Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland’s finance minister hints at a euro exit

Finland's finance minister Jutta Urpilainen said the country would rather leave the single currency than pay the debts of other countries.

E-mail-sign-up Donate

 

.

Another unexpected twist occurred today in the eurozone saga, as Finland’s finance minister Jutta Urpilainen said the country would rather leave the single currency than pay the debts of other countries.

finland-finance-ministerThe Economic Times reports:

Finland would consider leaving the eurozone rather than paying the debts of other countries in the currency bloc, Finnish finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said in a newspaper interview on Friday.

The finance minister stressed that Finland, one of only a few EU countries to still enjoy a triple-A credit rating, would not agree to an integration model in which countries were collectively responsible for member states’ debts and risks.

Urpilainen said in the interview:

“Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland,” Urpilainen told financial daily Kauppalehti, adding though that “Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and we are prepared for all scenarios.

Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for.

We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms.”

Finland’s unemployment rate has seen a minimal drop in the last 12 months (from 7.8% to 7.6%), yet this is still a significant improvement on the combined eurozone unemployment rate, which has risen by 1.1% – a record high for the area.

Although it is a relatively small country, Finland’s triple-A rating has empowered its ministers to have one of the loudest voices within eurozone negotiations. Economics blogger Stefan Karlsson observed:

“[In] the most recent quarter, Finland actually surpassed Greece in terms of economic size, despite the fact that Greece has twice as big population. In the first quarter Greece had a GDP of €47.19 billion versus €47.42 billion for Finland.”

 


See also:

Hollande and Merkel move closer – but remain divided on solution to euro crisis 29 Jun 2012

What really happened in the Finnish elections 19 Apr 2011

The truth about the “True Finns” 18 Apr 2011


 

Compassion for other countries has never been forthcoming from Finland, as the Financial Times reported in February that they had “lost faith Greece will ever deliver its end of the bargain” and urging for them to default.

Economics commentator Matt Yglesias tweeted earlier today:

“If Finland had joined NATO in the mid-90s would they have ever hopped on the euro bandwagon? I doubt it.”

While according to Reuters:

Finland’s ratings are underpinned by sound macroeconomic and public finance management, a high value-added economy and positive net international investment position. Finland’s credit profile benefits from exceptionally strong governance and political and social stability, which is also reflected in its impeccable debt service record.

These fundamental credit strengths, especially the strength of public finances and fiscal credibility, have cushioned Finland’s ‘AAA’ status from the turmoil in the eurozone.

A possible Finnish exit from the euro would signal trouble in Brussels, as arrangements for an exit would cause further distraction from plans to stabilise the single currency.

 


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

19 Responses to “Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland’s finance minister hints at a euro exit”

  1. Knut Cayce

    Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/6Pu2cWbd by @LFFKatie

  2. John Rentoul

    RT @leftfootfwd: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/HOOTHF0E

  3. MustBeRead

    Via @leftfootfwd: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/nMgABgKy

  4. Pulp Ark

    Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland’s finance… http://t.co/wBW6hZl9 #MultilateralForeignPolicy #Eurozonecrisis #muslim #tcot #sioa

  5. Katie Stanton

    Puntastic headline from @ShamikDas >> Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland’s finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/UhLs4Ak1

  6. Knut Cayce

    Alcoholics, drug addicts and compulsive gamblers have something in common with compulsive spenders, you cannot… http://t.co/eukZfcd7

  7. Mark Leiser

    Not your average finance minister… http://t.co/uwlbLxFJ

  8. The Finns

    Fins ain't what they EUsed to be: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/WLCkPj32

  9. Selohesra

    I don’t blame him – there’s far to much of this willingness to assume that someone else is going to pay for your profligate life style in the world

  10. Anonymous

    The Finns have good reason to have “lost faith Greece will ever deliver its end of the bargain”.

    ” in 2010 and 2011, rather than cutting spending as the Greek government had promised, it actually hired as many as 70,000 public employees.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/304816/greek-government-not-austere-it-claimed-veronique-de-rugy

    The Greek government, like the UK government, appears to be unwilling to reduce government spending. They’re happy to increase taxes to reduce a budget deficit, but their own problem of over-spending is not addressed.

  11. Selohesra

    Just spotted the photo – she’s certainly better looking than either Osbourne or Balls

  12. Shamik Das

    Puntastic headline from @ShamikDas >> Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland’s finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/UhLs4Ak1

  13. Brian Hamilton

    Via @leftfootfwd: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/nMgABgKy

  14. Phil

    “A possible Finnish exit from the euro would signal trouble in Brussels, as arrangements for an exit would cause further distraction from plans to stabilise the single currency.”

    On the contrary, if Germany and the other stronger currencies within the Euro left, it would provide a solution to the crisis. If the only countries left in the Euro were say Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus, then the Euro would devalue massively against all world currencies, giving those countries a chance of being economically competitive again.

  15. Anonymous

    Sure, I mean, it doesn’t matter that millions would starve to death. Good plan!

  16. Anonymous

    Yea, how DARE people want to eat?

  17. JC

    Yes, but have you seen the photo caption? Is this sort of comment appropriate here?

  18. Nick Ryder

    Fins ain’t what they EUsed to be: Finland's finance minister hints at a euro exit http://t.co/6Pu2cWbd by @LFFKatie

  19. As Spanish bond yields break 7%, the Eurozone banking deal begins to unravel | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Finland’s finance minister hints at a euro exit 6 July […]

Leave a Reply