Country of the World Finland

About the country Finland, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

FINLAND

NITTY-GRITTY

Lay of the Land: In northern Europe, Finland is a low-lying country with a vast number of lakes. Its greatest resource is its evergreen forests, which cover nearly three fourths of the land. The northern third of the country lies within the Arctic Circle.

Size: 130,129 sq. mi. (337,032 sq. km.), slightly larger than New Mexico.

Population: 4.8 million.

Who Rules: The president, elected to six-year terms, has the power to initiate and veto legislation and to dissolve Parliament. Legislative power is vested in the 200-member Eduskunta, whose members are elected to four-year terms.

Who REALLY Rules: Although the legislature constitutionally is the supreme organ of government, the multiparty political system has so divided lawmakers that over the years power has accrued to the president. No one party has been able to garner more than 25% of the vote. On May 15, 1977, a new five-party coalition of Social Democrats, Liberals, Centrists, Communists, and the Swedish People's party came to power--Finland's 60th government in 59 years. The one man who transcends party politics is Pres. Uhro Kekkonen, who has held office since 1956.

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