Estonia overtakes Finland in terms of living standards, believes a Finnish millionaire aspiring to the Riigikogu – “Estonia is agile and intelligent, Finland is rigid and heavy”

Estonia overtakes Finland in terms of living standards believes a

TALLINN Estonia still has a long way to go to meet the Finnish standard of living. However, it comes alongside and over, if Joakim Helenius is believing.

– When you look at former socialist countries, Virohan has clearly done the best, says Helenius in an interview with .

The Finnish investment banker has been influencing the development of Estonia himself for almost 30 years. And the appetite hasn’t run out yet.

Helenius received Estonian citizenship at the end of last year and is a candidate in the parliamentary elections to be held on Sunday.

– In Estonia, we need to build a state model that guarantees people the best possible benefits, but also those that can be financed in the future, says Helenius, a “candidate” in the ranks of the Eesti 200 party.

Estonians are ready to make sacrifices

Joakim Helenius doesn’t need to be encouraged to compare his country of birth and his current home country. According to him, many things are better in Estonia.

– In Finland, people are used to the existing system. They are used to the fact that the unions go on strike, that the subsidies paid by the state are very generous. Estonians have a much more dynamic attitude towards state and economic development.

According to Helenius, Finland cannot maintain the current welfare state for much longer. Regardless, no one questions it.

Estonia can’t afford a welfare state like Finland and that’s a good thing, says Helenius, who has become his party’s candidate for finance minister.

– In Estonia, we are still building those systems, while in Finland we will soon reach the stage where it is necessary to dismantle them. And that dismantling is always much more painful than building new ones.

Helenius believes that Estonians understand that reaching a Finnish standard of living requires sacrifices.

– There are no trade unions in Estonia, at least not viable ones. It is an extremely good thing for the Estonian economy. Economic structures in Estonia are much more dynamic than in Finland.

Joakim Helenius’ Eesti 200 is the newest newcomer to the Estonian party scene. It was established in November 2018. The party speaks of itself as a liberal party of experts and emphasizes a long-term plan that looks beyond one election term.

The party members have mostly not been actively involved in politics before. According to Helenius, that is also good because professional politicians have ruined Western politics.

– They have no experience in real life, they have a very basic understanding of, for example, the economy and its problems and solutions.

The advantage of Eesti 200 is also that there is no candidate who thinks above all about keeping the seat of MP or minister’s seat, says Helenius.

Even though Helenius’s ads run on Estonian radio and TV channels, in fact, he is not that interested in public representation.

But if his party manages to realize its 9–14 percent support in the elections as well, it has a good chance of entering the government. In that case, Helenius can become the first Finnish-born minister in Estonia.

Benefits only for those who need them, the civil service should be eliminated

As Minister of Finance, Joakim Helenius should ensure that the state’s role in the lives of people and companies remains relatively limited.

– The so-called money to be sown from a helicopter, I am against that. My vision of what Estonia’s state apparatus could be is based on connecting public databases to artificial intelligence systems, so that we could allocate all benefits only to those who need them, envisions Helenius.

In addition, the number of government officials should be cut by at least 20 percent.

– That would be a future solution. It is not in Estonia’s interests to copy what is in Finland, says Helenius.

Instead, Eesti 200 is ready to invest more in national defense and education than at the moment.

– Estonia has the best schools in Europe, as the Pisa studies show, but the average age of teachers is very high. Young people do not come to schools as teachers as much as would be necessary. It is clearly necessary for us to invest so much in the school in order to solve the teacher issue, says Helenius.

You can discuss the matter until 11 pm tomorrow.