The Government Candidates: We’ll Fix the Immigration Issues First, Then the Budget

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Juha Sipilä (front), the government negotiator from the Centre party and the two other party leaders: Timo Soini of the Finns and Alexander Stubb of NCP arriving at the press conference after an about hour-long preliminary discussions to form the new government at the Government Banquet Hall in Helsinki on Friday April 8 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

It’s now a matter of reaching an agreement between the three biggest parties negotiating for the new government: the Centre, National Coalition party and the Finns party, who today started the preliminary government negotiations of forming a coalition that couldn’t lean any further to the right.

The group of candidates for the coalition was put together by Juha Sipilä (Centre), the government negotiator, after two-week-long negotiations, based on his questionnaire of 15 questions ranging from immigrants to thoughts on how to embellish the Finnish Maiden ready for the Miss Europe beauty contest, where, in today’s world, money matters over the beautiful exterior and character.

The money for the make-up will be provided by the 10 billion euros worth of savings from wherever one can cut and slice expenditures.

The Social Democrats wanted to be part of the government to the very end but on Thursday Sipilä decided that the new coalition will be just fine with the three largest parties.

According to Antti Rinne, the SDP leader, who stormed out of the early candidate negotiations, it looks like the direction the government is taking has less justice, less equality, less improvements in the quality of working life . . . Anyone one with any decency and moral surely agrees, that this doesn’t sound too good.

But is this the thruth? It’s still too early to say.

“Don’t cut from the student benefits!” and “Honk the horn if you are against temporary work!” were some of the slogans chanted at the side of the busy Southern Esplanade and the shouts and honks were clearly heard inside the thick yellow walls of the 19th Century building where government negotiations have been held for decades.

Rinne’s statement is, however, easily supported by the fact that the Greens and Left Alliance are kilometres away from sitting at the same table for discussions on which direction this country should be led.

There are many worried people out there. Today, alone, there were a few dozen students making noise more than thrice the amount in front of the Government Banquet Hall, where the outlines for the government negotiations were sketched.

According to Antti Rinne, the SDP leader, who stormed out of the early candidate negotiations, it looks like the direction the government is taking has less justice, less equality, less improvements in the quality of working life . . . Anyone one with any decency and moral surely agrees, that this doesn’t sound too good.

“Don’t cut from the student benefits!” and “Honk the horn if you are against temporary work!” were some of the slogans chanted at the side of the busy Southern Esplanade and the shouts and honks were clearly heard inside the thick yellow walls of the 19th Century building where government negotiations have been held for decades.

What was really decided today was the order of how the negotiations will proceed and that the total tax ratio will not be increased.

Matters related to immigration among others are next in line. Starting from Monday, they are going to be handled by the working groups, because of their very nature of not being too costly decisions in the state budget.

In the beginning, there were some major differences between the views of the three big parties in how they saw that the immigration policies should be handled in the future.

Naturally, the press grilled Timo Soini, the Finns party leader, of the subject and he had not much more to say that, “A single opinion of a single party doesn’t matter much in these negotiations.”

After the “minor matters” of the budget have been solved the parties will move to the subject of big money: namely the framework for the 10 billion euros budget cuts, a number, based on the report of the financial ministry, which was released in March.

Alexander Stubb (NCP) praised the “rapid speed of reaching a mutual understanding”. On Friday afternoon, it only took an hour and fourteen minutes whereas it took four years for the previous government.

By Tuesday, the working groups discussing EU matters, foreign and security politics and immigration should have reached a tentative agreement.

However, whether a new government will be formed based on these negotiations is unsure. According to Sipilä’s preliminary evaluation, the government should be formed during May and during the time, anything can happen: even other parties might join the negotiations, if found necessary.

 

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