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Election results suggest further spending cuts on the way

Finland’s centre party—which won the national election on 19 April—is leading negotiations to form a coalition government that is likely to impose budget cuts on research and higher education.

The centre party leader Juha Sipilä has started negotiations with the populist Finns party, the centre-right Kokoomus and the social democratic SDP, with the intention of forming the next government. A decision on the make-up of the coalition is expected in the next few weeks, and the Finnish media has speculated it is likely to be another centre-right coalition, with Kokoomus and the Finns party as partners.

But whichever parties ends up in Sipilä’s government, there is wide expectation that it will continue the country’s austerity regime. The bleak economic situation in Finland led all the major party leaders to agree prior to the election that government spending cuts are needed to get the economy back on track. Finland’s government debt was €90 billion in 2014, equal to 46 per cent of GDP.

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