation of the oppression of national minorities in Rumania.
Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen said that Outokumpu had no alternative but to acquire copper from Chile.
The new Soviet Ambassador to Finland, Boris Aristov, presented his credentials to President Koivisto.
Communist Party General-Secretary Heljä Tammisola and Finnish People's Democratic League General-Secretary Salme Kandolin demanded that the Government withdraw its loan guarantee for Outokumpu Oy's copper project in Chile.
Social Democratic MP Jouko Skinnari called for a report on the procedure that the Government had followed in deciding on the loan guarantee and said he was interested in knowing why this had been declared classified information.
Social Democratic Party Chairman Paasio and Secretary Iivari called on the Government to reconsider the Outokumpu decision.
The Director-General of the Board of Customs and former Foreign Trade Minister Laine evaluated Fenno-Soviet trade in an article in Suomen Sosialidemokraatti. He said that trade problems should be discussed by President Koivisto and General-Secretary Gorbachev. The long-term programme for trade between our countries up to the year 2000 should be revised. Laine also said that Finland's receivables from the Soviet Union should be handled through long-term exchange credit arrangements. The rigid structure of Soviet foreign trade was, he said, one reason for the problems in our trade, in which energy dominated Finnish imports from the Soviet Union.
In an interview in Helsingin Sanomat, Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen said that the Government would not change its decision to guarantee a loan for Outokumpu's Chilean project. According to Suominen, the Government had taken its decision democratically, and the Finnish Transport Union or even the trade-union movement as a whole could not determine trade policy on its own.
Outokumpu Oy President Voutilainen and AKT leader Kuisma meat to discuss the dispute over the Chilean copper deal. Voutilainen announced that the project would not be abandoned, Kuisma that AKT would begin its boycott if copper imports from Chile commenced. Voutilainen claimed that the Foreign Ministry had given the project its blessing and that the matter had been discussed with Foreign Minister Sorsa.
AKT leader Kuisma said that Outokumpu only wanted Chilean copper because it was cheap. He rejected Outokumpu's claim that the Chilean mine was an indispensable source; copper was also available elsewhere, albeit at higher prices.
Centre Party chairman Väyrynen said that he supported the proposals made by Laine, former minister and now head of the National Board of Customs, regarding ways of solving problems in trade with the Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Holkeri said that he did not consider it necessary to reopen the question of a loan guarantee for Outokumpu.
In an interview in Suomenmaa, the Prime Ministers foreign policy advisor, Keijo Korhonen, said that the debate on Chilean copper and talk of boycotting the project were superfluous.
The Ministry of Labour appointed a working group to study means of simplifying and speeding up the process of granting work permits to foreigners in Finland. Possibilities of granting temporary work permits to foreigners will also be studied.
The Green Union said that Outokumpu's plans to import copper from Chile was gross exploitation of natural resources in a developing country. There was no reason to import copper from the opposite side of the globe.
The Metal Workers' Union demanded that Outokumpu Oy abandon its Chilean project. The company could get copper on the international market, it said, but added that it was not prepared to boycott Outokumpu's present copper imports.
Meeting in Tampere, the National Coalition's parliamentary group approved Outokumpu's Chilean project and denounced AKT's plans to boycott it.
67 prominent social democrats, including 16 members of parliament and four trade union chairmen, appealed to the party leadership to take measures to have the Government's decision to guarantee Outokumpu's loan rescinded.
SAK chairman Viinanen said that Outokumpu should abandon its Chilean mine project and obtain its copper elsewhere.
Christian League Chairman Almgren said he understood the Government's decision to guarantee Outokumpu's loan for the Chilean mine.
Foreign Minister Sorsa expressed his pleasure at news of ceasefires in the Gulf War and Namibia and said that Finland was prepared to give tangible help to make the ceasefires last.
The Social Democratic Party's Executive announced that it opposed Outokumpu's involvement in Chile, but did not approve of boycotting Outokumpu's present copper imports from there. It said there was no need for the Government to deliberate the matter any further.
A meeting of representatives of Nordic communist trade unionists was held in Hämeenlinna. The themes discussed were internalization of the economy and European integration and the effects of these processes on trade unions.
Prime Minister Holkeri said in a radio interview that the Government need not reconsider its loan guarantee to enable Outokumpu to obtain copper from Chile. No new facts in the matter have emerged.
SAK announced its disapproval of Outokumpu's participation in a multinational project to obtain copper from Chile and said that the Government must not support the project. A boycott or similar measures would become relevant only in 1991, when imports from the mine were due to commence.
The Ministry of Defence appointed 15 Finnish military observers to help monitor the Iraqi-Iranian ceasefire. They will work in an international UN team on the frontier between the two countries.
A Nordic forum for security policy was established in Stockholm. Representatives of various Nordic political parties, trade unions and churches attended. The aim is that the forum will maintain discussion of security policy and champion the Nordic nuclear-free zone.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said that the Government has no reason to regret having guaranteed Outokumpu's loan to procure acquiring copper from the Chilean mine. He added that, contrary to what Outokumpu's CEO Pertti Voutilainen had reported, the company had not contacted him before the Government discussed the matter.
Outokumpu Oy announced a plan to bury metallic mine wastes on Kuusiluoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia near the Swedish border.
In an interview in Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, President Koivisto said that Outokumpu Oy's copper mine project in Chile was not in conflict with our foreign policy line.
