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Home NATIONALNiinistö emphasises maintaining own defence capability
Wed, 25 Jun, 2014 12:09:40 AM
FTimes Report, June 25
President Sauli Niinistö accorded reception to outgoing Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (right) and welcome the new Prime Minister Alexander Stubb (left) at his residence on Tuesday. Photo – Lehtikuva
 President Sauli Niinistö on Tuesday reiterated his call for taking care of the country’s own defence capability, according to an official press release.
The president was addressing the swearing-in programme of the new cabinet members led by Prime Minister Alexander Stubb at the Mäntyniemi presidential residence. 
Referring to the Ukraine crisis, Niinistö said finding solutions and providing support are now the most important priorities. “At the same time, we must also assess what all of this means – and what it does not mean – for Finland. One conclusion is obvious. We must take care of our own defence capability,” said the president, adding that “this requires investment, perhaps greater than we have so far discussed.”
He also said that it is important to develop international cooperation on security policy and defence. “This is our common duty. At the Kultaranta talks, it was proposed that we assess various sectors of our international security cooperation. This is an issue we can revisit at the meeting between the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy,” said the president, dubbing it as an opportunity for the government to demonstrate its worth. 
“There was talk of a ‘mini government programme’. This government will also have a ‘mini’ term of office. But that doesn’t rule out our having a ‘maxi’ government. Show us,” Niinistö urged the new government led by Stubb.
On Tuesday morning, the president also formally relieved the outgoing premier Jyrki Katainen and his government from their duties and appointed new ministers.
Niinistö also called on the new government to implement the structural reforms. He said, “The much-debated and repeatedly ‘decided’ structural reforms must now be settled and implemented for good. Demanding times lie ahead of you.”
Niinistö expressed gratitude to the outgoing premier and his government for their cooperation in turbulent times characterised by economic and global financial crisis. 
“Its impacts were impossible to avoid in Finland and in Europe. Quite rightly, your aim was to balance the national economy and to stimulate growth. Following governments will need to set these same objectives,” he observed.
Former premier Katainen said the new government faces the challenge of consolidating public finances and growth as well as creating employment and strengthening competitiveness. 
Katainen advised his successors to focus especially on improving the business environment.
The new premier, Stubb in his speech said there is no such thing as small or big structural measure which the government is not able to handle.
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