Terho questioned over his stance on EU policy

Sampo Terho, the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, faced a number of questions about the apparent turnabout in his position on the European Union on Thursday, as the Parliament convened for its first question time session following the split of the Finns Party.

Terho repeatedly expressed his willingness to hold a referendum to decide whether or not Finland should remain in the European Union while campaigning for the leadership of the Finns Party - reports Helsinki times.

“I took part in drawing up the government programme, and I’m very satisfied with it,” he affirmed on Thursday. “The government will abide by the same government programme it did last week and the week before that. There has been no change in policy.”

Terho is one of a total of 20 legislators who left the Finns Party and formed the New Alternative Parliamentary Group on Tuesday following the election of Jussi Halla-aho (PS), a Member of the European Parliament known for his opposition to immigration and the integration of the European Union, as the chairperson of the Finns Party.

The Finns Party Parliamentary Group, he pointed out, was demanding that its members commit to the government programme as recently as on Monday. “What has happened here is that my position has not changed, while your position has. I’m committed to the government programme,” reiterated Terho.

His interpretation of the situation was rejected by Leena Meri, the new chairperson of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group. “We aren’t committed to anything any more, as we’re no longer part of the government,” she reminded.

Speaker of the Parliament Maria Lohela, another member of the newly-formed New Alternative Parliamentary Group, put an end to the debate about the composition of the government by reminding that legislators will have the opportunity to comment on government policies on Monday.

Several Members of Parliament also expressed their bafflement with the fact that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre), Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini were all absent from the question time session.

“The first question time session after the coalition crisis: Juha Sipilä, Petteri Orpo and Timo Soini are absent; Sampo Terho refuses to answer to [questions about] changes in government policy,” Krista Mikkonen, the chairperson of the Green Parliamentary Group, summarised on Twitter.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva

Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.

helsinkitimes
SampoTerho theMinisterofEuropeanAffairs Finns Finland
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in february
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Society
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
Society
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
Society
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Society
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
Society
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Society
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
Society
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Society
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....