Finland has become the latest European nation in which a battle is raging over how to deal with the recent wave of immigrants flooding up on the continent’s shores. After a very close election, it appears that the left leaning parties have beaten the nationalist right, and will attempt to build a coalition government. Reuters reports (abridged):
HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Social Democrats (SDP) embarked on Monday on the complex task of forming a governing coalition, after beating a nationalist, anti-immigration party by a hairsbreadth in the most fragmented election in the country’s history.
Coalition talks are expected to take weeks after the first Finnish election in which no party won 20 percent, leaving a polarized parliament that reflects deep social divisions over immigration and the environment, and how to reform a creaking welfare system deeply rooted in Nordic social traditions.
The centre-right government of Prime Minister Juha Sipila resigned last month, saying it could not deliver on a long-delayed healthcare reform widely seen as crucial to securing the long-term viability of government finances.
Finland’s largest business daily Kauppalehti said the Social Democrats, the centre-right National Coalition – which won 17.0 percent – and the Greens were most likely to form the core of the next government.
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