Speaking on Finnish TV, Swedish Minister of the Environment and Energy Birgitta Dahl expressed her concern at Outokumpu Oy's plans to bury waste materials which contain metals on the island of Kuusiluoto in the Gulf of Bothnia near the Swedish border.
The Finnish Communist Party sent a letter to the Rumanian communist Party expressing its concern about the treatment of the Hungarian minority there and plans to relocate the rural population. The letter said that these moves would strain Rumanian-Hungarian relations and the credibility of the Communist Party.
Interviewed in Uusi Suomi, Finnish Centre Secretary Kääriäinen said Outokumpu should discontinue refining copper at its Harjavalta smelter, which was overly dependent on imports of raw materials and damaged the environment too much.
Foreign Minister Sorsa proposed that UN members states establish a separate monetary reserve, a kind of peace fund, for financing the organization's peacekeeping operations.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund expressed his surprise at his Swedish counterpart's statement concerning Outokumpu Oy's plan to bury mine wastes on Kuusiluoto and said she should have contacted his ministry on the matter. He added that if there was a danger of pollution, the plan will be abandoned.
President Koivisto decided that Finland would establish diplomatic relations with Gambia.
Foreign Minister Sorsa attended a meeting of Nordic foreign ministers in Kiruna, Sweden. Other Nordic countries supported, in principle, his proposal that a special fund be established to safeguard the operations of UN peacekeeping forces. The Nordic countries agreed to appoint a working group to prepare for development cooperation with Namibia when it becomes independent. Finland will direct the preparatory work. To help solve the UN'S financial crisis, the Nordic countries will try to persuade those countries that are in arrears to pay their dues.
Meeting in Stockholm, the Nordic ministers of the environment agreed on new common targets for air- and water-pollution control. Minister Kaj Bärlund agreed with his Swedish counterpart Birgitta Dahl that the countries would set up a joint working group to study environmental problems in the areas around the Gulf of Bothnia.
The Executive of AKT decided not to boycott Outokumpu before June 1989. Finance Minister Liikanen (Social Democrat), who is also Chairman of Outokumpu's Supervisory Board, urged the company to examine alternative sources of supply.
Professor Urpo Kivikari of the Turku School of Economics said that the problem in Finland's trade with the Soviet Union lay in the fact that those who decide on it have neither the willingness nor the skill to utilize existing knowledge and expertise in the field. Compared with countries like Sweden and Austria, he said, Finland's research resources in this field were regrettably limited.
Addressing a meeting of a missionary organization, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that Finland was confident about the Namibian peace plan and efforts to achieve independence for that country. He added that civic organizations played a substantial role in making people aware of the importance of development co-operation. Although the volume of development aid had increased sufficiently in recent years, trade with recipient countries had not grown at the same rate.
The Fenno-Soviet Scientific and Technological Co-operation Commission met in Helsinki and discussed possibilities of co-operation in space research and Finnish participation in the Soviet programme to study Mars. The Finnish Co-Chairman, Academician Pekka Jauho, said the Commission would study matters that might have commercial applications in 5-10 years' time.
At an Urho Kekkonen Memorial Meeting arranged by the Paasikivi Society, the Chancellor of Åbo Akademi Jan-Magnus Jansson spoke on the question "Are we facing qualitative changes in international relations?” He said that two reform processes were in progress in Europe: integration in the west and perestroika in the Soviet Union. Finland, he said, could not influence the progress of either process, but we do have the right to decide what attitude we take to the possibilities and risks inherent in them.
The "Support Association for the Europa Institute” was formed in Turku. Its goal is to establish a research and training centre called the Europa Institute, which will concentrate on the development of European integration, and work under the auspices of the University of Turku. The chairman of the board of the Institute will be editor-in-chief Jarmo Virmavirta.
Vice-President Henning Christophersen of the EC Commission visited Finland at the invitation of finance Minister Erkki Liikanen. They discussed liberalization of capital markets and financial services against the background of the EC's single market project. In a speech to the Central Chamber of Commerce Christophersen said that the EC required reciprocity on the part of non-EC countries, including Finland, when currency controls are abolished and financial services deregulated. He also met Prime Minister Holkeri, Foreign Minister Sorsa and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen.
At a seminar on the Council of Europe arranged by the Helsinki Association of Journalists and the Tampere Supplementary Training Centre. Foreign Minister Sorsa said that Finland could join the Council in spring 1989 if parliamentary proceedings were completed by then. He said that the purpose of the Council was not to promote integration, but rather cooperation based on principles of plurality and diversity.
The Fenno-Soviet Economic Commissions Co-Chairman met in Helsinki. The Soviet representative was Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kamentsev, Foreign Minister Sorsa, the Finnish Co-Chairman, and Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen, its Deputy Chairman, represented Finland. On 9.9. Sorsa and Kamentsev signed an agreement to revise the clearing-based system of payments and to include protocol based credits in the clearing system. The balance in the clearing account will be completely shielded from any devaluation of the rouble from the beginning of 1989 onwards. As of 1990, the clearing account will have two credit limits. Once credits exceed 100 million roubles, the receivables will go onto an interest-bearing account; anything in excess of 200 million roubles will be repaid quarterly in convertible currency. It was further agreed that the Finnish Export Credit Board would finance Finnish exports to the Soviet Union in 1988-89 through a loan of 2.1 billion markkas (300 million roubles).
