Members of populist Finns Party break away

The government crisis in Finland is over for the time being. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä had announced that he was no longer willing to govern together with the Finns Party because under its new leader new Jussi Halla-aho the party threatened to shift even further to the right. Now, however, 20 of the party's MPs have split off and formed their own new parliamentary group called New Alternative in a bid to continue the coalition. Does this leave the government in a stable position?

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Keskisuomalainen (FI) /

Government in a better position than before

The government will emerge from the two-day government crisis in a stronger position, Keskisuomalainen believes:

“The government is resuming its work with its current agenda and an adequately broad basis. It enjoys the support of at least 106 MPs, because the New Alternative group consists of at least 20 parliamentarians. … It looks like Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's government will lead the country until the end of the legislative period. Now it will probably be able to resolutely push through the reforms agreed in the government programme. Some formal hurdles have yet to be overcome, but the government is now very strong.”

Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Party can now regain its former strength

The Finns may even benefit from being thrown out of government, Ilta-Sanomat points out:

“The Centre Party and the National Coalition party have told the Finns to go where they belong: in the opposition. It was from there that they achieved their landslide victory in 2011 and became one of the country's biggest parties. They laid the basis for this success during their 20 years in the opposition, but after just two years in government that support had already evaporated. Sending the Finns into the opposition is the best way for Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Finance Minister Petteri Orpo to put together a workable coalition. It's also the best way for the Finns' new leader Jussi Halla-aho to make the weakened governing party a strong opposition party once more.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

A lesson for Estonia

Estonia's politicians could learn a thing or two about dealing with radical parties from the government crisis in Finland, Eesti Päevaleht comments:

“As part of the governing coalition the True Finns party became more moderate and lost popularity. Now its radical positions are coming to the fore once more. This has landed the government in a crisis because the coalition partners have announced that they won't work with a party led by Halla-aho. This should give us here in Estonia pause for thought, and in particular the [liberal] Reform Party, which for the first time has said it can imagine forming a coalition with the Estonian equivalent of the True Finns, EKRE. Whether it's in the government or the capital, a coalition with EKRE would be a bitter pill to swallow for all the parties involved. And such a coalition can't survive in the long run.”