Petteri Orpo
Official portrait, 2023
47th Prime Minister of Finland
Assumed office
20 June 2023
PresidentSauli Niinistö
DeputyRiikka Purra
Preceded bySanna Marin
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
In office
12 April – 20 June 2023
Preceded byMatti Vanhanen
Succeeded byJussi Halla-aho
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
28 June 2017 – 6 June 2019
Prime MinisterJuha Sipilä
Preceded byTimo Soini
Succeeded byMika Lintilä
Minister of Finance
In office
22 June 2016 – 6 June 2019
Prime MinisterJuha Sipilä
Preceded byAlexander Stubb
Succeeded byMika Lintilä
Leader of the National Coalition Party
Assumed office
11 June 2016
Preceded byAlexander Stubb
Minister of the Interior
In office
29 May 2015 – 22 June 2016
Prime MinisterJuha Sipilä
Preceded byPäivi Räsänen
Succeeded byPaula Risikko
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
In office
24 June 2014 – 29 May 2015
Prime MinisterAlexander Stubb
Preceded byJari Koskinen
Succeeded byKimmo Tiilikainen
Member of the Finnish Parliament for Finland Proper
Assumed office
21 March 2007
Personal details
Born
Antti Petteri Orpo

(1969-11-03) 3 November 1969 (age 54)
Köyliö, Satakunta, Finland
Political partyNCP
SpouseNiina Kanniainen-Orpo
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Turku (MA)

Antti Petteri Orpo (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈɑntːi ˈpetːeri ˈorpo]; born 3 November 1969)[1] is a Finnish politician currently serving as the prime minister of Finland since 2023 and as the leader of the National Coalition Party since 2016.[2] He briefly served as speaker of the Parliament of Finland after the 2023 parliamentary election.

He served as Deputy Prime Minister of Finland from 2017 to 2019, Minister of Finance from 2016 to 2019, Minister of the Interior from 2015 to 2016 and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from 2014 to 2015.[3][4] On 2 April 2023, Orpo's National Coalition Party won the 2023 parliamentary election with a plurality of 20.8% of the vote and 48 seats. Orpo garnered over 17,000 votes in his district.

Early life and education

Antti Petteri Orpo was born on 3 November 1969 in Köyliö, Finland.[5] His father, Hannu Orpo, was a politician and member of the National Coalition Party.[6] He passed the Finnish matriculation exams and graduated from Köyliön lukio. Later Orpo earned a master's degree in political science from the University of Turku. Orpo attended Finland's mandatory national armed service and became a reserve officer. His current reserve rank is captain.[5]

Political career

Minister of the Interior

Orpo with Nikos Xydakis in February 2016

During his tenure as Minister of the Interior, Orpo received support for his handling of the 2015 migration crisis from coalition partners in the anti-immigration Finns Party, as well as from opposition lawmakers.[7]

Minister of Finance

In May 2016, Orpo announced that he would challenge the chair of the National Coalition Party and incumbent Minister of Finance Alexander Stubb in June's party conference.[8] At the time, Orpo joined second-term parliamentarian Elina Valtonen in seeking to replace Stubb.[9] In contrast to polyglot and outspoken Stubb, Orpo was widely seen as a careful consensus-seeker with little experience of international politics.[10] Orpo received 441,4 votes against Stubb's 361 and was thus elected as the new chair for the party.[11] Orpo soon announced that he would take Stubb's seat as the Minister of Finance.[12] He was officially appointed as the Minister of Finance on 22 June 2016.[13]

In June 2017, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Orpo announced said they could not cooperate with their parties' third coalition partner, the Finns Party, anymore, citing differences in core values and in the immigration and EU policies. For both Sipilä and Orpo, at stake were major healthcare and local government reform, which were key to their plan to balance public finances.[14]

In addition to his national political roles, Orpo co-chaired (alongside Valdis Dombrovskis) the EPP Economic and Financial Affairs Ministers Meeting, which gathers the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) ministers ahead of meetings of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).[15]

Opposition politics

In December 2019 Orpo attempted a vote of no-confidence in the incumbent government.[16] This would then cause new elections, which Orpo hoped on winning. The incumbent government was accused of malpractice in responding to problems in the labor market. Later, Prime Minister Antti Rinne resigned, and Kulmuni publicly refused to join the National Coalition Party's plan of premature elections.[16]

Prime Minister of Finland (2023–present)

