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President Niinistö to next government: If you need help, I'm your man

Speaking at the opening of parliament, President Niinistö offered his support to the likely head of the next government Juha Sipilä to get Finland's economy back on track. He also cautioned against sticking too closely to any agreed government programme.

Eduskunnan puhemies Juha Sipilä (vas) ja tasavallan presidentti Sauli Niinistö valtiopäivien avajaisissa Helsingin Finlandia-talolla keskiviikkona 29. huhtikuuta 2015.
President Sauli Niinistö (r) addresses MPs including the likely next PM Juha Sipilä at the opening of parliament. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

President Sauli Niinistö has used his speech at the opening of Parliament today to tell the country's next cabinet not to stick too closely to any agreed government programme.

Niinistö said the unforeseen changes that happen during the course of a parliamentary term mean that a government should give up the idea of never deviating from its agreed set of policies.

”There’s no weakness in admitting to the reality of the situation, only strength,” he said.

I’m your man

The President also pledged his support for getting the country's economy into shape.

He told the interim speaker Juha Sipilä, who is almost certain to become the country’s next prime minister, that the country’s economy cannot be fixed without teamwork.

“If my support is required, then take this as an offer of help,” Niinistö said. He then quoted the character of Antti Rokka, a steadfast, brave gunner from the iconic Finnish war novel The Unknown Soldier: “I’m your man”.

Juha Sipilä has said he will begin face-to-face talks with other parties next week before deciding on who will be in his governing coalition.

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