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Europe of Freedom and Democracy

Summary of the EFD study days in Finland

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MEP and host for the ”2011 Study-days in Finland”, Timo Soini, bid welcome at 3 o'clock. He then handed over the floor to his fellow “True Finns” party member, Sampo Terho, whom some may know from the EFD-trip to Finland last summer. Sampo gave a very comprehensive presentation on Finnish history, which included tales of the country's relationship with its neighbours, Sweden and Russia especially.


The Foreign Minister, Alexander Stubb, came to the “Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa”, where Members and staff would stay during the duration of the study-days, and gave a presentation followed by an exchange of views with the members. Mr. Stubb had divided his speech into three parts: World politics, EU politics and regional, Finnish issues.


The National Defence University and the War Museum were the settings of the speeches by Colonel Pekka Holopainen and Mr. Harri Huusko to the members of the EFD-Group. According to the Colonel a new strategy has been implemented: "Meaner but leaner". So in essence there will be fewer soldiers but they will have access to state-of-the-art equipment. Participants could also observe on the Colonels PowerPoint slides that the budget for personnel and equipment was more or less the same. The budget in total is 2,8 billion Euro (approximately 1,3/1,4 % of GDP). A universal male conscription exists, under which all men above 18 years of age serve for 6, 9 or 12 months. Finland and Greece are the only two EU-member st. tes enforcing a conscription policy. The number of reservists is 350.000.




23 February 2011

Read full article: www.efdgroup.eu


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