Finland’s centre-left coalition concludes talks to form new government

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Five centre-left parties concluded talks on Sunday to form a new government in Finland, Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne, set to become the first leftist prime minister for 20 years, said on Twitter.

FILE PHOTO: Social Democratic Party leader Antti Rinne listens during an interview in Helsinki, Finland April 9, 2019. Picture taken April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Attila Cser/File Photo

“The government programme is ready and ministerial posts have been allocated,” Rinne wrote.

While he said he would not release details until Monday, a leaked draft of a coalition agreement included 730 million euros (£644.7 million) in proposed tax increases to fulfil a campaign promise to maintain spending on public services.

In an interview with Finland’s public broadcaster Yle, Rinne said his new government would consist of 19 ministers. He said he would not unveil the cabinet lineup until Monday.

Rinne’s Social Democrats placed first in the April 14 general election by a tight margin with just 17.7% of the vote, forcing them to partner with four smaller parties to form a majority government.

A nearly-final draft of the coalition agreement was leaked to Finnish tabloid Iltalehti which published the entire 135-page document on Sunday. It showed plans of tax hikes worth 730 million euros to fund an increase in permanent public spending by 1.23 billion euros a year by 2023.

In his electoral campaign, Rinne had promised tax hikes to preserve Finland’s vast welfare state.

Rinne’s election promises included boosting state pensions, a change that will cost 183 million euros, according to the draft text. In addition to the permanent spending hikes, the coalition plans one-off infrastructure investments, notably to Finland’s railway network.

The planned tax hikes in the draft text include collecting additional 250 million euros in fossil fuel taxes over the government’s four-year term. Income taxes will not be raised.

Finland will renew its ageing Hornet fighter jet fleet in its entirety and the new fleet’s supplier will be picked in 2021, the draft text said.

The five-party coalition also plans to change the law on rape to remove a requirement that prosecutors prove an attack was violent.

The nationalist and eurosceptic Finns Party placed a close second in the general election with 17.5% of the vote, but Rinne excluded them from the coalition talks, opting to partner up with outgoing Prime Minister Juha Sipila’s Centre Party as his main coalition ally in addition to the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen; editing by David Evans and Peter Graff


more recommended stories

  • Undersea quake south of Indonesia’s Bali causes brief panic

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – An undersea earthquake.

  • House Intelligence chief presses social media companies on deepfake policies

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. House.

  • Nuclear deal parties not ready to launch dispute mechanism against Iran, prefer more diplomacy – EU

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The remaining parties.

  • North Macedonia expects NATO membership, EU talks date by year-end

    LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – North Macedonia expects.

  • U.S. judge to hear financier Jeffrey Epstein’s bid to get out of jail before trial

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jeffrey Epstein,.

  • U.S. military identifies soldier killed in Afghanistan

    (Reuters) – A U.S. Army soldier.

  • Clashes break out as Hong Kong protesters escalate fight in suburbs

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Tens of.

  • First Ebola case in Congo city of Goma detected

    GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters).

  • Blackout disrupts Manhattan, darkens Broadway theatres

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A wide.

  • Quake causes panic in eastern Indonesia; no reports of major damage

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – A magnitude 7.3.

  • Quake with 7.3 magnitude strikes in eastern Indonesia – USGS

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – An earthquake with.

  • Bangladesh’s Ershad, opposition leader and former army ruler, dies at 90

    FILE PHOTO: Bangladesh’s former army ruler.

  • Blackout plunges parts of Manhattan into darkness

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A blackout.

  • Taiwanese president travels to Haiti to bolster relations in the region

    Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Haiti’s.

  • Car bomb and all-night hotel siege kill 26 in Somalia’s Kismayo

    MOGADISHU/GAROWE, Somalia (Reuters) – Islamist gunmen.

  • Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • New Orleans residents huddle at home, and in bars, ahead of hurricane

    NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Tropical Storm.

  • Somalia security forces end militant attack on hotel that killed 13 – police officer

    MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia’s security forces.

  • Pence views overcrowded, bad-smelling facility for detained migrants in Texas

    MCALLEN, Tex. (Reuters) – Vice President.

  • Trump’s Labour Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein case

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Labour Secretary.

  • Nationwide wave of immigrant arrests to commence this weekend, Trump says

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A nationwide wave.

  • Russia delivers missile system to Turkey in challenge to NATO

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Russia began delivery.

  • Italy’s League – Too early to say if Panetta will be ECB candidate

    MILAN (Reuters) – The economic chief.

  • New North Korea constitution calls Kim head of state, seen as step to U.S. peace treaty

    SEOUL (Reuters) – Kim Jong Un.

  • Norway says Venezuela opposition and government talks to continue

    CARACAS (Reuters) – Talks between Venezuela’s.

  • Trump vows to ‘leave no stone unturned’ to obtain citizenship data for U.S. Census

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald.

  • Portugal charges 89 Hells Angels after Lisbon attack last year

    LISBON (Reuters) – Portuguese prosecutors have.

  • Hezbollah: New sanctions widen U.S. assault on Lebanon

    FILE PHOTO: Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed.

  • When the U.S. puts a border between migrant kids and their caretakers

    (Reuters) – On June 12, Gerardo,.

  • Britain says three Iranian boats tried to block its ship in Gulf

    LONDON (Reuters) – Three Iranian vessels.

  • Six foreign nationals killed as severe weather hits Greece

    ATHENS (Reuters) – Six foreign nationals,.

  • Egypt opens new international airport for trial period

    An EgyptAir plane arrives to a.