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Home NATIONALFinland needs positive will to change: President
Thu, 30 Apr, 2015 12:09:18 AM
New parliament session opened
FTimes Report, April 30
The Speaker and chief of Keskusta Juha Sipilä (left) and President Sauli Niinistö at the opening session of new parliament on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö on Wednesday said the members of the new parliament and the forthcoming government have a difficult task ahead of them.
The president made the remarks at the opening of the 2015 session of the new parliament.
“No one in this building can be unaware of the situation in which Finland finds itself. Our economy has shrunk, the needle has swung towards critical on the public debt and deficit indicator,” said Niinistö, adding that the state has large guarantee commitments and the national unemployment insurance fund has a considerable borrowing requirement. 
“Together, these combine to form a challenge which we cannot meet without a new, firmer grasp on matters and a positive will to change,” said the president.
According to Niinistö, changes to the government programme are not necessarily dangerous signs of political turbulence or weakness.
“[We] can only say for sure that, during a parliamentary term, circumstances change in ways that we cannot predict,” he remarked, adding that facing up to reality is a sign of strength, not of weakness.
“Now is the time to live up to our billing – it is up to us. We know what we need to do, so let’s do it,” he urged.
At the beginning of the speech, the president congratulated all members of the parliament on their election.
“I am glad to see that the number of young members has again risen compared to the last few parliaments,” he said.
Finland has room for a variety of lifestyles and personal situations, many cultures also, said Niinistö. 
“On the other hand, we are not ready to accommodate everything: we cannot afford a culture based on selfishness or a feeling of superiority,” he said.
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