Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre) spoke to reporters on the steps of the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Thursday, 9 March 2023. Saarikko on Thursday wrote on Facebook that the Centre, a party she has led since 2020, is not prepared to form another government with its current coalition partners. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)


MINISTER of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre) has said the Centre is not prepared to form another government with its current coalition partners, the Greens, Left Alliance, Social Democrats and Swedish People’s Party, reports MTV.

“There’s been talk in recent days that the government could continue in its current composition also after the elections [held on 2 April],” she wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

“Some are hoping that it would, others are warning that it could. I think it’s fair to voters to tell that that won’t be happening.”

Saarikko explained in her social media post that the five parties are simply too far apart in terms of economic policy – particularly as rejuvenating the national coalition will be the most important task of the next government.

“That won’t be possible if the government is made up mostly of parties that think debt and deficit don’t matter,” she said.

The Centre, she added, will determine whether it is prepared to join a ruling coalition based on the results of the elections, but it will not categorically rule out co-operation with any individual party.

“The composition and issues will be decisive,” stated Saarikko.

The Green League, Left Alliance and Social Democrats have all announced they will refuse to join a coalition that includes the Finns Party. The Swedish People’s Party has similarly suggested that the likelihood of it being in part of the same ruling coalition as the populist right-wing party is very low.

The Left Alliance has also indicated that it is not ready to rule with the National Coalition.

Saarikko had a different tone when she commented on the speculation at an election debate hosted by Maaseudun Tulevaisuus in January, reminded Helsingin Sanomat. She stated that although the current government has elements she will not miss, she is proud that the centre-right has been able to co-operate in a variety of ruling coalitions.

“For us to close the door on each other’s faces, I’m not sure how smart that’s from Finland’s perspective. Not smart at all,” she said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT