The Finns Party and the Translation Controversy and Other Midweek Ramblings
It looks like a thick layer of clouds will gather over Helsinki during the morning and push rain down our necks until evening. The sun could occasionally come out in short periods but the day will be moist in most parts of the country.
Some people call a weather like this rotten, but the weather aside, we are living through interesting times.
We are on the verge of reaching consensus in creating a new government. The government negotiator, Juha Sipilä, and the party leaders have since Monday been negotiating and – sometimes – arguing on the 15 questions posed by Sipilä.
For the Finns party, the questions related to immigration and economy stirred controversy of the size that, for a moment, it looked like the Finns wouldn’t be able to join the government with others, namely the Centre, National Coalition Party and Social Democrats . . .
To the question of, “Does your parliamentary group have any demands in changing the immigration politics or the jurisdiction related to it?” the Finns party responded that the state of the economy should commensurate directly with the size of the refugee quota. If the economy is sinking and the country lives on debt, the quota should be limited accordingly.
According to the Finns party, the translation services should be limited as well. “It’s not right that the tax payers for example pay for translation services while conducting everyday chores for folks who have lived in the country for years,” the Finns stated. “The endless supply of translation services does not encourage one to study Finnish.”
On Tuesday evening, however, Sipilä said that he has reached an “understanding” with the Finns party and they are now among the candidates in joining the government.
If all goes well, the parties should reach an understanding by Thursday and the first steps of reforming the new government would be taken on Friday.
At the beginning of the week, the work places were crowded with tired people after the long May Day weekend. On Sunday, the good folks tried to shake some of the guilt and hangover off their shoulders by running and walking about the city in their neon yellow tracking suits but the savage frenzy of beer and booze and streamers and overalls had certainly taken its toll.
The cream of the cake on April 30, the crowning of Havis Amanda, is getting more popular by the year, it seems. Last year I managed to push myself through the crowd of tens of thousands occupying the Northern Esplanade about 15 minutes before the official crowning ceremony was about to begin. No such luck this year. I managed to get to the far end of the Helsinki City Hall. After that, a tank would have needed to pierce the cheerful crowd, not willing to move an inch as if their fun depended on the very spot they were standing on.
But I managed to see a remote-steered helicopter carrying the student cap. There was a small explosion, a cloud of smoke. Tons of cheering.
After the smoke cleared and the crowd started parting, I was able to push myself through to the fountain of Amanda who was now wearing a bright white student cap.
There were people from various student unions swimming in the fountain of thick white foam, resembling a big glass of champagne.
A bunch of students were climbing to the top of the statue. Some of them were trying to take the cap off from Amanda. They took long sips from the mouth of the bottle and came down uncontrollably with a movement resembling a cliffhanger running out of the juice and plunging into downfall.
The security looked nervous.
“You aren’t climbing there again? Are you?” a guard screamed, but the boys didn’t listen.
“They promised to not climb again,” the guard said to another.
“Never trust humans,” he replied.
Someone at the feet of Amanda’s corked another bottle of the bubbly.