Finland getting centre-right government with a shade of green
Official government formation talks begin next week
Centre Party Chairman Matti Vanhanen, who has presided over discussions with Finland’s Parliamentary parties aimed at the formation of a new coalition government, announced on Wednesday morning that the Green League would be one of the parties that he proposes for a four-party majority government. The Greens are to take part in negotiations on a majority government platform along with the Centre Party, the National Coalition Party, and the Swedish People’s Party.
"Affecting the decision were both the election result, and the goals set forth by the party programmes. I especially emphasise the importance of the election result", Vanhanen said.
Vanhanen emphasised that the main themes of the future government would include energy and climate policy, know-how and entrepreneurship, reform of the municipal and service structure, and reform of basic security.
National Coalition Party Chairman Jyrki Katainen said that climate issues and the state of the environment, as well as energy decisions will be key challenges of the next government. Green League chairwoman Tarja Cronberg and Swedish People’s Party Chairman Stefan Wall also emphasised the state of the environment.
Actual government talks begin under the leadership of Matti Vanhanen at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Wednesday next week. They are expected to take four or five days.
Some doubts were raised within both the Centre and the National Coalition on how trustworthy a government partner the Greens would prove to be. The last time that the Greens were in government, they left the coalition in 2002 over the issue of nuclear energy - a drama that the other parties would like to avoid.
The energy policy line of the Greens has been called into question by the National Coalition Party; the party’s chairman Jyrki Katainen said on Tuesday that there must be no "internal opposition" within the government.
Centre Party deputy chairwoman Paula Lehtomäki said that the issue of Parliamentary group discipline should be discussed with the Greens.
The Greens’ Parliamentary group leader Heidi Hautala emphasised that the party has a very united Parliamentary group.
The only specific minister’s post that the Centre Party wants for itself is that of Prime Minister; Vanhanen said that the number of ministerial portfolios that each party gets will be evaluated when the government’s policy programme is ready, on the basis of the size of the party.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Prime Minister Vanhanen meeting with Parliamentary groups (3.4.2007)