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Government wins confidence vote over rail reforms

The Finnish government has won a confidence vote in parliament over its plans to open the rail network to competition. Opposition parties called the vote in protest at plans to divide the state-owned railway company VR into three separate companies.

Anne Berner.
Transport Minister Anne Berner has driven forward a rail reform. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Finland’s government has, as expected, won a confidence vote in parliament called in protest at rail reforms. The no confidence motion had been signed by 71 MPs, and 77 voted for it with 95 supporting the government position.

Twenty seven MPs were absent or abstained from the vote.

This was the first confidence vote since the split in the Finns Party saw 17 MPs switch from government to opposition ranks.

MPs from the Greens, the Finns Party, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party had criticised the plan, arguing that it would benefit foreign investors while harming Finnish train passengers.

The government, on the other hand, cited Britain and Sweden as successful models of increasing passenger numbers in systems including multiple operators.

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