Thursday, October 23, 2014   

Finland leftists quit government over belt tightening
(03-26 10:01)

Finland's Left Alliance party said it would leave the coalition government following a dispute over planned austerity measures it says will hit the poor.
“The fact that the unemployed, pensioners and students will not get the full amount of index increases, cuts into basic social security... cuts for ordinary workers and families with children,'' said the leader of the junior coalition party, Paavo Arhinmaaki.
“Our line in government has had two central themes: reducing income differences and basic social security,'' Arhinmaaki told public broadcaster YLE.
The other five parties in the left-green-right coalition agreed to a budget proposal containing three billion euros' worth of spending cuts and tax rises – half of which is to be achieved in 2015.
“The situation in Finland is so challenging that somebody has to take care of the job.... Someone in this country has to keep making decisions, even if they are difficult,'' said Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, who took power in 2011 and has survived several such coalition crises.
The departure of the Left Alliance will leave two ministerial posts – transport and culture – vacant, but the governing coalition will still have a majority in parliament.—AFP
   
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