Finland since 1990

Administration . The presidency was held by Mauno Henrik Koivisto (SDP) from 1982 to 1994, by Martti Ahtisaari (SDP) from 1994-2000, by Tarja Karina Halonen (SDP) since 2000. The office of PM was held by Harri Hermanni Holkeri (KOK) 1987-1991, by Esko Tapani Aho (KESK) 1991-1995, by Paavo Tapio Lipponen (SDP) 1995-2003, by Matti Taneli Vanhanen (KESK) since 2003. Parliamentary elections were held in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007. The capital is Helsinki.

Foreign Policy . With the fall of communism, Finland no longer was obliged to adhere to a policy of neutrality according to Soviet definition. In 1995, Finland joined the EU, in 2002/2004 it joined the Euro Zone.

Political History . The strongest political party in Finland is the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which provided the country's presidents since 1982 and the PM for the period 1995-2003. Finland, throughout the period when her neighbour to the east, Russia, went through the transition from Communism to capitalism, maintained political stability, all her cabinets lasting for full 4 years.
Finland maintained a welfare state according to the Nordic model, and in recent years has undertaken steps to prevent related costs from escalating.

The Economy . The Finnish economy, during the decades of communism, had become a supplier of the Soviet Union with all kinds of products, many of which were machinery, which the COMECON economy could not supply. With the fall of communism, this quasi-monopoly fell. In the late 1990es, Finnish mobile phone producer Nokia earned worldwide reputation. In 2002/2004, Finland introduced the Euro, while the other two Scandinavian EU members, Sweden and Denmark, stuck to their Krone currencies.

Social History . In 1990, Finland had 4.99 million inhabitants; the population for July 2007 is estimated at 5.23 million.
The Finnish welfare state provides for free education; the state pays for the bulk of health-related expenses. Gender equality is stressed; Finland's president Tarja Halonen is a woman. UNICEF ranks Finland 5th in the world in regard to the well-being of children.
In 1990-2005, Finland has seen the arrival of 69,000 immigrants, c. 40 % of them from the former USSR, considerably increasing the number of foreign residents in the country.

Cultural History . Finnish athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and in the Winter Olympics of Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006. A country without mountains, Finnish athletes do well in ski jumping, cross-country skiing, Nordic combination, biathlon and ice hockey. The Finnish National Ice Hockey Team won the gold medal in world championships in 1995, the silver medal in 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2007. Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1991 the fortress of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) and the wooden city centre of Rauma were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in 1994 the old church of Petäjävesi, in 1996 Verla Mill in Jaala, in 1999 Samallahdenmäki burial site.
Helsinki was European Capital of Culture in 2000.
Lahti hosted the World Nordic Ski Championships in 2001.
In 2004 the Diocese of Espoo was established, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Turku.

Articles Elections in Finland, Social Democratic Party of Finland, Mauno Koivisto, Martti Ahtisaari, Tarja Halonen, Finland at the 1992 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1992 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 2002 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 2006 Winter Olympics, Finnish National Men's Ice Hockey Team, World Heritage Sites in Europe : Finland, Lahti, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland : History, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Finland
BBC News
Political Resources on the Net : Finland; Country Report : Finland, from Polity IV; For the Record 2000 : Finland, from UN Human Rights System
Foreigners in Finland, from Virtual Finland
DOCUMENTS List of Finnish Presidents, Prime Ministers etc., from Finland, by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Finland, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
REFERENCE Article : Finland, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1991 pp.448, 595, 1992 pp.423, 595, 1993 pp.432-433, 606, 1994 pp.430-431, 607, 1995 pp.405, 607, 1996 pp.403-404, 607, 1997 pp.418, 605, 2002 pp.424-425, 604 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1991-1992 pp.473-482, 1992-1993 pp.542-552, 1993-1994 pp.550-559, 1994-1995 pp.541-550, 1995-1996 pp.539-548, 1996-1997 pp.478-487, 1997-1998 pp.485-494, 1998-1999 pp.531-539, 2000 pp.612-623, 2001 pp.592-603, 2002 pp.617-629, 2003 pp.620-631, 2004 pp.620-631, 2005 pp.619-631, 2006 pp.614-626 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Americana Annual 1992 p.240, 1993 p.239, 1994 p.239, 1998 p.244, 2006 p.185 [G]
Entry : Background Notes - Finland, pp.124-129, Travel Warning - Finland, pp.484-485, in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2000, Supplement [G]
Entry : Republic of Finland, Cabinet p.39, Background Notes : Finland, pp.560-564, in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]
Entry : Finland, pp.466-473 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 11th 2008

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