Finnish Coalition Strikes Deal to Salvage Cabinet from Brink

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Finland’s ruling coalition came to an agreement on spending plans, averting a collapse of the Nordic nation’s Social Democrat-led government by a thin margin, Bloomberg reported. The five-party cabinet patched up its differences, forging a common vision of how Finland’s recovery from the pandemic should take place, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said. The broad outlines of the deal are now agreed, and the government will continue hammering out the details, she said. The disagreement over four-year spending limits came to a head on the weekend, bringing the coalition close to a collapse, as tensions within the 2-year old government were exposed. The Center Party sought to drive a hard bargain, pushing for less stimulus than the coalition’s left-leaning members. The deal also makes it easier to pass the European Union recovery fund in the Finnish parliament, where the constitutional committee on Tuesday ruled a supermajority was needed. An opposition party’s decision then reduced the total number of votes, and Marin signaled she was confident the requisite majority could be attained. The budget talks should be finished on Thursday, Marin said. The focus is on supporting economic growth, boosting employment and achieving structural reforms. Budget cuts and tax increases cannot be avoided. Read more.