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Home NATIONALForgoing Independence Day celebrations in missions criticised
Wed, 21 Oct, 2015 12:05:46 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 21
Maria Guzenina (sd.) in the plenary session of parliament on 13 October 2015. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The decision not to hold Independence Day celebration in Finnish missions abroad was met with resentment in parliament.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry recently issued guideline regarding the issue resulting to a topical for-eign policy debate in parliament on Tuesday.
Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland) parliamentarian Maria Guzenina suspects that hard working diplomats have become prisoners of short sighted populism. According to Guzenina, trick does not look good from the outside.
“The fact is that 300,000 will be saved and give rise to international debate that Finland does not have money to invite friends to celebrate even hard earned and maintained independence. Is this the message which we want to send to the world,” Guzenina posed. 
Criticism also came from the ranks of the ruling party.
“I have experience on this issue, how important this is. This costs quite a bit, but it is a big loss of points in the front,” said Kansallinen Kokoomus’ (National Coalition Party) Pertti Salolainen who acted at the Finnish Ambassador to Britain.
Foreign Minister Timo Soini defended the savings policy stating that it is a long term development as the previous government also reduced the network of diplomatic missions abroad.
“All of these certainly, when the economy grows and the resources improve, then of course celebra-tions could be organised,” Soini said.
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