COPENHAGEN — Finland’s center-right government, headed by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, resigned on Friday after failing to push through an overhaul of social and health care programs.
“I take the responsibility for the failure. It has been a huge disappointment to me,” Mr. Sipila said at a news conference, according to the public broadcaster YLE. The changes, he added, “had been one of our most important projects.”
President Sauli Niinisto accepted the resignation of Mr. Sipila, who came to power in May 2015 and will continue to serve in a care-taking role. The move came just weeks before parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 14, to renew the country’s 200-seat Eduskunta assembly.
The health care overhaul was intended to address the needs of an aging population while improving efficiency and reducing public spending by 3 billion euros, about $3.4 billion, by 2029. Several previous government’s, like Mr. Siplia’s, tried and failed to make significant changes to the health care system.
Mr. Sipala’s three-party governing coalition included his own Center Party, the National Coalition Party and the small populist Blue Reform Party, once part of the euroskeptic True Finns. Last year, the latter broke into two parties after internal divisions over tighter immigration policies.