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What happened yesterday and was officially approved today in the last session of the parliament before the upcoming elections, is proof that a committed group of people can affect the minds of the politicians.
Today the parliament folded the proposed bill of removing a student’s right to apply student aid for a second degree.
Obviously, if the bill wasn’t folded it would have meant that one would have been stuck with their current degree or profession for a life-time because without the student aid, the 300-400 euros monthly ‘income’, a student couldn’t survive in the expensive Finnish society where raising the prices is more common than cutting.
Cutting, after all, is what the former cabinet and the government were seemingly suggesting as the only remedy for the economic slump.
But cutting from the poor or by wrecking the chance for lifetime learning, the strength and the sex appeal of Finnish education would be lost and that would have serious consequences to the future of the country.
“Do we want to make Finland a banana republic!?” one protester of about thousand screamed during the demonstration on Friday afternoon at 13:00, at the citizen’s square, located within a stone’s throw from the Parliament House.
“Keep your fingers off the student aid!” yelled another.
The demonstrators had people inside the Parliament House, observing the full sitting where the government pondered on the bill.
After the protesters had yelled slogans so hard that “they were heard inside the parliament”, the good news started spreading.
At about 13:30, the protesters were told that Kokoomus (The National Coalition Party) is not supporting the bill.
By next minute, the news sites were writing that the government would, indeed, be withdrawing the bill.
This caused an enormous amount of hugs, high fives and cheers that at least this time were surely heard inside the parliament.
On Saturday morning, as one of their last decisions, the parliament folded the bill by voting 185-1.