Sauli Niinistö

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Do we have to let every tree stay up...?

Sauli Väinämö Niinistö (born 24 August 1948) is a Finnish politician who has served as the 12th President of Finland since 2012. Previously he had been a member of the Parliament from 1987 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2011, the leader of the National Coalition Party from 1994 to 2001, the Minister for Finance from 1996 to 2003 and the Speaker of the Parliament from 2007 to 2011.


  • Do we have to let every tree stay up and rot in the way that all our forests will turn into impassable thickets that are nicely called virgin forests? And just in order to ensure that every furniture beetle and cockroach can live a diverse and happy life. We the Finns are close to nature but why would we conserve so much that we run out of bread?
    • Niinistö, the leader of the National Coalition Party, criticised the Natura 2000 environmental protection programme on 17 May 1997.[1]
  • It has been thought, correctly and nicely, that everyone who is in peril will be helped. Practically this is implemented in the way that everyone who can say the word "asylum" is allowed to enter Europe and Finland, that word creates a subjective right to cross the border. Even for no proper reason, one gets a full investigation that lasts years, and if the preconditions for an asylum are not met, one can avoid coercive measures and thus stay in the country which he entered wrongly.
    • President Niinistö commented the European refugee crisis while delivering an address to the Parliament of Finland on 3 February 2016.[2]
  • One may oppose immigration. It is an opinion of one's own. But questioning the dignity of an immigrant is unacceptable. (...) I have not seen that these people [the leaders of the Finns Party] who have been convicted exactly of insulting dignity would have shown efficient regretting.
  • The masks have now been taken off, showing only the face of war.
    • President Niinistö replied when asked to shed light on his thoughts about President Vladimir Putin after the Russian attack to Ukraine on 24 February 2022.[3]

"Sauli Niinistö: Finland takes the fight against terrorism seriously", 2022


"Sauli Niinistö: Finland takes the fight against terrorism seriously", (June 1, 2022)

  • Turkey’s concern over terrorism needs to be taken seriously. A large amount of Turkish people, ordinary citizens, have lost their lives in terrorist attacks.
  • On our official visit to Turkey in 2015, together with my spouse, we could at close range follow the aftermath of an attack in Ankara; then we wanted to show our compassion to the loved ones of the victims and to condemn the act.
  • Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and works actively to prevent it. Finland’s approach and deeds in fighting terrorism are already now fully aligned with the general line of NATO countries, also regarding the terrorism Turkey is facing. Also in this respect, the conditions of our membership are met.
  • The dialogue with Turkey on this situation needs to continue.
  • In Finland, an amendment of the criminal code came into force this year. It expands and makes stricter the punishable scope of terrorism crimes. I also want to stress that when Finland respects the international human rights principles, and the laws that have been derived from them, it is in no way in contradiction with effective counter-terrorism measures.
  • I can naturally not state the positions of Sweden, but according to my understanding our approaches are quite similar.


  1. Niinistö haukkui Natura 2000 -ohjelman "Miksi suojelisimme leivän suustamme?" Helsingin Sanomat. 18 May 1997. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  2. Tasavallan presidentti Sauli Niinistön puhe valtiopäivien avajaisissa 3.2.2016 Website of the President of Finland. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  3. Finland condemns Russia's attack, EU details new sanctions Helsinki Times. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.