Docent Esko Antola from the University of Turku spoke at a seminar on European law. He said that the EC does not accept the principle of outside states influencing its internal affairs, but decisions by the EC would inevitably affect Finland very much, Yet Finnish companies were ill-prepared for the political risks they would face in their international operations.
The Swedish People's Party called for an intensification of Nordic cooperation by setting up a high-level commission in association with the Nordic Council. This would work like the EC commission. The Party asked all Nordic parties to back its proposal.
A treaty concerning the management of the national frontier between Sweden and Finland.
Interviewed in Demari, Foreign Minister Sorsa commented on the security-policy situation in Europe and its vicinity, progress at the Vienna CSCE follow-up, the status of and disputes between European military alliances, and the problems of the UN. In his view, the most important thing in Europe was to maintain stability. Prospects for the future of the CSCE were good, a Final Act would emerge in Vienna on the basis of the neutral and nonaligned countries' proposal. Sorsa said Finland was prepared to host the next follow-up meeting and hoped that the military alliances could begin negotiations concerning confidence-building measures applying to air and naval forces. The central objective of Finnish foreign policy was, he said, to improve the capability of the UN to function effectively, although this would depend on actions by other member countries.
The Executive of the Social Democratic Party praised recent moves to solve problems in Fenno-Soviet trade, which, they said, would enable this trade to be increased.
Interviewed in Uusi Suomi, Defence Minister Norrback called on the six largest parties to appoint their representatives on the defence policy advisory board before the end of September. The board's tasks would include planning the Air Force's fighter re-equipment project. Foreign-policy, he said, would have to be excluded from their frame of reference. The size of the defence budget would have to be relative to the development of security in Europe.
The Permanent Advisory Board of Fenno-Soviet Trade Unions met in Saariselkä. The Finnish delegation was led by Chairman Pertti Viinanen of SAK, the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, the Soviet by Chairman Stepan Sthalajev of the Soviet trade union confederation. The delegations made a three-day tour to the Kola Peninsula to study prospects for economic co-operation in the area.
It was decided that Finland would join an international convention to protect migratory wild animals.
The Liberal International admitted the Finnish centre as a full member.
The national UN Peace Prizes for 1988 were awarded to the Finnish UN Association and the Women For Peace organization.
The Advisory Committee for Migration submitted a report on the rights of expatriate Finns and implementation of these rights to Foreign Minister Sorsa.
Minister of Education Taxell attended and chaired the 4th conference of European Ministers of Education in Paris. The theme discussed was the development of educational systems in the 21st century and the impact of European integration on educational institutions.
Leaders of parties affiliated with the European Democratic Union met in Rhodes. National Coalition Chairman Ilkka Suominen was elected deputy chairman of the organisation for the second consecutive term. The meeting discussed questions of European security policy.
Jaakko Valtasaari was appointed Finnish Ambassador to the United States with effect from 1.11.1988.
The Central Committee of SKP (y), one of the factions into which the Communist Party has split, stated that payments and credit arrangements agreed to by the Fenno-Soviet Trade Commission would ease some problems in trade, but that structural problems remained. Therefore the Saimaa Canal area should be made a special economic zone and Finland should step up her efforts to get involved in projects on the Kola Peninsula.
President and Mrs Koivisto paid an unofficial visit to Essen in the Federal Republic of Germany. The President had a meeting with his counterpart Richard von Weizsäcker.
A delegation comprising Nordic members of parliament who are also members of a working group appointed to study the proposed Nordic nuclear-free zone visited Washington to present their views. State Department officials were interested in the idea, but rejected it.
Interviewed in Helsingin Sanomat, Foreign Minister Sorsa said he believed that Finland would obtain a seat on the Security Council in 1989-90, because about 50 states had announced their support for Finland's candidacy.
Foreign Minister Sorsa attended the 43rd UN General Assembly in New York. He called on the organization to develop its peacekeeping operations and take steps to strengthen its financing, adding that Finland was prepared to provide a -million interest-free loan if the other Nordic countries provided comparable assistance.
Turkish Finance Minister Karim Oksay visited Finland. He discussed with Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen possibilities of Finnish investment in Turkey and prospects for co-operation between the two countries in the Soviet and Middle Eastern markets.
A meeting of the Finnish—Brazilian Science and Research Commission was held in Helsinki. Co-operation in forestry, mining, the metal industry and shipbuilding was discussed.
Interviewed in Keskisuomalainen, Defence Minister Norrback said that a permanent defence policy advisory committee should be set up. Its term should be the same as that of Parliament and it would have representatives from all parliamentary parties. It would be a discussion forum between politicians and representatives of the Defence Forces.
President Koivisto said that the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN peacekeeping forces was a positive recognition of the organization's central contribution to strengthening peace and international security.
The same Nordic delegation visited Moscow and were told that the Soviet Union is prepared to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from the Kola Peninsula if a Nordic nuclear-free zone comes into being.
A committee was formed to study alternative policy on Europe. It stated in a communiqué that present Finnish discussion concerning Europe concentrates too much on questions relating to the SC and its development. The communiqué called for a debate on disarmament, basic economic, social and cultural rights and questions of equality and the environment. The committee's chairman is Erkki Tuomioja, a deputy mayor of Helsinki.
Social Democratic Party Chairman Paasio said that his party needed more precise information on the advisory committee proposed by Minister Norrback before the party could choose its representative. In his opinion, more open practices in relation to financing should be pursued in procuring military equipment.
A meeting on the theme "Shared peace - joint initiatives” was arranged by Swedish and Finnish trade unions in Hanasaari.
A meeting arranged in Espoo by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the ECE agreed on a joint environmental follow-up research programme for ECE member countries. The data and assessment centre for the programme will work under the wing of the Finnish environmental data centre. Minister of the Environment Bärlund spoke at the opening session.
The Institute of Sociology of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Finnish Academy are collaborating in a three-year comparative study of social structures in Finland and the Soviet Union. It focuses on division of labour, class structure, social mobility, social participation, work organization and education in both countries.
The Swedish People's Party gave the Ministry of the Environment its submission on the Brundtland Commission report. It said that the target for development aid should be raised to 1% of GNP from the present 0.7%. At the same time, development aid should be channelled into environmental projects in recipient countries. The party also said that a system was needed for financing environmental investments on a pan-European scale. The best way to do this would be to create an environmental fund under the auspices of the ECE.
A Finnish-Jordanian agreement on research in the fields of science, technology and culture was signed in Amman.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund visited the Kola Peninsula in the Soviet Union to study environmental questions there. He was given a report on pollution in the area and plans to reduce it. It was decided that a joint study of the extent of pollution in the area straddling the two countries' shared border would be conducted in 1988.
President and Mrs Koivisto paid an official visit to the People's Republic of China. Foreign Minister Sorsa and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen accompanied them. Koivisto met Chairman Zhao-Ziyang and Prime Minister Li Pang. With the latter he discussed international politics, superpower relations and the situations in China's and Finland's respective geographical regions. Foreign Minister Qian Qichen announced China's support for Finnish membership of the UN Security Council. Koivisto and Deng Xiaoping discussed Sino-Soviet relations.
The ANC of South Africa opened an information office in Helsinki.
The head of the Political Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jaakko Blomberg, spoke on behalf of Finland at the CSCE follow-up in Vienna. He said that, from the viewpoint of Europe's development, it was important to accomplish a final act that the draft proposed by the neutral and nonaligned countries was balanced and down-to-earth. In negotiations concerning armed forces, the security of all participating nations should be taken into account.
An article co-authored by Nokia CEO Kari Kairamo and Volvo CEO Pehr Gyllenhammar on the arrangement of Nordic and EC relations was published very prominently in Helsingin Sanomat. In their view, joint Nordic action is important. Nordic legislation should be co-ordinated and factors limiting cooperation removed because that would also facilitate trade between the EC and the Nordic countries.
Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen said that Efta was Finland's primary channel for arranging relations with the EC. Nordic co-operation could not be used on a broader basis in this connection.
An advisory centre for refugees and foreigners arriving and residing in Finland was opened in Helsinki.
The International Chamber of Commerce arranged a symposium on the theme "Joint ventures in the Soviet Union” in Helsinki. Participants came from 16 countries. Minister of Trade would soon reach an agreement on protecting investments. Jun Znamensky, Deputy-Chairman of the Soviet Foreign Trade Commission, was the other main speaker.
Led by Chairman Suominen, a National Coalition delegation paid an official visit to the Soviet Union at the invitation of the Soviet CSCE Commission. The delegation met representatives of the Soviet Communist Party and CSCE Commission.
"A shadow aliens' act” drafted by seven civic organizations was submitted to Permanent Secretary Juhani Perttunen, who chairs the committee considering amendments to the (real) Aliens' Act.
President Koivisto held a press conference. He said that the activities of the popular fronts in the Baltic countries were private civic action and therefore no official relations with these organizations had been established. Finland has relations of this kind only with states. He said he did not consider it necessary to open a consulate in Tallinn. Although not all problems in trade with the Soviet Union had been solved, he said, the introduction of a new payments system during the autumn was a significant improvement. He also said that Finland would not seek membership of the EC, even though Austria intended to do so.
40,000 people took part in peace marches all over Finland to mark UN Disarmament Week.
The Government deliberated a proposed revision of the mode of presidential election and a proposal that incumbency be limited to two consecutive terms. The latter restriction would not apply to the present incumbent. A sub-committee of four ministers was requested to complete a final draft of the proposal.
Finland was elected onto the Security Council for 1989—90. Success came in the third ballot, with 110 votes to 47 for Greece. Canada was elected in the first ballot.
The Finnish People's Democratic League's parliamentary group said that the president's powers should be curtailed to a greater extent than legislation introduced by the Government proposes. The goal should be a formal presidential status as in Switzerland or Austria, for example. The president's power of decision in relations with foreign states should be bound by decisions of the Government and Parliament.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said that Finland's peaceful foreign policy and activity in UN peacekeeping forces were the factors that had won her a seat on the Security Council. A higher level of development aid had brought support from the Third World. Sorsa added that Finland was committed to developing the work of the Security Council and the UN system as a whole.
The Government appointed an advisory committee on international news mediation with the purpose of strengthening Finland's image abroad. Its chairman is Foreign Minister Sorsa and its term of office two years.
In an article in Helsingin Sanomat SAK Chairman Pertti Viinanen and General-Secretary Sune Ahlén of the Nordic Trade-Union Confederation demanded that Nordic governments decide whether workers in Nordic companies should be entitled to co-operate across borders or not. The employers had refused to discuss the issue. A joint Nordic working group that had studied the matter had found no legal obstacles, they argued, adding that the issue should be taken up at a meeting of the Nordic ministers of Labour in November.
Interviewed in Aamulehti, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that Finland's prospects of hosting the CSCE follow- up meeting in 1991 looked good. Environmental protection would feature more prominently than at present as a field of co-operation. No new parliamentary body was needed to deliberate the Air Force's plan to acquire new jet fighters, but the appointment of one to study defence questions in a broader context could be considered.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund attended an international environmental protection conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. 23 countries signed an agreement to limit emissions of nitrogen oxides (Nox). According to the agreement, the level of these emissions in 1994 may not exceed the level in 1988. Finland also signed a declaration of principle to the effect that by 1998 Nox emissions should be cut by 30% from their mid-1980s level.
At a seminar arranged by the Europa Institute and Turun Sanomat, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that Finland must give the same benefits to EC member countries as we demand from the Community. That does not, however, presuppose an unlimited influx of foreign labour to Finland. Continuing to pursue our present policy with regard to foreigners would not be in Finland's wider interests, he added.
The Provincial Office in Lapland granted Outokumpu Oy a permit to store wastes on the island of Kuusiluoto in the Gulf of Botnia.
An opinion poll conducted by Helsingin Sanomat studied the Finns' views on the number of refugees that should be admitted to Finland. The present quota of 300 refugees was considered appropriate by 55%, a quarter wanted to increase it and a third to reduce it. 26% wanted to expand the rights of other foreigners to move to Finland. 56% considered the present practise appropriate.
The Government reported to Parliament on Finland's position on Western European integration. Finland, it said, is striving for close co-operation with the EC without endangering its neutrality. The goal is a "European Economic Space” comprising 18 Efta and EC countries. Most members of Parliament expressed positive attitudes in principle. However, suspicion was voiced that power of decision on Finnish matters would be transferred outside Finland. Some speakers said that the report's perspective on integration was too narrow, because social and cultural aspects were not covered.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund said that the Provincial Office in Lapland had acted against the Ministry's wishes in granting Outokumpu Oy a permit to store wastes on Kuusiluoto near the Swedish border.
Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, speaking on Finland's report concerning the arrangement of relations with the EC, said that every country must assess the arrangement of relations from its own perspective. He did not comment on the opinion expressed in the report that a neutral country cannot become an EC member.
President Koivisto met the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and reported on his state visits to China and Hungary. The development of the Committee's own work was also discussed.
At the UN General Assembly Finland voted for a resolution demanding peace in Kamputchea.
In an article in Helsingin Sanomat, former minister Ulf Sundqvist and General-Secretary Sune Ahlén of the Nordic Trade-Union Confederation called for increased Nordic co-operation in arranging relations with the EC. To include the social dimension of welfare policy in the integration process, the Nordic countries should activate their social and labour policies, give employees more influence in working life and concentrate on training. The Nordic Council should be availed of in this development.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen visited the EC Commission in Brussels. He met Willy de Clercq, who is a member of the organization's external relations committee, and Lord Cockerfield, who is responsible for the single market project. They declared that present procedures in EC-Efta negotiations were good.
The Ministry of the Environment said that Outokumpu Oy would have to obtain a permit from the Swedish- Finnish Border River Commission before it could implement its plans to store mine wastes on Kuusiluoto.
Meeting in West Berlin, social democratic party leaders from Efta and EC countries discussed the impact of the single market on relations between the two economic regions and fraternal parties. Paasio represented Finland. In a statement after the meeting, it was emphasized that the neutral Efta countries must have the freedom to decide whether or not they wanted to join the EC. It was also decided that meetings of this kind would be held regularly in future, on a basis of equality between social democratic parties in countries belonging to both regions.
Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky expressed his regret at statements made by a representative of his country's Conservative Party, Andreas Kohl, concerning Finnish neutrality. Vranitsky said that the views expressed by Kohl were his own and that one neutral country should not try to interpret the neutrality of another.
In an interview in Demari, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Tarja Halonen assessed the Impact of European integration on Finnish social security. Finland does not intend to compromise on this, she said. In some respects, the other Nordic countries have better social and labour market regulations than Finland, which makes joint Nordic negotiations with the EC more difficult.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock said that there was no reason to apologize for the statement by Conservative Member of Parliament Andreas Kohl concerning Finnish neutrality, just as no Finn needed to apologize for Finnish Centre Chairman Paavo Väyrynen's earlier statement concerning Austrian neutrality.
An agreement concerning the abolition of certain regulations in the trade and navigation treaty with Italy.
Outokumpu postponed its plan to store wastes on Kuusiluoto pending the Swedish-Finnish Border River Commission's report.
The President assessed the result of the US presidential election and Republican candidate George Bush's victory. He said that the outcome would not have surprising effects in superpower relations. The ongoing disarmament negotiations would be continued.
Prime Minister Holkeri visited Sweden and met Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and Minister of the Environment Birgitta Dahl. After their meeting, Holkeri said that there were no particular differences of opinion on environmental questions in Sweden and Finland. Holkeri spoke on Finland's relations with the rest of Europe at a "Prince Berth-Seminar” on the theme of industrial and entrepreneurial strategies.
Celebration marking the anniversary of the October Revolution was held at the House of Culture in Helsinki. President Koivisto attended. In his speech, Deputy Justice Minister NA. Osetrov of the Soviet Union said it was important that the level of trade between Finland and the Soviet Union should not be lowered.
The SADCC countries asked Finland for aid in developing four mining projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
The Nordic Social Democratic Co-operation Commission held a seminar on foreign and security policy. Representing the Finnish Social Democrats, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that events in the Baltic republics are an internal Soviet Issue, on which governments in other countries could not take positions. However, these republics demand sympathy and support from us, said Sorsa. He urged the superpowers to agree to reduce their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons.
Foreign Minister Sorsa commented on articles concerning Finnish neutrality in Austrian newspapers. He said that in line with its policy of neutrality Finland preferred to keep power of decision concerning its own affairs in its own hands. Therefore EC membership would not suit Finland. Sorsa also said that other countries have different views on the matter, based on their own perspectives.
65 civic organizations submitted an appeal to the parliamentary factions calling for retention of taxdeductibility of donations for development co-operation purposes. The tax system is currently being overhauled.
65 civic organizations submitted an appeal to the parliamentary factions calling for retention of taxdeductibility of donations for development co-operation purposes. The tax system is currently being overhauled.
22 members of the Finnish UN contingent were taken hostage at a Unifil observation post in Southern Lebanon. They were later released unharmed.
Meeting in Helsingör, Denmark, the Nordic finance ministers adopted a plan that would facilitate the opening of Nordic capital markets to outside competition by 1992.
National Coalition Chairman Ilkka Suominen and his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock issued a joint statement on the debate concerning neutrality in Austria and Finland. They said that neutral European countries should not interpret the premises underlying nor the limits of each other's neutrality.
The Executive of the Social Democratic Party called for the passage of a Development Co-operation Act and the appointment of a Development Co-operation Minister. The private sector, it said, should contribute to development co-operation, providing a sum equivalent to 0.3% of GNP. Half of the aid should go to the social sector, with special attention to improving human rights in the recipient countries.
An extraordinary session of the Nordic Council took place. Proposals made by the environment ministers for programmes to protect the general and marine environments were adopted. The 1989 budget for the Nordic Council of Ministers was also approved.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said that the resolution adopted by the Palestinian National Council in Algeria offered new prospects for a constructive dialogue between different parties to the Middle Eastern problem. With regard to the negotiated settlement accomplished in Namibia, he expressed the hope that the governments concerned would accept the solution as soon as possible so that progress towards Namibian independence could begin in the early months of 1989.
An action group against chemical and biological weapons was set up.
President Koivisto appointed a six-member Finnish delegation to the Security Council. It is led by Ambassador Klaus Törnudd.
The Prime Minister's foreign policy advisor, Keijo Korhonen, said in an interview in Aamulehti that Finland should not base its refugee policy on the Swedish model, which had created problems with minorities there. The present quota of 300 refugees was appropriate, he said, in his view, a better way to aid refugees would be to give them financial support in their present locations. He was also of the opinion that negotiations with the EC in conjunction with the development of its single market are a more minor matter than the EEC negotiations in 1972—73.
Social Democratic Party Chairman Paasio and the National Coalition Party Secretary Kaila responded to recent comments by Korhonen on Finnish refugee policy. They said that the number of refugees admitted by Finland could be increased if necessary and that the situation of refugees in Sweden was not as bad as Korhonen had claimed. Both pointed out that Korhonen should consider his views more carefully, since his position as the Prime Minister's foreign policy advisor could mean their being interpreted as official positions.
Prime Minister Holkeri spoke at the 25th anniversary of the Hämeenlinna Paasikivi Society. The greatest challenge facing Finland in the near future was, he said, the arrangement of relations with the EC. The starting points in negotiations were good and the Government had appointed a group of officials to monitor the progress of EC-Efta relations. Parliament and all other interested groups would be kept informed of development, he promised. The national interest, he said, determined the basis on which foreign- policy actions were taken. Therefore, various single-issue movements striving to influence decision-making in foreign policy, by passing bodies of state, were merely grabbing power to which they were not entitled in a democratic system.
Minister Norrback attended a meeting of Nordic Defence Ministers in Gothenburg. A communiqué calling for financing for UN peacekeeping forces to be ensured was issued.
Prime Minister Holkeri said that the views on refugee policy expressed by his foreign policy advisor Keijo Korhonen did not correspond to his own. Holkeri added that he favours gradual and cautious increases in refugee quotas. In a speech at the Hämeenlinna Paasikivi Society, he denied that he had been referring to those Finns who are interested in Estonian matters when he mentioned single-issue movements in an earlier speech, which had sparked controversy.
Swedish People's Party Secretary Stenlund said that the Government should reaffirm its policy on refugees to prevent Korhonen's utterances from being mistaken for Finland's official stance.
The Ministry of Defence denied that there was any connection between South Africa and the manufacture of the Crotale missile system, which Finland had recently purchased. The statement was in response to an enquiry by Nigerian Ambassador Garba, who is also the Chairman of the UN's anti-apartheid committee.
The Finland-Comecon Co-Operation Commission met in Helsinki. 51 co-operation projects were listed in the protocol signed on 25.11. The Commission discussed how to improve contacts between companies in order to raise the level of trade. Also exchanged were Finnish and Comecon views on European economic integration.
A head of office at the Bank of Finland, Sixten Korkman, said that participating in Western European integration would substantially reduce the effect of Finnish monetary and financial policies which, he said, could no longer be used to moderate cyclical swings as strongly as before.
The chairpersons of the opposition parliamentary groups called on Parliament to create a new body to study changes in the mode of presidential election and proposals to limit the powers of the president. This body, they said, should study proposals before they are introduced in Parliament.
