|Map: Finland. Credit: CIA World Factbook.|
FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Finland's Independence Day
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
December 6, 2012
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Finland as you celebrate your Independence Day this December 6.
This past summer I had the opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Finnish people during my visit to Helsinki. We discussed our long history of partnership and common values. Together, we tackle some of the most pressing challenges, from supporting a stable and prosperous future for Afghanistan, to curbing the effects of climate change. We are also working together to build upon our already strong economic relationship. As we look to the future, we are confident that Finland and the United States will continue to be reliable partners in forming a safer and more peaceful world.
I wish all the people of Finland a happy Independence Day celebration and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year.
|Finland Locator Map. Credit: CIA World Factbook.|
ADDITONAL INFORMATION FROM CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state are a high standard of education, equality promotion, and national social security system - currently challenged by an aging population and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.