Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, talked to the media about the ongoing coalition formation process in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Tuesday, 30 April 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY has yet to exclude a single party from the coalition formation process, according to Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the largest party in the Finnish Parliament.

“Not a single party has been ruled out based on a quick read-through, nor is a single party definitely in the mix,” he commented to reporters in the Parliament House on Tuesday.

All parties have now published their threshold conditions for coalition co-operation and their answers to the questions presented by Rinne and the Social Democrats. The answers will be analysed in more detail during the course of today and tomorrow, before the parties are invited to bilateral talks with the Social Democrats.

The Centre and National Coalition both tabled a particularly long list of conditions for coalition co-operation.

The former, for example, demands that 18 counties be created in the social and health care reform and that the use of wood be increased moderately while ensuring the sustainable use of forests. The latter said the government must continue to build fiscal buffers, cut taxes on earned and pension income, forgo raises in business taxes, and not create needless administrative structures in the social and health care reform.

The Finns Party, meanwhile, declared that it is only willing to enter into a government that recognises the negative economic and security-related effects of especially humanitarian immigration and takes determined action to curb “harmful immigration”.

“There isn’t a single threshold condition that’d prevent further talks,” Rinne said on Tuesday.

Rinne also revealed that he will ask the parties to shed further light on their position on the issues of economy, climate and the European Union.

“Even though we only presented two questions [on the economy], of which one dealt entirely with and the other partly with the economy, I was astounded by how flimsy the answers were,” he revealed.

Rinne added that his objective is to conclude the bilateral talks and launch the formal coalition formation negotiations by 8 May.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi