Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, commented on the coalition formation talks in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Monday, 28 May 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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ANTTI RINNE, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party, has announced that the chairpersons of the parties that are set to form the next government have reached an agreement on a financial framework for the government programme.

“It’s now a done deal,” he stated to reporters in the House of the Estates at around 11pm on Monday.

The five chairpersons resumed the coalition formation negotiations yesterday afternoon, after a short hiatus caused by the elections to the European Parliament. The negotiations dragged on late into the evening, with the participants providing little in the way of updates to members of the media.

“We’ll no longer have to wrangle over the economy – not that we wrangled in the first place; we were looking for solutions,” said Rinne. “We’ve balanced revenues and expenses, and we share an understanding of how to move forward from here.”

Rinne also confirmed that the government is planning on increasing spending by around one to three billion euros.

Helsingin Sanomat reported last week that the task force on tax policy has identified measures to increase tax revenues more than the 700 million euros deemed necessary by the parties involved in the government formation process. The government is also set to refrain from making spending cuts, and divest state-owned assets to generate up to two billion euros in revenue and allocate roughly 500 million euros of the proceeds to research and innovation.

The task forces resumed their work today and should iron out the last details on Wednesday, according to Rinne.

“If any problems arise, they’ll be settled by the chairpersons. And then we’ll have roughly a dozen questions that require answers,” he said, affirming that the contents of the government programme should be finalised by tomorrow evening. “But I’m not sure it’ll be in a shape that it can be printed.”

The Left Alliance has already announced it will ask its membership to vote on whether or not the government programme should be approved, meaning the ministerial portfolios will unlikely be distributed until next week.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi