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Centre Party's Kalli sees election as race for Prime Minister

Parliamentary group leader accuses Heinäluoma of slowing down reforms

Centre Party's Kalli sees election as race for Prime Minister Timo Kalli
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Timo Kalli, chairman of the Centre Party's Parliamentary group, emphasises that this month's Parliamentary election will determine who the next Prime Minister is.
      In a statement issued on Monday, Kalli also lashed out at the Centre's government partner, the Social Democratic Party, and its Prime Ministerial candidate Eero Heinäluoma.
Kalli pointed out that since 1991 the chairman of the largest party has been named Prime Minister. He said that if the people want Matti Vanhanen, who has support across political party boundaries, they should vote for candidates of the Centre Party in the elections.
      Kalli said that this would guarantee the continuity of a "stable policy of reform".
      He warned that if the Social Democrats become the largest party, and Heinäluoma becomes Prime Minister, Finland will shift to "leftist politics".
      "Heinäluoma's recent statements are taking the SDP back to the 1970s, when the Social Democrats tried to solve all of their problems through state spending", he said.
Kalli said that Heinäluoma has concentrated on slowing down necessary reforms. He said that Heinäluoma "considers it his mission to protect the interests of a few interest groups that are important for the Social Democrats, and not those of all Finns".
      Kalli later told Helsingin Sanomat that he was specifically referring to the recent globalisation report by Vesa Vihriälä, Secretary-General of the Economic Council of Finland, which Heinäluoma rejected out of hand. Kalli says that he was specifically referring to flexibility in working life and security.
      Jouni Backman, chairman of the Social Democratic Parliamentary group, said that Kalli is suffering from an optical illusion. "With the Centre Party moving toward the right, from their angle it looks as if the SDP had moved somewhere. It has not", Backman said.

Helsingin Sanomat

  6.3.2007 - TODAY
 Centre Party's Kalli sees election as race for Prime Minister

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