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PM Rallies Party Ahead of Municipal Reform Talks

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen has encouraged his Centre Party to stick to their guns in the upcoming debates over municipal reforms.

Vanhanen says the biggest challenge will be to ensure the quality of public services equally across the country. He says that many recent comments on the issue have him worried that too much emphasis is being places only on the welfare of large urban centres.

The government is planning to introduce massive reforms on the local government level, which will most likely include new tax structures, a reorganisation of public services, and potentially the combination of smaller towns into one city.

The Centre Party insists it will not support any reforms that force the combination of municipalities or place minimum population requirements on local governments.

Next week the government will being hashing out the details of the reforms, under the leadership of the Minister for Municipal and Regional Affairs Hannes Manninen and Finance Minister Eero Heinäluoma.

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