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Katainen remains as lead government-formation negotiator

Leaders of all parties' parliamentary groups met on Tuesday to discuss a way out of the stalemate in government formation talks. They quickly agreed that Prime Minister-designate Kyrki Katainen, leader of the biggest parliamentary party, should remain in place as the lead negotiator in government formation talks.

Kokoomuksen puheenjohtaja Jyrki Katainen lehdistön tentattavana eduskunnassa 7.6.2011.
Kokoomuksen puheenjohtaja Jyrki Katainen lehdistön tentattavana eduskunnassa tiistaina. Image: YLE

The parties convened their meeting at midday and called a press conference twenty minutes later to announce their decision on Katainen's future.

"Finland is a civilised country that needs a viable majority government," said Katainen.

Breakthroughs in the government formation process are unlikely, since the True Finns need more time to consider how their European policy can be reconciled with other parties'.

The True Finns Party is considering joining the negotiations, but first the party wants to see how flexible other parties are on EU policy. This means that Tuesday's meeting took place without knowledge of the True Finns' position, which will be clarified later in the week once their survey is complete.

Meanwhile the Centre Party, which is now ready to join the talks, is hoping to see the True Finns at the negotiations table. Since the two biggest parties, the National Coalition and the Social Democrats, parted ways in shipwrecked government negotiations last week, the Centre Party and the True Finns re-entered political centre stage.

“At this point the three other big parties are on the same footing as we are,” said True Finns chair Timo Soini.

Soini also said that, while all four biggest parties will not fit into the same government, some sort of a deal will have to be worked out between three of the big four—the National Coalition, the Social Democrats, the True Finns and the Centre.

Sources: YLE

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