Speed Reading — Finland - Level 3 — 300 wpm

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Finland's entire government has resigned. It wanted to pass some laws on social welfare and healthcare reform. Its goals were an important part of its plans for Finland. However, politicians in the government voted against the plans. Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila said he was "hugely disappointed". He said he and his colleagues would stay on as a "caretaker" government until elections in April. Mr Sipila wanted to change Finland's health and welfare system. He said it must change because Finland's population is aging. It is under a lot of financial pressure. The government hoped its planned reforms would save up to $3.4 billion over the next decade.

Many politicians in Finland believe the government is making a big mistake by resigning. They think it would have been better for the government to stay in power until next month's elections. Prime Minister Sipila said resigning was the right thing to do because it did not get support for its plans. He told reporters: "The conclusion I've drawn is that my government has no choice but to hand in its letter of resignation. I'll shoulder my responsibility." One of Mr Sipila's colleagues agreed that it was right for the government to resign. Antti Kaikkonen, a senior member of the Centre Party, said: "If anyone asks what political responsibility means, then I would say that this resignation is an example".

Comprehension questions
  1. How much of Finland's government has resigned?
  2. How did Finland's Prime Minister feel?
  3. What is happening to Finland's population?
  4. What kind of pressure is the government under?
  5. How much did the government hope to save over the next decade?
  6. What do many politicians thing the government is making?
  7. What kind of choice did the Prime Minister say his government had?
  8. What did the Prime Minister say he would shoulder?
  9. What party does Antti Kaikkonen belong to?
  10. What did a senior politician say the resignation was an example of?

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