Navigating through troubled times

The left and the euro crisis in Finland

in The European left and the financial crisis
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During the campaign for the 2015 Eduskunta elections, the centre right parties, the main employers’ organisation, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), economists, and even the overall public mood seemed to favour cuts to public spending that would make the Finnish economy more competitive. Since the onset of the financial crisis Finland had experienced almost constant economic decline, with worsening public debt amid job market uncertainty. This chapter first argues that the response of the Finnish left to the euro and financial crisis must be understood in light of these domestic developments, with the positions of SDP, VAS and the Greens clearly influenced by the changing tides of party politics, the shape of the national economy, and the domestic politicisation of Europe. The next section examines the decline of the left and the politicisation of European integration through the euro crisis, with the third section in turn exploring the ideological response of the left to the crisis. The concluding discussion looks ahead, arguing that the severe challenges facing the left and the unions are far from over.

Editors: Michael Holmes and Knut Roder

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