Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, talked to the media regarding her impending appointment to the board of directors at SEB, a financial group headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, on 21 February 2019. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

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THE CARETAKER GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) will be unable to move forward with a plan to set up Pohjolan Rautatiet, a special-purpose company founded recently to promote the development of railway infrastructure in Finland.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications on Thursday revealed that decisions on founding two of the five subsidiaries of the special-purpose company will be made by the next government.

“This became evident after the issue was discussed by Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner (Centre) and Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Pöysti on 14 March,” a ministry spokesperson said in a press release.

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Pöysti has ruled that the ministry can establish a subsidiary to manage rolling stock, another to manage railway-related real estate and a third to promote Rail Baltica, a railway project linking Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It can also continue its preparatory work on promoting the development of high-speed rail links between Helsinki and Turku, and Helsinki and Tampere.

The shareholders’ agreements for the last two subsidiaries, however, will require an approval from the next government.

Pöysti has previously stated that the limits of the caretaker government’s powers will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

He told Uusi Suomi on Thursday that decisions with wide-ranging societal impacts, such as the establishment of subsidiaries to promote the development of the two high-speed rail links, cannot be made by a caretaker government.

He also drew attention to his earlier a statement on the role of the caretaker government.

“A caretaker government can be deemed fit to deal with necessary, routine-like current affairs and urgent issues the resolution of which cannot be left to the next government. A caretaker government cannot carry out the government programme. Caretaker ministries are similarly required to forgo new or broad political initiatives that could affect the operational preconditions of the new government,” he noted in a statement issued on 5 March.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi