Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has described the collapse of his government over its failed social and health care reform package, “sote”, "a major disappointment.“
"It's a major disappointment," Sipilä commented on the scuppered reform.
Speaking to journalists at a news conference on Friday morning, Sipilä noted that the social and health care reform package and its related system of regional government was his administration’s central goal.
"Our government operates on a 'do or die' principle. You must accept responsibility in politics," he declared.
The Centre Party chair said that his coalition partners understood his reasons for proposing the government’s resignation.
"I initially discussed resigning with the President last night and this morning with my government partners," he said. "It was my personal decision," he added.
"Not enough time"
Sipilä said that the government would have folded in any event if it failed to push the flagship measure through.
"The collapse of sote would have led to the government’s resignation, regardless of how much time was left before the election," he disclosed.
He noted that there was not enough time left in the current government term, regardless of how much effort was expended.
On Friday morning, Sipilä tendered his government’s resignation to President Sauli Niinistö once it became clear that the reform measure would not progress through parliament.
Niinistö accepted the resignation but asked the administration to continue in a caretaker capacity. Sipilä said that if post-election government formation talks extend into Finland’s chairmanship of the European Union – due to begin in July – his administration would be ready to continue as an interim government.