After hours of tirades and heated bickering, the City Council of Helsinki voted on Wednesday evening 43—41 in favour of the partial incorporation of the municipal service provider Palmia. A total of 1,400 Palmia employees responsible for staff lunch, cleaning, security and real estate services will consequently be transferred to a new private company, which will remain in municipal ownership.
The other half of Palmia, namely its catering services, will continue to operate as a public utility.
On Wednesday, the National Coalition, the Swedish People's Party and the majority of the Green League voted for the privatisation. Councillors representing the Social Democrats, the Left Alliance, the Centre and the Communist Party, in turn, would have upheld the public status of Palmia as proposed by Pilvi Torsti (SDP).