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Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 01:42:00 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, June 28

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said on Monday that the coalition government would not prepare any referendum in Finland about whether the country should stay in the EU.

Sipilä made the remarks as Sebastian Tynkkynen, the chairman of the True Finns Youth League, launched a civic initiative to demand such a referendum. When such initiatives obtain 50,000 verified signatures or more, the initiative, also known as civic bill, must be considered by Finnish parliament.

After a meeting of the Parliamentary Grand Committee on Monday, Sampo Terho, the chairman of the parliamentary group of the True Finns Party, told national broadcaster Yle that Finland should arrange a referendum sometime.

In line with the program of the current government, Finland will remain in the EU, said Terho, "but after next parliamentary election the situation may be different."

Terho did not predict whether the True Finns would take an EU referendum as an election theme in 2019.

Sipilä told the media that it is easy to accuse the EU of many problems that are not caused by it. Meanwhile, he said "the message of the British referendum must be taken seriously, as there is a lot to repair in the EU."

Of the three coalition parties, the Center Party is mainly pro-EU but has an anti-EU minority faction within the party, the populist True Finns Party is critical of the EU, whereas the Conservative Party endorses EU membership.

Sipilä undertook the premiership in May last year.

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