Tuomioja tells British newspaper Finland is making contingency plans for euro break-up
Stubb reiterates 100 per cent support for euro
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja (SDP) has said in an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph that Finland is prepared for a possible breakup of the common European currency, the euro.
"We have to face openly the possibility of a euro-break up, It is not something that anybody - even the True Finns - is advocating in Finland, let alone the government. But we have to be prepared", the Foreign Minister said.
Finnish policy toward the euro has been under close international scrutiny.
Tuomioja said that Finnish officials have a plan ready in case the euro breaks up.
"This is what people are thinking about everywhere. But there is a consensus that a eurozone break-up would cost more in the short-run or medium-run than managing the crisis."
Tuomioja also said that a breakup of the euro would not mean the end of the European Union, and that it might ultimately make the EU function better.
Finland has made news recently over its severe policy toward the debt crisis. Finland is the only eurozone country to have demanded - and received - guarantees from Greece and Spain for its share of the bailout loans for those countries.
Meanwhile, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP), the chair of the Grand Committee of the Finnish Parliament, confirmed to the newspaper that the number of rescue packages is coming to an end.
"There is a feeling on the street that there has to be a limit. I can’t say whether it is 10 per cent of GDP, or what. It’s not written. But it is obvious that a small country can’t help big countries eternally", she says.
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb (Nat. Coalition Party) has reiterated that Finland "is 100 per cent committed to the euro and to finding solutions to the crisis".
In a statement that came after Foreign Minister Tuomioja’s interview with The Daily Telegraph, Stubb noted that every member state has scenarios on the future of the euro, and that Finland wants to strengthen the currency, and is actively working on its behalf.
He also said that he had worked all morning on Friday to clarify that "Tuomioja’s speculations" do not represent the view of the whole government.
On Friday morning Tuomioja said in an interview with the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) that The Daily Telegraph's somewhat flamboyant headline, "Finland prepares for break-up of eurozone", was misleading.
He said that he had merely stated something that should be self-evident - that ministries need to consider the possibility that the euro might break up.
He also criticised four eurozone leaders for a lack of transparency.
Previously in HS International Edition:
German Economics Minister has doubts about Katainen’s proposal for “covered bonds” (15.8.2012)
Katainen to eurozone countries reeling from debt crisis: “Do what Finland did in 1990s recession” (14.8.2012)
Daily Telegraph: Finland prepares for break-up of eurozone