Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has dashed cold water on calls for a discussion on Finland’s euro membership.
President Sauli Niinistö stated yesterday in his speech at the opening ceremony of the new parliamentary session that the euro is clearly not without its problems, estimating that a discussion on the principles is warranted.
“I hope for a discussion with the caveat that the euro is unequivocally a positive thing for Finland,” replied Orpo. “It’s our currency. Finns accept the fact that we’re part of the euro by a vast majority. The discussion I’d like to have is how can the common currency be strengthened to make the euro a stronger and better currency for Finns.”
Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has similarly called for a discussion on the euro membership and the integration of Europe. She believes the questions will be addressed after the presidency of the union has been handed over to Finland in 2019.
“The government’s approach seems to be to reject greater solidarity. But as we know based on the eurozone crisis, solidarity is a feature of the monetary union in many respects. It was evident also during the previous crisis, when we resorted to burden-sharing to keep German and French banks afloat,” says Andersson.
“We want greater flexibility, not stricter fiscal policies that reduce the leeway of our own government. It’d be a smart thing to make reforms in the eurozone and cut the fateful ties between the banking sector and states,” she continues.