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Budget negotiations

Next budget deficit to be more than €7b

Published : 15 Sep 2020, 01:00

  DF Report

Government budget negotiation meeting on Monday. Photo Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

The five-party alliance government on Monday began negotiations on the state budget for the next year amid the difficult economic situation of the country in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Finance Minister Matti Vanhanen said next year's budget deficit will be larger than what the ministry had predicted, reported the national broadcaster Yle.

Vanhanen said the situation of coronavirus, costs of testing, and vaccine efforts are still uncertain and that indicates that the budget deficit for next year will be more than seven billion euros, said the Yle report.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Monday evening said the government discussed various issues such as employment plans, the economic situation of municipalities, energy taxation, as well as the funding of organisations that receive support from state gambling monopoly Veikkaus, which has seen heavy financial losses during the crisis.

She said a significant progress has been made in the budget discussions among the allies of the ruling coalition but the budget is still an open issue.

Marin termed the decision of the state-run petroleum company Neste to cut up to 470 jobs unfortunate.

Neste announced the decision also on Monday.

"It is an unfortunate thing and I have talked with Naantali's mayor. I sent the same message as I have to [other regions affected by major layoff plans], that the state wants to offer support. [The plans] affect many people, I have talked with other ministers and we are looking for solutions for the region,” the Yle report quoted the prime minister as saying.