See also: Orpo Cabinet

2023 parliamentary elections

On 2 April 2023, Orpo's National Coalition Party won the 2023 Finnish parliamentary election. The party had led the polls since mid-2021 and finished first, with 20.8% of the votes and 48 seats in the parliament, increasing their total by 10 seats.[17] This was the party's third highest result in its history.[18] Orpo will begin government formation talks when the new parliament and President convene the week after Easter and will name him as the lead negotiator.[19]

Orpo campaigned on a platform of reducing Finland's government debt and the yearly budget deficit as well as reducing income taxes. He defines himself as a "fiscal conservative."[18]

Orpo was elected by parliamentary groups as the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland on 12 April on a temporary basis until a new government is formed.[20]

On 27 April, it was announced that Orpo would begin final negotiations with the Finns Party, the Swedish People's Party and the Christian Democrats to form a coalition government.[21][22] This coalition of parties was confirmed on 15 June,[23] with the government formation, including the names of its ministers, announced on 17 June.[24] His party won eight cabinet posts, the Finns Party seven (including the Ministries of Finance, the Interior and Justice), while the Swedish People's Party and the Christian Democrats shared the remaining five. Petteri Orpo heads Finland's most right-wing government since the end of the Second World War

Tenure

Orpo with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, at an EPP summit in 29 June 2023
Orpo with Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, 14 July 2023
Orpo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 23 August 2023
Orpo with French President Emmanuel Macron, 4 October 2023
Orpo with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, 27 November 2023

Orpo became Prime Minister of Finland on 20 June 2023.[25] The government's roadmap makes cutting public spending a priority. Petteri Orpo announced a €6 billion cut in the state budget, stating that the greatest danger threatening Finland was "the debt crisis" (it stands at 74% of GDP), and reforms, some of which "are going to hurt".[26]

The coalition is betting on unprecedented cuts in social benefits. For example, the conditions for receiving unemployment benefit will be tightened, a one-day waiting period will be introduced at the start of sick leave, and access to housing benefit will be restricted. In addition, the right to strike will be restricted and a fine introduced for unauthorized work stoppages. The government agreement also provides for easier redundancies and the use of fixed-term contracts, while increasing investment in vocational training.[26]

These announcements were welcomed by employers, who see in the program the reforms they have been "demanding for decades", but the unions denounced "an attack on employees". While the center-left and left-wing parties also denounced a "difficult program, especially for people on low and middle incomes" (Sanna Marin) and "the most anti-worker government in Finnish history" (Li Andersson), Party of Finland leader Riikka Purra declared that she "saw no divergence between the interests of employers and employees".[26]

With regard to immigration, reception conditions will be restricted. Asylum will no longer be granted on a temporary basis, and six full years' residence in Finland will be required to apply for a permanent residence permit. Family reunification and access to naturalization will be restricted. In addition, the country will only accept 500 refugees per year under the relocation scheme, compared with 1,050 at present. Immigrant workers will no longer have the same social rights as permanent residents, and will have to leave the country within three months of being laid off.[26]

During the first month of his cabinet, there were numerous scandals regarding past writings by the Finns Party ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister Riikka Purra.[27][28] The scandal around Nazi-connected joking and potential connections to neo-Nazi organisations of Minister of Economic Affairs Vilhelm Junnila led to him resigning.[29] Orpo's Cabinet's party Swedish People's Party of Finland have criticized Orpo for too weak leadership during the Junnila scandal.[30] Orpo's leadership among the various controversies was also questioned and criticized widely in Finnish and international media.[31][32][33]

He condemned Hamas' actions during the 2023 Israel–Hamas war and expressed his support to Israel and its right to self-defense.[34]

