1881 – 1966
Who was Väinö Tanner?
Tanner did not participate in the Finnish Civil War. When the war ended he became Finland's leading Social Democratic Party politician, and a strong proponent of the parliamentary system. His main achievement was the rehabilitation of the SDP after the Civil War. Väinö Tanner served as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Foreign Minister, and after the Winter War Minister of Trade. This final move was due to Soviet pressure.
Väinö Tanner's legacy is in his directing the Finnish working class from the revolutionary ideal towards pragmatic progress through the democratic process. Under his leadership the Social Democrats were trusted to form a minority government already less than 10 years after the bloody civil war. Tanner’s minority socialist government passed a series of important social reforms during its time in office, which included a liberal amnesty law, reduced duties on imported foods, and pension and health insurance laws.
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