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PM Marin: Government party differences can be resolved, if there is enough will

Finance Minister and Centre Party chair Annika Saarikko said her party would not continue in a government coalition that did not adhere to Finland's budget framework.

Pääministeri Sanna Marin tapaa ihmisiä Oulun Rotuaarillla
Prime Minister Sanna Marin attended her Social Democratic Party's meeting in Oulu on Saturday. Image: Janne Körkkö / Yle
Yle News

Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party (SDP) chair Sanna Marin said on Saturday that the government parties can resolve their differences, if there is a willingness to do so.

The PM added that the coalition partners have overcome disagreements in the past, and in her opinion they can continue to do so in the future too.

Marin was responding to comments made on Saturday morning by Finance Minister and Centre Party chair Annika Saarikko.

Speaking at a Centre Party meeting in the Lapland city of Rovaniemi, Saarikko said that her party would not continue in a government that did not adhere to Finland's budget framework.

"As Minister of Finance, I am responsible for preparing next year's financial decisions. The work for next spring’s framework is now underway. I intend to have this principled debate with the chairs of all the government parties before Christmas," Saarikko said in a speech to party delegates.

The budget framework establishes agreed spending limits for each budgetary year, which the current government has exceeded during this term of office as extra spending was required to help the nation deal with the Covid crisis.

Marin, who was attending her own party's meeting in Oulu, said the SDP would continue to work towards keeping the coalition together.

"Of course, we start from the fact that what is agreed upon together is adhered to. In last spring's framework negotiations, we agreed on the framework and what kind of adjustment measures we will take," Marin said.

Budget framework negotiations scheduled for next spring will decide how the government will make savings of 370 million euros.

"This is, of course, a normal negotiation process and we are moving forward here in a normal way. Of course, responsible financial management is important to the SDP," Marin said.

Yle's latest monthly voter survey published at the beginning of this month revealed that support for both the SDP and the Centre Party had slipped as the coalition partners clashed over proposed funding cuts to the cultural sector.

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