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Yearbook 2001

Finland. The revelations about the doping of the Finnish ski stars during the Lahti World Cup in February shook the nation. The scandal also led to very negative publicity for Finland internationally and affected the sporting relations with the outside world.

2001 Finland

According to Countryaah, relations with neighboring countries were also temporarily strained for other reasons. The debate over the construction of a possible fifth nuclear power plant in Finland led to tough exchanges of views between Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and the Norwegian environmental organization Bellona. The war of words began when Lipponen made an official visit to Norway in March.

2001 FinlandAlthough no cases of foot-and-mouth disease were detected in Finland, both Sweden and Norway closed their import limits for Finnish meat during the spring. Agriculture Minister Kalevi Hemilä did not rule out trade wars against Swedish and Norwegian goods if the import ban on meat was upheld. However, the prohibitions were lifted gradually.

In March, Finland's ÖB Gustav Hägglund was elected the first chairman of the EU military committee, which will form a force for EU crisis management.

Mumindalen's creator, the Finnish-Swedish author Tove Jansson, died at the end of June 86 years old.

The Finnish Parliament voted in September for a much-debated bill on registered partnerships for homosexuals, which came into force at the New Year. Denmark got a similar law in 1989, Norway in 1993 and Sweden in 1994.

Finland's largest asset manager Sampo tried during the year in vain to acquire the Norwegian insurance group Storebrand. The deal was blocked by Storebrand's co-owner Den norske Bank, which in turn is largely state-owned. The Norwegian government wanted to keep the company under Norwegian ownership. The conflict was described as a "international fight", as the Finnish state is a partner in Sampo.

Employment in Finland was positive at the beginning of the year, but business cycles were noticeably worsening and pessimism among small and medium-sized companies was not said to have been so severe since the crisis year of 1991. The major groups were also affected. Leading telecom company Sonera went on the stock market.

The Finnish export flagship Nokia, which has drawn the Helsinki Stock Exchange throughout the 1990s, has long resisted the international downturn in the mobile and telecom industries. However, in June came a profit warning and a negative forecast for Nokia's sales of mobile phones. The Group, which has over 60,000 employees in the world, gave notice of layoffs in several countries during the year.

The Finnish doctors went on strike for higher salaries between March and August. The strike was distributed in different locations during different periods, but in Helsinki two of five operations were canceled during the conflict. The doctors initially demanded a 20% pay rise but accepted a mediation proposal of just over half before the strike was canceled.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Finland in the autumn for official discussions with President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Lipponen. The conversations were about The EU's planned enlargement to the east and Russia's relations with the EU. On the Russian side, it was hoped that Moscow's relations with Finland would be a model for Russia's relations with the rest of the EU.

In December, it was clear that Finland was affected by its first case of mad cow disease. On New Year's Eve, Finland, together with Greece, became first among the EU countries to introduce the euro as the official currency.

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