HELSINKI – Prime Minister Marin elected to chair the Social Democrats

The world’s youngest prime minister, 34 year old Sanna Marin was unanimously elected in her home town of Tampere to chair the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Marin, a devoted Rage Against The Machine fan received her nomination accompanied by Queen’s song “Don’t Stop Me Now”. One could say the song choice was appropriate, given that her government has been widely praised for its response to Covid-19 and lifted her party’s popularity to more than 23%, an achievement that could be considered “queenly”.

But will this honeymoon period last?

The real test may arrive in the autumn when the five-party government has to make unpopular and uncomfortable decisions especially when it comes to employment.

The young PM has a two-fronted battle ahead of her.

The government’s right-wing parties – the Centre Party and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland – are demanding swift actions, possibly including graduated unemployment benefits and restrictions on early retirement.

However, such schemes are fiercely opposed by the powerful labour unions close to Marin’s SDP as well as the Left Alliance in government. And when it comes to the opposition, the Finns Party is sharpening its knives because of the €750 billion EU recovery package. The prime minister’s crown may be less shiny come Christmas.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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