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Wed, 04 Feb, 2015 12:04:05 AM
Political parties express different opinions on NATO issue
FTimes – STT Report, Feb 4
 
File Photo AFP-Lehtikuva.
The support for military alliance NATO membership application has substantially increased compared to the previous, although majority of the people still oppose the move, according to a survey by policy and pro-market think tank EVA.
 
According to the survey's preliminary results, 26 percent of Finns support NATO membership application while 43 percent opposed to joining the military alliance.
 
Thirty two percent of the respondents, however, remain uncertain about their opinions in this regard.
 
A year ago during winter,18 percent of the respondents supported NATO membership application while the percentage of those against joining NATO was 51 percent.
 
The survey was conducted by Taloustutkimus in January and over 2,000 people were interviewed. The margin of error was +/- 2-3 percent.
 
Chair of Kokoomus Alexander Stubb, chair of Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue Antti Rinne and Keskusta Chief Juha Sipilä in the discussion organised by EVA on Tuesday. Photo Lehtikuva.
The political party heads during EVA forum with Prime Minister candidates did not respond directly on how significant the increased support for NATO membership would culminate into a serious debate. 
 
The chair of Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) Alexander Stubb said NATO membership should be evaluated on the basis of the interests of the country.
According to Stubb, joining NATO should not only be based on the criteria of support.
 
Stubb pointed out that the country should have joined NATO long time ago, because joining NATO would have ushered the country to the Western community of values to which it belongs.
 
In reference to Stubb comment, Antti Rinne, the chair of Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen  Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland) said the country embodies the western values even without NATO membership.
 
Keskusta Chief Juha Sipilä on his part said application for NATO could be considered if the assessment of the security situation changes.
 
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