Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the Green League, spoke about the ongoing coalition formation talks in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Tuesday, 28 May 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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THE BIOPRODUCT MILL planned by Metsä Group in Kemi, Western Lapland, has not caused any disputes between the five chairpersons involved in the coalition formation negotiations, tells Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats.

“There’s currently no row or disagreement over the issue in the chairpersons’ table that’d require any kind of a solution,” he stated to a reporter in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Tuesday.

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Metsä Group in April announced it will make a final decision on the approximately 1.5-billion-euro investment in 2020. The bioproduct mill has been estimated to necessitate an increase of 4.5 million cubic metres in logging volumes, an issue that has caused friction particularly between the Centre and Green League.

The Green League has demanded that logging volumes be reduced from the current levels. Both the Centre and Social Democrats have contrastively voiced their vehement support for the large-scale project.

Rinne on Tuesday also revealed that none of the roughly a dozen issues still on the table are related to employment or the economy. The plan, he said, is to resolve the issues today in order to enable the chairpersons to finalise the government programme and proceed to talks about the distribution of ministerial portfolios.

The government could then take office at the end of next week, according to him.

Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the Green League, commented on the negotiations in a different tone, saying an agreement has yet been found on a “fair number” of budget-related questions and certain finance and legislation-related objectives.

“The squabble over these issues has been intense between the groups,” he pointed out.

Haavisto also confirmed that the five chairpersons have reached an agreement on the scope and funding of the budget, as well as the scope of railway and other infrastructure investments.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi