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Home NATIONALBill on forced merger of municipalities completed
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Sat, 18 Jan, 2014 03:37:02 AM
FTimes-STT Report, January 18
 
The Minister for Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The government has finalised the draft law that could lead to the implementation of forced municipal mergers.
 
The six-party coalition government was able to reach a preliminary understanding on ways in which the state will be empowered to force mergers which could come into force in 2017.
 
The threat of the plan being completely abandoned was put to rest after the Vihreä liitto (Green Party) supported the initiative. The Vice Chairman of Social Democratic Party (Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue) Antti Lindtman said the fear of dropping the plan was still possible on Friday.
 
The Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen said solutions provided by municipalities would still play the primary role.
 
File picture of SDP vice chairman Antti Lindtman. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The possible merger will impact around 24 municipalities in nine metropolitan areas. The aim is to consolidate the urban areas of Turku, Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskylä , Kuopio, Vaasa, Oulu , Pori, Joensuu.
 
Although expected on Monday, a preliminary understanding was finally reached after political parties engaged in discussions.
 
The political parties were involved in internal discussions, as the MPs faced difficulty to explain the issue in their home municipalities.
 
Currently, the government is empowered to force merger of municipalities only in extreme financial difficulties.
 
 
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