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News > Country

Finland to Have the Most Conservative Government in Its History

  • National Coalition Chairman Petteri Orpo, April 2023.

    National Coalition Chairman Petteri Orpo, April 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @PeoplesDailyapp

Published 16 June 2023
Opinion

The incoming coalition is composed of Kokoomus, True Finns, the Swedish People's Party, and the Christian Democrats.

The agreement reached on Thursday night between the four major right-wing parties in Finland will result in the formation of the most conservative government in the recent history of this Nordic country, according to local media.

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The coalition is composed of the conservative party Kokoomus, the far-right True Finns - the second-largest force in the country, the Swedish People's Party (SFP) - representing the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, and the Christian Democrats.

The four parties together have 108 out of 200 seats in the Finnish Parliament, ensuring a comfortable majority to implement the austerity policies they promised during the campaign.

The conservative leader Petteri Orpo will be the new Prime Minister, replacing the current President of the Social Democratic Party, Sanna Marin, who will step down in September.

Orpo and the leaders of the other three coalition parties plan to present their government program on Friday afternoon.

Although the details are not yet known, it has been revealed that the upcoming government intends to reduce public debt through a budget adjustment of 6 billion euros over the next four years.

To achieve this, they will implement significant cuts in social services and unemployment benefits and increase taxes on medicines, sports events, culture, and leisure. At the same time, they will seek to increase state revenues by creating 100,000 new jobs during the next term through labor market reforms and employment services.

The negotiations between the four partners were more challenging than anticipated, as acknowledged by their leaders, and they ultimately required seven weeks of exhaustive discussions to reach a programmatic agreement.

The far-right True Finns party, led by Riikka Purra, even threatened to withdraw from the negotiations if their proposals to toughen immigration policies and significantly reduce funding for development aid were not accepted.

Another demand was to soften the country's current climate policies, which they consider "too ambitious," and somehow offset the rise in fossil fuel prices.

Their main opponent on these issues was the SFP, a right-wing party in economic matters but with liberal values, which ultimately managed to reduce the demands of the far right.

This is the second time that the national-populist True Finns party has come to power, having previously been part of the governing coalition with the Center Party and the conservatives between 2015 and 2017.

That unprecedented coalition did not last long, as the centrists and the conservatives - led by Orpo even then - expelled their partners from the government midway through the term.

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