The parliamentary group of the Democratic Alternative demanded that the Government make a formal report to Parliament on trade with the Soviet Union. This, it said, was necessary as a continuation of the debate on EC integration.
Lieutenant-General Gustav Häglund, who had commanded UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, addressed the annual meeting of the Paasikivi Society in Helsinki on the theme "Experiences and Evaluations Gained in UN Peacekeeping Operations'. He explained that forces from major powers could not be used in peacekeeping forces, because those countries' own problems and aspirations would get in the way of impartiality. He added that one should not expect too much of peacekeeping forces, which could be used only in certain situations and under specific conditions.
Interviewed in Uusi Suomi, Minister for Trade and Industry Suominen said that economic integration in Europe would not bring a wave of bankruptcies in its wake. In Suominen's view, Social Democratic Party Chairman Pertti Paasio's proposal concerning international trade-union co-operation on the level of multinational companies was not acceptable.
In Wellington, New Zealand, Finland and eight other countries signed a treaty on exploitation of mineral resources in the Antarctic. It concerns areas unexploited until now. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs says that Finland is interested in environmental protection in the area and in future projects in the spheres of commerce and technology.
The Executive of the Finnish Centre called for the proposed constitutional overhaul to be deliberated by a broadly-based committee appointed for this purpose. The proposed limitation of the president's incumbency to two terms should, it said, also apply to Koivisto and the committee should study various models for direct presidential election.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen attended an Efta ministerial meeting in Geneva. It was agreed that all Efta members would arrange their relations with the EC through Efta. Agreement was reached to align regulations and interpretation concerning state subsidies.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a statement regretting a US decision to deny Yasir Arafat a visa to attend the UN General Assembly.
The Government's financial subcommittee deliberated a draft revision of the Constitution.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament celebrated its 70th anniversary. Max Jakobson spoke on perestroika and its impact on Europe and power structures, especially in East Germany. Professor Antero Jyränki spoke on foreign policy decision-making, which in his view has become more president-centered since Risto Ryti. Professor Raimo Väyrynen said that the role of the Committee in determining our foreign policy line could be more pronounced than at present. In his view, civic organizations could make valuable contributions in the spheres of foreign and international policy.
A new channel relaying Swedish TV programmes to coastal areas of southern Finland was inaugurated. Swedish Minister of Culture Bengt Göransson visited Finland to mark the event.
Interviewed in Demari, the Finnish Un Ambassador Klaus Törnudd said that Finland's actions on the Security Council would be on the basis of established policy. The level of activity would be determined by the benefit that could be expected to be derived from it.
The Finnish People's Democratic League's parliamentary group said that Finland should recognize the Palestinian state.
The Nordic Councils international affairs sub-committee proposed the appointment of a new sub-committee to study European integration. It further proposed that the Nordic Council hold an extraordinary meeting in autumn 1989 to deliberate European integration. A further proposal was for co-operation in the field of Arctic environmental research between the Nordic countries, Canada, the United States, the Soviet Union and Japan.
Meeting in Stockholm, the Nordic ministers of labour failed to reach agreement concerning trade-union cooperation across borders.
The Disarmament Committee and the Council of the Socialist International met in Paris. The Finnish delegation was led by Foreign Minister Sorsa. The meeting discussed the Middle East situation, disarmament within the CSCE framework and environmental questions.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Toivo T. Pahjola attended a GATT meeting in Montreal. Salolainen said after the meeting that although no agreement had been reached in the dispute concerning agricultural trade, this did not affect Finland, because the situation remained unchanged. The meeting did not reach agreement on the textile trade, either, and this will affect the Finnish textile industry after 1991.
President Koivisto issued a statement after Mikhail Gorbachev had told the UN General Assembly that the Soviet Union would cut its forces by half a million men. President Koivisto said that this decision concerning conventional weapons was something that he had been waiting and hoping for.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said in response to a question in Parliament that the Government was studying the possibility of opening a temporary diplomatic representation headed by a charge d'affaires in Chile.
The Government appointed the Advisory Board for Economic Relations between Finland and Developing Countries (Talke) for a three-year period starting 1.12. The 18-member body is chaired by Pasi Natri with Jouko Elo as vice-chairman.
The Government announced that it will set up a 15-member advisory board for international human rights under the auspices of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It will serve for two years at a time, monitoring international human rights questions and issuing statements of principle in relation to them. Its tasks will also include research and information. The secretary of the Swedish People's party, Peter Stenlund, was appointed chairman.
The French Embassy announced that Finns no longer needed visas to visit France.
The National Coalition Party celebrated its 70th anniversary. Chairman Suominen reiterated that the part follows the Paasikivi-Kekkonen line in its foreign policy.
In Dar es Salaam, Minister of Education Piipari signed a cultural agreement between Finland and Tanzania. This covers museums, scientific co-operation and the media.
The Government submitted a draft revision of the Constitution providing for the president to be chosen indirect, two-stage popular election, some presidential power to be transferred to the Prime Minister and presidential incumbency to be limited to two consecutive terms. The latter provision would not apply to the present incumbent. President Koivisto said that he would ensure that the draft went through in the form presented by the Government and that It did not need separate committee handling.
President and Mrs Koivisto made a private holiday trip to the Canary Islands.
Finnish Centre Secretary Kääriäinen said that the party could still make amendments to the government's constitutional reform bill in Parliament. He urged the Constitutional Committee to discuss the matter "with open doors” rather than in camera as is normally done.
