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Party Chairs Clash over Eurozone Bailouts

In the MTV3 televised debate on Wednesday, the leaders of the four biggest parties clashed on support for troubled eurozone economies.

Jutta Urpilainen, Mari Kiviniemi, Jyrki Katainen ja Timo Soini ryhmäkuvassa.
Jutta Urpilainen, Mari Kiviniemi, Jyrki Katainen ja Timo Soini ryhmäkuvassa ennen MTV3:n pääministeritentin alkua. Image: Yle

Centre Party leader Mari Kiviniemi and National Coalition chair Jyrki Katainen defended the Portuguese bailout as a necessary measure, which would work towards European economic stability and Finland’s best interests. Katainen said that the crisis will definitely be resolved.

Opposition leaders, Jutta Urpilainen of the Social Democrats Timo Soini of the True Finns, were against the bailout package. Soini said that the government should not scare the population with loss of jobs. Urpilainen demanded that banks and investors take responsibility. She also said that the Greek bailout alone could cost Finland a billion euros.

Urpilainen stated that a government coalition of the three biggest parties after the election is impossible. She outlined two future options: an SDP-led government or the continued alliance of the Centre and the National Coalition, current government partners.

The SDP chair also repeated that the party will not enter into a coalition government which would raise the retirement age. She says that, instead, the quality of working life should be improved.

Improvements of mental health services was one of Soini’s offered solutions. Katainen and Kiviniemi acnowledged that extending working life would require a number of measures. Katainen considered the gradual raise in retirement age as one potential option.

Party chairs also wanted to address age discrimination against older workers.

Sources: YLE

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