The nationalist Finns Party has seen its more extremist far-right splinter group become a party on Wednesday.
The Blue Reform party carries 20 MPs and five members of the current Finnish cabinet: Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö, Employment Minister Jari Lindström, and the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila.
That reduces the True Finns parliamentary group from 38 to 18 MPs.The split is less than even as polls suggest minimum support for the True Finns.
The splinter group was originally branded “New Alternative” and abandoned the True Finns in June. The faction was led by Sampo Terho, 40, currently serving as Minister of European Affairs and Culture. Terho is a former Member of the European Parliament.
The Finnish government remains reliant on the support of the splinter group, which is now a party. Like the German FDP, Blue Reform combines a Eurosceptic agenda with a vehemently anti-immigration agenda and demands for reduced income tax.