In his speech at the closing of Parliament, Speaker Ahde stated his support for President Koivisto's announcement that he would closely follow Parliament's handling of the constitutional amendment. Ahde expressed the hope that Parliament would be willing to approve a strengthening of its own, power, for which also the President had announced his support, in the form envisaged in the Government's draft.
SAK told Outokumpu Oy that it was prepared to prevent imports of Chilean copper if conditions in Chile failed to improve.
The Government appointed the parliamentary defence policy advisory committee for a term until the next parliamentary elections. Its chairman is Jaakko Iloniemi and the other members represent the six largest parties, in addition to three experts and secretaries.
Foreign Minister Sorsa visited the EC Commission. He met President Jacques Delors and Willy de Clerq, who is responsible for the Community's external relations. The EC announced that its member countries would slightly reduce shipyard subsidies.
Foreign Minister Sorsa expressed the hope that the Israeli Government would be prepared to seize the opportunity that had presented itself when the United States announced its willingness to open a dialogue with the PLO.
Interviewed in Keskisuomalainen, the Prime Minister's foreign policy advisor Keijo Korhonen said that Finland had fallen into the grip of "Europe ecstacy” now that we were building bridges to the integrating Continent. He pointed out that in foreign policy Finland must adhere strictly to the principles on which our neutrality rests, rather than pursue a speculative policy, e.g. with regard to the Baltic republics of the Soviet Union. Referring to a recent controversial speech by Prime Minister Holkeri in Hämeenlinna, Korhonen commented that Holkeri had not been trying to stifle civic organizations' freedom of action, but had wanted to caution them about the risks of excessive zeal in foreign policy.
Efta Secretary-General Georg Reisch visited Finland at the invitation of the Central Chamber of Commerce and also met Prime Minister Holkeri and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. He said that Efta aimed to create an internal market inline with the EC model, giving companies in member countries equal rights when tendering for public contracts. The system would require amendments to national legislation in member countries for the first time in Efta's history. In discussions with representatives of trade unions, Reisch said that participation in European integration would not require abandoning benefits already gained and urged the trade-union movement to influence matters from within the EC.
Swedish Foreign Minister Sten Andersson said that he intended to discuss joint Nordic possibilities of promoting the peaceful solution of the Middle East's problems with Foreign Minister Sorsa.
At a meeting of the Finnish-EC Mixed Economic Commission in Brussels Finland asked to be placed on a comparable footing with the 12 EC members in tendering for shipbuilding contracts.
In a written question, representatives of the five opposition factions demanded that the Government report on the position regarding trade with the Soviet Union and plans to develop it. Parliament, they pointed out, needed to discuss trade with the Soviet Union and other COMECON countries.
At a press conference arranged to mark the closing of the 43rd session of the UN, Foreign Minister Sorsa said that the most important event from Finland's viewpoint had been our election onto the Security Council. Both superpowers had shown flexibility in negotiations concerning resolutions.
A trade agreement for 1989 was signed in Helsinki by Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen and Soviet Minister of External Economic Relations Konstantin F. Katushev. The value of overall trade will be 23 billion markkas, of which Finnish imports will account for 12 billion and exports for 10.6 billion. The intention in pegging the level of exports so low is to reduce the balances in the clearing and special accounts. Provision was made for Finnish exports to increase if imports did so, too. The metal products industry will account for about half of Finnish Exports. On the imports side, solid fuels will remain on the same level as in 1988, whereas imports of natural gas will increase by a quarter from that year's level. The Finnish Export Credit Board signed a letter-of-intent, providing for credits totalling 1.7 billion markkas, with the Soviet Foreign Trade Administration.
In an interview in Uusi Suomi, chairman Jaakko Iloniemi of the Paasikivi Society said that participants in the foreign policy debate should remember the responsibility that those who speak and write bear with regard to our national interests. In his opinion, a new model for foreign policy debate had been adopted from Western countries, in which those who voiced opinions were not responsible for foreign policy. Commenting on the views expressed by Keijo Korhonen in Keskisuomalainen, Iloniemi said Korhonen had made no effort to formulate his ideas clearly and had shown that he was no diplomat.
The Government gave the Ministry of the Defence the go-ahead to begin preparations for re-equipping the Air Force with interceptor aircraft. The working group that will oversee the project is chaired by Lt.-Gen. Aimo Pajunen. It is expected that the scheme will cost 6—9 billion finnmarks (/2-21/4 bn).
A treaty concerning fishing rights in the Baltic with Sweden.
The Government invited Yasir Arafat to Finland.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs commented on the invitation extended to Arafat, pointing out that it was not a state visit and hence did not imply recognition of the Palestinian state.
Interviewed in Hufvudstadsbladet, Foreign Minister Sorsa discussed developments in Europe, disarmament, and their impact on Finland's position. He called for discussion of Finland's defence capacity now that disarmament was happening in Europe. In his view, the change possibly taking place in Europe might change the whole continent. Political and state structures would not change, but contacts and co-operation would increase.
In a radio interview, Commander of the Defence Forces General Jaakko Valtanen said there was no development on the horizon that would warrant disarmament in Finland. By European standards our defence forces represented only a modest capability.
Interviewed in Aamulehti, Social Democratic Party Chairman Paasio said that the plan to re-equip the Air Force with interceptors must not increase the defence budget. The purchases should be counterbalanced by cutting down other expenses.