1948-1969 since 1990







Finland 1969-1990


Administration . The presidency was held by Urho Kekkonen (ML/KESK) from 1956 to 1982, by Mauno Henrik Koivisto (SDP) from 1982 to 1994. Between 1968 and 1972, Finland saw 3 cabinets; the office of PM was held by Taisto Kalevi Sorsa (SDP) from 1972 to 1975, from 1977 to 1979 and from 1982 to 1987, by Martti Johannes Miettunen (KESK) from 1975 to 1977, by Mauno Henrik Koivisto (SDP) from 1979 to 1982, by Harri Hermanni Holkeri (KOK) from 1987 to 1991. General Elections were held in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987. The capital is Helsinki.

Foreign Policy . Finland continued to find itself in a delicate political situation, bound by treaty to remain politically neutral, forced by proximity to the mighty neighbour to be sensitive and at times subservient to the latter. So the Finnish press was rather uncritical of the USSR, not because of choice but because of Soviet influence (Finlandization).
Finland supported the newly elected West German government's Ostpolitik, a policy of Detente which changed the political climate in Europe. A major step in this detente was the CSCE Conference held at the Finnish capital of Helsinki 1973-1975; here the Helsinki Declaration was signed, in which the USSR and its socialist allies formally recognized the legitimacy of human rights.
Finland, a member of the Nordic Council since 1955, continued to cultivate neighbourly relations with the Scandinavian countries.
An associated member of EFTA since 1961, Finland joined the organization as a full member in 1986.
When communism crumbled in eastern Europe in 1989, Finland regarded the treaty binding it to political neutrality as a historical document; in 1990, Finland announced its intention to join the EU.

Political History . Finland maintained and expanded the welfare state.
The Sami Domicile Area, a Sami-majority region in northern Lapland Province, received legal status (recognition of autonomy) in 1973.
The Åland Islands (Ahvenmaa), autonomous since 1920, in 1984 issued their first Åland postage stamps.

The Economy . Finland, pursuing a delicate course between east and west, achieved moderate prosperity, its industry becoming specialized in supplying the USSR with items Soviet and Eastern European technology could not produce. In the 1980es, a policy of economic liberalization was implemented.
Finland produced 0.48 million metric tons of wheat in 1969, 0.52 million in 1986, 0.28 million in 1988 (IHS p.267).
If the cost of living for 1970 is set at 100, that of 1969 was 86, that of 1988 496 (IHS p.850).
In 1991, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki, developed the computer operating system Linux.

Social History . In 1969, Finland had 4.69 million inhabitants, in 1990 4.99 million (Lahmeyer). Unemployment was 3.9 % in 1969, 4.5 % in 1988 (IHS pp.162, 165). The country suffered inflation, but not only prices rose, also wages; Finland became a moderately affluent society. The unemployment rate was 2.8 % in 1969, 1.7 % in 1974, 7.3 % in 1978, 4.7 % in 1980, 4.5 % in 1988 (IHS pp.162, 165).

Cultural History . Finnish athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988, and in the Winter Olympics of Sapporo 1972, Innsbruck 1976, Lake Placid 1980, Sarajevo 1984 and Calgary 1988. Finnish runner Lasse Viren won the 5,000 and 10,000 m races in both Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976. Finnish rower Pertti Karppinen won the men's single sculls in Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984. In Sarajevo 1988, Finnish skier Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi took gold in the women's 5 km, 10 km and 20 km cross country races.
Lahti hosted the World Nordic Ski Championships in 1978 and 1989. Finn Matti Nykänen won the Ski Jumping World Cup 4 times, in the seasons 1982-1983, 1984-1985, 1985-1986, 1987-1988.







EXTERNAL
FILES
Article Elections in Finland, History of Finland : Post-War Era, Urho Kekkonen, Mauno Koivisto, Åland : Autonomy, Sami Domicile Area, Finland at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1976 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1980 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1984 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1988 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1972 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1976 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1980 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1984 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1988 Winter Olympics, Linux, Lahti, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Finland
DOCUMENTS List of Finnish Presidents, Prime Ministers etc., from Finland, by Ben Cahoon
Helsinki Final CSCE Recommendations (1973), from OSCE.org
The Helsinki Final Act (1975), from OSCE.org
Finnish banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money, and from Currency Museum
REFERENCE Article Finland, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1970 pp.345-346, 1971 pp.325-326, 1972 pp.299-300, 1973 pp.298-299, 1974 pp.314-315, 1975 pp.301-302, 1976 pp.344-345, 1977 pp.344-345, 1978 pp.386-387, 1979 pp.381-382, 1980 pp.381-382, 1981 pp.381-382, 1982 pp.379-380, 1983 pp.376-377, 1984 pp.378-380, 1985 pp.526, 676, 1986 pp.520-521, 673, 1987 pp.491-492, 642, 1988 pp.448, 594, 1989 pp.449, 595, 1990 pp.464-465, 610 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp.890-898, 1975-1976 pp.906-914, 1976-1977 pp.914-923, 1978-1979 pp.447-456, 1979-1980 pp.449-458, 1980-1981 pp.448-457, 1981-1982 pp.452-461, 1983-1984 pp.459-468, 1984-1985 pp.458-467, 1985-1986 pp.460-469, 1986-1987 pp.464-473, 1987-1988 pp.469-478, 1988-1989 pp.471-480, 1989-1990 pp.474-483, 1990-1991 pp.473-482, 1991-1992 pp.473-482 [G]
Article : Finland, in : The World in Figures 1st ed. 1976 pp.219-221, 2nd ed. 1978 pp.219-221, 4th ed. 1984 pp.219-221 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Americana Annual 1971 pp.293-294, 1972 pp.285-286, 1973 pp.294-295, 1974 p.246, 1976 p.250, 1988 pp.239-240, 1989 p.234, 1990 pp.231-232 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia Year Book 1983 pp.164-165 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Yearbook on International Communist Affairs 1976 pp.126-131, 1980 pp.134-139 (Eric S. Einhorn) [G]


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on July 14th 2007

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