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Yearbook 1996

Finland. According to, a possible NATO accession received attention again in the spring when the Finnish Minister of Europe, in a statement, did not consider it incredible that the country would soon become a member. The Social Democratic government, headed by Prime Minister Lipponen, commented that an accession to NATO was not relevant.

1996 FinlandOn October 20, 60% of the Finnish people voted for their representatives at both the municipal level and the European Parliament. The turnout was 61.1%, which was considered low, especially for the municipal elections. In both elections, Finland's Social Democratic Party, Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Sdp), lost ground, while Finland's Center (Suomen Keskusta) advanced and became the largest party. One of the reasons for the decline of the Social Democrats was considered to be Finns' hesitation in EMU: two-thirds expressed their willingness to vote for membership. The week before the election, the EMU-positive government took a big step closer to EMU through its accession to the European exchange rate mechanism ERM, which was believed to have contributed to the loss of the Social Democratic Party.

1996 Finland

During the fall, it was revealed that after World War II, the Sdp had built up its own intelligence service with the aim of charting left-wing movements. At the initiative of Prime Minister Lipponen, an investigation started.

Economically, the policy was characterized by the goal of meeting EMU's convergence requirements. Growth rates were high, highest among EU countries, and industrial production grew by just over 3%. Unemployment fell more than expected, but an open unemployment rate of just over 16% remained.

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