Other activities

Orpo at EPP's summit in Brussels, 28 June 2016

European Union organizations

International organizations

References

  1. ^ "Ministerin tiedot: Orpo, Antti Petteri" (in Finnish). Finnish Government. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  2. ^ "Finland's parliament backs Petteri Orpo as PM, replacing Sanna Marin". Reuters. 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Räty, Orpo and Toivakka take over ministerial portfolios". Helsinki Times. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Sipilä's Government appointed". Finnish Government. 29 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Petteri Orpo". Eduskunta.
  6. ^ "Finland's conservative leader Orpo set to become Prime Minister". France 24. 2 April 2023.
  7. ^ Tuomas Forsell (4 May 2016), Finnish finance minister faces new challenge as party leader Reuters.
  8. ^ "Orpo haastaa Stubbin kokoomuksen puheenjohtajakisassa – Harkimo Ylelle: En lähde kisaan, koska Orpo on paras vaihtoehto". Helsingin sanomat. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  9. ^ Tuomas Forsell (4 May 2016), Finnish finance minister faces new challenge as party leader Reuters.
  10. ^ Jussi Rosendahl (22 June 2016), Finland's Finance Minister Petteri Orpo Reuters.
  11. ^ "Nyt se ratkesi – Stubb sivuun, Petteri Orpo on kokoomuksen uusi puheenjohtaja". Ilta-sanomat. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Orpo nappaa valtiovarainministerin salkun – Stubbin uudet tehtävät tarkentuvat myöhemmin". Yle. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Kokoomuksen ministerivaihdoksille sinetti – presidentti vahvisti nimitykset". Yle. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  14. ^ Tuomas Forsell and Jussi Rosendahl (12 June 2017), Finnish PM to break up coalition, kick out nationalists Reuters.
  15. ^ Council of the EU and Ministerial meetings Archived 27 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine European People's Party (EPP).
  16. ^ a b YLE TV1 A-studio. 3 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Tässä on illan vaalitulos: Kokoomus voitti, perussuomalaiset nousi toiseksi". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 2 April 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  18. ^ a b Stenroos, Maria (2 April 2023). "Analyysi: Suomalaiset äänestivät Sanna Marinin hallituksen ulos". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  19. ^ Karkkola, Minna (2 April 2023). "Petteri Orpo kertoo, miten starttaa hallitusneuvottelut – Lähteekö viestejä SDP:lle tai PS:lle?". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  20. ^ "President calls on MPs to cooperate in 'new era' as Finnish Parliament opens". Yleisradio Oy. 13 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  21. ^ Camut, Nicolas (27 April 2023). "Finnish far right in talks to join coalition government". Politico. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  22. ^ "Finnish center-right to start coalition talks with far-right". The Washington Post. 27 April 2023. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  23. ^ "Finland's conservatives to form coalition with far-right – DW – 06/15/2023". dw.com. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Finland's conservative party picks ministers for right-wing coalition government – The Seattle Times". www.seattletimes.com. 18 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  25. ^ "Finland's parliament backs Petteri Orpo as PM, replacing Sanna Marin". MSN. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d "In Finland, the right will tighten migration policy". Le Monde.fr. 18 June 2023.
  27. ^ "Rasistista kieltä Halla-ahon vieraskirjassa viljellyt "riikka" näyttää olevan Riikka Purra – "Olen ilmaissut itseäni tavoilla, joita en nykyään hyväksyisi"". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  28. ^ "Ministeri Ville Tavio on puhunut väestönvaihdosta useita kertoja eduskunnassa". Helsingin Sanomat. 3 July 2023. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  29. ^ "Vilhelm Junnila aikoo erota". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 30 June 2023. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  30. ^ "RKP:ssä toivotaan jämäkämpää johtajuutta pääministeri Orpolta". Iltalehti. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  31. ^ "Orpo johtaa hallitusta silmät kiinni". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  32. ^ "Petteri Orpon hallituksen suurin haaste voi olla Orpo itse". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  33. ^ "Saksan toiseksi suurin sanomalehti ryöpyttää Orpoa: "Tehnyt maalleen valtavaa vahinkoa"". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  34. ^ "Finnish leaders defend abstention in UN vote on Gaza ceasefire". Yle News. 28 October 2023.
  35. ^ Board of Governors European Investment Bank (EIB).
  36. ^ Board of Governors: Petteri Orpo Archived 4 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine European Stability Mechanism.
  37. ^ Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  38. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  39. ^ Members Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee.
  40. ^ Board of Governors Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.
  41. ^ Board of Governors Archived 29 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).
  42. ^ Board of Governors World Bank.
Political offices Preceded byJari Koskinen Minister of Agriculture and Forestry 2014–2015 Succeeded byKimmo Tiilikainen Preceded byPäivi Räsänen Minister of the Interior 2015–2016 Succeeded byPaula Risikko Preceded byAlexander Stubb Minister of Finance 2016–2019 Succeeded byMika Lintilä Preceded byTimo Soini Deputy Prime Minister of Finland 2017–2019 Succeeded byMika Lintilä Preceded byMatti Vanhanen Speaker of the Parliament of Finland 2023 Succeeded byJussi Halla-aho Preceded bySanna Marin Prime Minister of Finland 2023–present Incumbent Party political offices Preceded byAlexander Stubb Leader of the National Coalition Party 2016–present Incumbent Order of precedence Preceded byJussi Halla-Ahoas Speaker of the Parliament Order of precedence of FinlandPrime Minister Succeeded byTatu Leppänenas President of the Supreme Court