Finnish government stability relies on reforms

Finnish coalition government fails to reach agreement on important health care reform as spending cuts rise up to 3 billion euros

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä during an interview.

Updated Nov 6, 2015

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila announced that his government could collapsed on Friday if the centre-right coalition fails to reach a deal on a health care reform.

The reforms are a crucial aspect of the coalition government, aiming to balance the public finances over a long period in Finland and resulted in spending cuts up to 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion). The eurozone member country recently embroiled in recession.

Sipila said in a news conference that, "it is very likely that I will go to meet the president tomorrow," regarding to the resignation of the three-party government.

He added that, if the government fails to reach the agreement on the health reform, he would prefer to form a new government from the recent parliament rather than calling for a snap election.

Prime Minister Sipila and his Centre-party, wants to divide the country into 18 regions to allow governmental officials to decide on health care services. 

However, the National Coalition Party, led by Finance Minister Alexander Stubb, argued that, a smaller number of five regions, would ensure a more equal share of resources between the regions, and claimed that a larger number would threaten financial savings.

The nationalist Finns Party, a third coalition partner, has accepted Sipila's proposal.

Coalition government faces difficulties

The Finnish national coalition has asked for a time-out, but Prime Minister Sipila said that they had spent too much time already on seeking a solution.

"It is not about just a number [of regions], it is about the whole structure and content of the reform," he said.

In May, the coalition government took office and since then, it has faced difficulties in finding a common ground on several complicated matters, including market reform and the handling of Europe’s refugee crisis.

The anti-immigration Finns Party has earlier withdrawn its support for some government plans after a steep decline in its support.

Maintaining the health care system by Finnish controversial politicians, would be the country’s most crucial reform of the decade.

The previous left-right government has failed to constitute the reform due to lack of agreement among the parties alongside constitutional worries. 

TRTWorld and agencies