Finland

Finland has 4 million and 400.000 inhabitants with a density of almost sixteen people for a square kilometre: the official languages are the Finnish, spoken by the 91 per cent of the population, the Sweden spoken by 5 and a half per cent. Sami is the mother language of about 1700 people, native of North Lapland. The majority religion is Christian Lutheran, about 80 per cent of the population, one per cent is orthodox. The society is very secularized.

Since Decenmber 6th, 1917 , Finland is independent ( after being at first part of Sweden and afterwards a big dukedom of Russia for 108 years ). Finland is a parliamentary republic, the unicameral assembly consists of 200 members elected every 4 years.

After the last elections ( April 17 th ,2011 ) on June 22nd, a government of national alliance has been formed. The Head of the State is the President of the Republic,elected every 6 years, with a maximum of two mandates, at present Tanja Halonen.

Finland belongs to the United Nations since 1955 and to the European Union since 1995 (the same year of the entry of Austria and Sweden in the Union ). Education, social safety and health have high standards, sustained by the state. The GDP per capita is 33.618 euros (2010). Important exports are electronics and metals industry products ,wood by-products , automobiles and textiles. The coin is the European euro.

The territory covers an area of 1,160 square chilometres and the width of the country is 540 kilometres. The capital is Helsinky that has a population of around 1 million and 250.000 inhabitants; the climate also records ample contrasts among very cold winters and enough warm summers: There are many cultural relationships between Italy and Finland ; the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, working from 1954 in Villa Lante on the Gianicolo in Rome is a point of reference for the scientific cooperation

The Italian Institute of Culture has been active in Helsinky since1942, promoting the Italian culture; another Italian institution that makes Finnic initiatives is La Rondine (The Swallow).

Finlandia, June 2010, Photo by Aldo Ciummo – All rights reserved