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Energy debate revs up in Finnish government  

A debate inside the Finnish government over the future of the country’s energy supply gained momentum on Monday with Mauri Pekkarinen, the economic affairs minister, deploying uncharacteristically colourful prose at a meeting in Brussels.

Mr Pekkarinen admitted that the ministry’s draft energy strategy paper would include a proposal to construct a reservoir in Vuotos, even though Green ministers were certain to reject the idea.

“I will then let Tarja strike a goal from that pass,” Mr Pekkarinen said with a laugh, referring to Tarja Cronberg, labour minister and Green League leader.

The ministers, who are at loggerheads over energy generation, both attended the Brussels meeting.

Mr Pekkarinen repeated that wind power must be complemented with peak generating capacity to secure supply in the event of weak wind.

“One option would be to pump some water up a hill. I do not regard this to be a good plan either because there may be some nature up there on which the water would flow. After all, I am an environmentalist,” Mr Pekkarinen said.

Ms Cronberg listened to Mr Pekkarinen’s quip with no visible signs of irritability.

Mr Pekkarinen later put the banter down to half a glass of wine he had had at lunch and added that government cooperation with the Green League, when taken as a whole, was proceeding smoothly.



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