Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, has stated that the capital should carefully weigh up the merits of its membership in the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (Kuntaliitto).
“Helsinki is paying roughly two million euros a year in membership fees to the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities,” Vapaavuori highlighted in a blog on Puheenvuoro on Tuesday. “It is my duty as mayor to consider and examine if we are spending this money smartly.”
Helsinki, he argued, is along with a couple of other large cities becoming increasingly different from the rest of the country – “for better or worse, whether we like it or not” – if only due to its size: the city has added a higher number of people to its population each year than the total number of residents in most municipalities in Finland.
“The age of cultural uniformity is if not crumbling, then dissolving also in Finland,” he wrote. “I have noted a number of times that people in the capital have a very different approach to, for example, immigrants, sexual minorities and vegan food, but also to car ownership and eating outside, than the rest of the country on average.”
His views are shared by Anni Sinnemäki (Greens), the Deputy Mayor for Urban Development at Helsinki.
“It has been easier to find partners from a couple of other large cities than from the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. These are questions that have prompted us to consider whether the association is the right advocacy partner for us,” she commented on YLE Radio 1 on Wednesday.
Sirpa Paatero (SDP), the chairperson of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, told Uusi Suomi that the announcement will be taken seriously. She also reminded, however, that similar announcements were made following the publication of new municipal borders by then Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen (NCP) in 2012.
“But that didn’t happen. This isn’t the first time,” said Paatero.
Source : Helisnki Times