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Yearbook 2012

Finland. The first round of the presidential election in January was won as expected by the Candidate Party candidate, former finance minister and President Sauli Niinistö. Of the voters, 37% cast their vote on Niinistö. On the other hand, it was a surprise that Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto managed to take second place with 18.8%. That meant a great disappointment for the Center's veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen, who had expected to challenge Niinistö in a second round of elections. Väyrynen came in third place, followed by Social Democrats leader Paavo Lipponen and True Finns leader Timo Soini.

2012 Finland

2012 FinlandAccording to countryaah, the decisive round in February was a clear victory for Niinistö, who got close to 63% of the vote against just over 37% for Haavisto. It was the first time in more than three decades that a non-social Democrat became president and the first time in over half a century that a candidate from the Conservative party won the presidential election.

Finland's gun laws had been tightened several times in recent years, including 2011 with an increased age limit for weapons permits to 18 years and for small arms to 20 years, but that could not prevent a new bloody shooting drama. In May, two people were killed and seven injured when an 18-year-old boy opened fire in Hyvinge in Uusimaa. Like after the school shootings in Jokela 2007 and Kauhajoki 2008, there was a new debate about the gun laws.

Amnesty International criticized Finland's handling of asylum applications during the year. According to Amnesty, the asylum process has become so rapid that it threatens legal certainty. Finland was also criticized for total refusal to serve military service and civilian service.

The Finnish industry's flagship, the telecom company Nokia, had a black year in 2012 after almost 13 years as a world leader in the mobile market. Sales, profitability and share price collapsed when the company did not participate in the global competition for smart phones. Several thousand employees were forced to leave, many of them in Finland. There was speculation that Nokia would relocate its headquarters from Finland, which was dismissed by management.

However, Finland's state finances went well. In July, the credit rating agency Moody's found that Finland was the only euro area with the highest possible credit rating. At the same time, after a tough political debate, the Riksdag said yes to the eurozone crisis loans to Spain, however, on the condition that collateral be provided for some of the loans.

The Assembly Party became the largest party nationally in the municipal elections in October, with the Social Democrats in second place and the Center in third. The true Finns increased significantly in relation to the previous municipal elections but had far to the result of the 2011 parliamentary elections.

In November, a serious leakage of heavy metals occurred at the Talvivaara mine in eastern Finland, where uranium is mined. The plant and animal life of Lake Kivijärvi was threatened by uranium-rich wastewater and large amounts of nickel that ran into the water system. A criminal investigation was initiated, and Environment Minister Ville Niinistö was very critical to the mining company's actions.

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