Rafael Paasio

Rafael Paasio

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Rafael Paasio

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Kustaa Rafael Paasio (June 6, 1903 in Uskela - March 17, 1980 in Turku) was a prominent Finnish politician and editor from Social Democratic Party. He served as Prime Minister of Finland twice .

Paasio was at early age in contact with Social Democratic Labor movement. Paasio was elected to the parliament in 1948. Before that he participated in Turku municipal politics and was since 1942 the chief of newspaper Turun Päivälehti. Paasio was the chairman of SDP from 1963 to 1975, and served as the prime minister twice, 1966-1968 and 1972, and was also twice the Speaker of the Parliament . Both his son, , and his granddaughter, , have been members of the parliament.

Social Democrats remember Rafael Paasio, above all, as party unifier and strengthener. In addition, the party reached decent relations with Soviet Union during his term.Paasio positioned himself in the middle of left-wingers and right-wingers in the party. His support to Kekkonen allowed a new coming for SDP-led governments. His first cabinet began building the modern Finnish welfare state, and the second government laid the foundation for Finland's EEC agreement. Therefore his actions had a revolutionary impact on Finnish history.

Paasio was the Social Democrat candidate in the 1962 presidential elections.

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