Deadline approaches in government formation talks

According to information received by YLE, a return to the previous six-party talks is possible in on-going efforts to form a new government. Negotiation sources also say a projected coalition based on the National Coalition, the True Finns and the Centre has failed to mature. Prime Minister-designate Jyrki Katainen is to hold a press conference early Friday afternoon to give an update on the talks process.

Image: YLE

A YLE source has said that Katainen could continue as lead negotiator with the group of parties that originally started negotiations. The six party talks, involving NCP, SDP, Left Alliance, Green League, the Christian Democrats and the Swedish People's Party, collapsed after 13 days when the SDP and Left Alliance walked out over economic policy.

Conservative National Coalition(NCP) chair Jyrki Katainen, whose party holds the most seats in the new Parliament, has been leading efforts to forge a new government for some seven weeks now.

If the NCP Chair fails to form an administration, the batton for the next round of talks could be passed to the chair of the second-largest party, SDP chair Jutta Urpilainen. However she declined to say on Thursday if she was preparing to take on the role, noting that the mandate given to Katainen by Parliament was still valid.

The head of the third-largest party, True Finns chair Timo Soini, held talks on Thursday with both Katainen and outgoing prime minister Mari Kiviniemi of the fourth-biggest bloc, the Centre. Soini, Finland's eurosceptic-in-chief, reportedly stuck to his adamant opposition to bailing out eurozone countries in crisis.

Soini has since said the talks with Katainen failed to make progress owing to differences over EU policy.