PM Sipilä has decided to expand the cabinet by adding three new ministers. You could think that it takes into account the fact that the xenophobic Finn’s party has lost the municipal election, but it is more the opposite: the objective is to be nice with the Finns’ party.
The story begins when Timo Soini, probably for health reasons, or because he had enough of the party and of some of its stupid members, decided to withdraw from the party’s presidency. There will be soon a new election, with 2 contenders for the moment: Sampo Terho, chair of the Finns Party’s group in the Parliament, who has as main objective for his party campaign to leave the euro-zone, and Jussi Halla-aho, anti-European also, who was found some years ago guilty of both disturbing religious worship and of ethnic agitation. The interesting part is that he is is Member of the European Parliament (MEP), so paid by the EU.
But, if Timo Soini is ready to give up his position as party’s chair, he loves to be a minister, with a good salary, a secretary and assistants, a car and a driver, and a lot of trips in 5 star hotels. Problem: the new party chair should have a seat in the government. So M. Sipilä decided to create new minister’ positions to keep Timo Soini in the government.
The Justice Ministry portfolio will be shifted from the Finns Party to the conservative National Coalition Party. It is now held by Finns Party’s Jari Lindström who also now serves as labor minister. The two positions will be separated. Maybe it will give the opportunity to have in the government a lawyer as justice minister, which would be good as M. Sipilä’s government has been proposing often badly written and even unconstitutional pieces of legislation. It could help to have a competent minister, finally.
And as a consolation, the populist Finns Party will get the portfolios of culture and sports, as well as, guess what, European affairs!
Sipilä’s own Center Party will benefit from a split between the agriculture and environmental portfolios, which are now joined. Another Center Party official will get a nice job…
And we will pay for these changes (3 more ministers, 3 cars, 3 secretaries, etc…). But nothing is too good for the Finns’ party, who has been so successful in the municipal elections…