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Beyond the Finnish lakes, the bear’s forest


During the Ukrainian crisis, in the North of Europe a Vladimir Putin statement has not gone unnoticed, when he declared that "the bear does not ask anyone's permission, the bear does not give anyone his forest" maybe because the bear which was mentioned incarnates Russia, a country that throughout its history has often confused its forest and that of Finland and not only by means of the jokes: on Wednesday 1st April the newspaper "Helsingin Sanomat" reported that a Finnish entrepreneur was denied permission to continue his business in the Russian Federation, where he had operated for decades.

Proposals re-emerged in order to make rules on the purchase of land in Finland stricter and doing so prevent a concentration of land into the hands of Russian financial capital, but the Finnish Government urged to distinguish between different purposes of purchase, which in some cases cannot be considered a threat to national security. Certainly much time has passed since the “finlandization”, an official neutrality tending to the east out of political realism (while the policy of balance was close to the West in Norwegian international relations, with Sweden and Denmark acting as a center, between Nordic systems). Even between the late eighties and early nineties, Helsinki attracted some criticism for not showing  enthusiastic attitudes towards Baltic neighbors’ aspirations against Soviet and post-Soviet influences.

Deteriorated relations with a major partner ever for the Finnish industrial system would not bring much benefit even today: a year ago a one and a half per cent growth was forecasted for 2015 in the Nordic country, now it seems that it will only come to half a point (such as the Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday, April 2nd ) furthermore, in partial contradiction with its traditional role of advocate of austerity, until 2018 the Finnish state will continue to evaluate exemptions to the constraint of 3 percent between deficit and GDP. Since domestic demand and investment are increasing, the uncertainty created on the international stage by the Russian giant (that showed many signs of agitation in the north) seems to be playing its part in this downsizing of expectations.

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