According to Vapaavuori, the Government has done “too little, too late”.
Commenting on the issue on Saturday, Katainen opted to look on the bright side.
“It's understandable and appropriate that the Minister of Economic Affairs speaks up for economic growth and the operational pre-conditions of industries,” Katainen stressed to reporters during a meeting of the National Coalition's party council.
“If you are curious to hear my personal opinion, I'm not bothered by that at all, because he's talking about the adverse effect of tax hikes on the growth of companies – and I agree entirely.”
The Government is under pressure to announce, for example, when and what kind of tax hikes and spending cuts are in the pipeline. The objective of the new adjustment measures is to generate savings of three billion euros and thereby to reverse the country's debt trajectory by next spring.
Alexander Stubb (NCP), the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, similarly viewed that Vapaavuori spoke first and foremost in his ministerial capacity, with the interest of Finnish industries in mind. According to Stubb, the Government is “an excellent team”.
“I'm certain that we can reach decisions,” said Stubb, who has announced his candidacy for the European Parliament.
His fellow candidate and cabinet member Henna Virkkunen (NCP) contrastively conceded that at times decision-making has proven difficult. “Decision-making is indeed really difficult,” the Minister of Public Administration and Local Government said. On the other hand, she highlighted that major economic policy decisions have been hammered out.
In addition, Virkkunen and Katainen both reminded that the composition of the six-party coalition Government reflects the results of the previous parliamentary elections.
Minna Nalbantoglu – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
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Photo: Sami Kero / HS