“A year of celebrations is behind us. The centenary of our independence was fêted in many ways and recalled with gratitude.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“It has been rousing to see how people’s festive mood took over the country during the course of the year. We recapped the past, looked to the future and, above all, felt genuine joy of our own Finnishness.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“The year now beginning is a time that immediately pauses one for some self-reflection, however. The memories of 1917 and 1918 are almost diametrically opposed. The best that any nation could face came first, only to be followed by the worst. The year in which we gained independence was followed by a year in which civil war broke out. Not even long after have all the scars been healed. And so in the early days of independence we were not “together”, but very badly apart. This cannot simply be swept away. We must have the courage to be honest about history, because only honesty creates a foundation for trust. A strong society is able to face up to painful things as well. We must try to reconcile the past.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“Independence is both a gift and a vocation.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“After a lost decade, the economy is in an upswing and employment has begun to improve. This turn of events is sorely needed. Even so, our economy has yet to reach the level it was at in 2008. … The warning that abundant funding has been channelled into increased debts and asset values is well founded. Tighter monetary policy, which is inevitable in the world at some stage, will lead to a more challenging situation. Reasonable caution is now called for.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“Many young people are still marginalised and school bullying continues in Finland both face to face and in social media. The #metoo movement has made everyone aware of just how much also young people are harassed. Much would improve if we showed empathy or at least if we were able to respect each other. There would be understanding and the connection that ensues.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“Whereas Finland’s foreign and security policy situation is stable, in other parts of the world there is upheaval. This affects us and everyone else. … It is increasingly apparent that China, Russia and the United States, in various line-ups, sit around those tables where the way of the world is regulated. Of course, dialogue between major powers is a good thing. But as far as we are concerned, the problem is the missing seats: The EU has remained on the sidelines and the role of the UN seems to be diminishing.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“We are now living in a critical time for the whole of the human race. Climate change is not a matter of opinion, but a real threat. For many of us this realisation has come too late and would have come even later had it not been for those people who started to ring the alarm bells. What a good thing they did!” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“Now is the time to act, not at the normal pace, but quickly. We are running behind. Finland assumes and takes responsibility. We are committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and have just increased our international climate funding. The Finnish clean tech industry is also contributing by developing sustainable solutions.” – Sauli Niinistö, TPK, 1 January 2018.
“Investigations [police investigation into the leak of classified documents] are moving forward. There are two different lines of inquiry, one related to the leak and one related to the article by Helsingin Sanomat. … The situation will likely improve in terms of intelligence gathering, oversight of intelligence access and oversight of the means of intelligence gathering.” – Sauli Niinistö, YLE, 19 December 2017.