Finland polls open amid recession


Published: Sunday 19th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Finland is voting to determine which coalition can lead the country out of a three-year recession.

The ruling conservatives are pitted against their socialist government partner and an anti-immigration Finns Party that wants Greece ousted from the euro.

Conservative Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who acknowledges his government was slow to enact needed economic reforms, said he wants to cut spending by six billion euros (£4.3 billion) if given another four-year mandate to govern.

Such cuts are strongly opposed by the favourite to become the next prime minister, Juha Sipila, a businessman who turned to politics only four years ago. He heads the opposition Centre Party, which has enjoyed a clear lead in all recent opinion polls.

Vying for second place is Mr Stubb’s National Coalition Party and its main coalition partner, the Social Democrats, as well as the Finns Party. Its leader, Timo Soini, opposes EU-led bailouts and wants to kick Greece out of the eurozone.

Campaigning for the election has been dominated by arguments over unemployment, benefit cuts and the rising national debt, but party leaders appeared unable to agree on a cure.

Results are expected on Sunday night.

Published: Sunday 19th April 2015 by The News Editor

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