Fortified by euro, Finns take bailouts on the chin | Reuters
Reuters – After dutifully abiding by EU fiscal rules, Finland’s tiny population remains surprisingly phlegmatic about bailing out less disciplined euro zone members, and is mostly clinging on to its faith in the single currency project.
That faith has been tested as a succession of struggling nations make ever greater demands on the sounder economies in the currency bloc, but it is not yet at breaking point.
“We had to sort out our own problems ourselves in the past. That’s why people are asking, do we have to help others?” said Maija Siirala, a freelance dressmaker and alterations specialist.
Finland, one of only four euro zone countries still boasting a triple-A credit rating, recovered from a financial crisis in the early 1990s without outside help, and the years of harsh austerity and debt repayments are part of the collective memory for many.
“But I think yes, we still have to help others,” Siirala adds without hesitation.
That is at least in part a recognition that Finland has benefited from membership of the euro zone.
Jussi Huotari, a man in his 30’s working for a technology startup, criticised European officials for letting the crisis get out of hand, but said the euro had been “great for Finland” so far, and he had not been put off the idea of a currency union.
“The crisis has been mismanaged in an expensive way,” he said. “But if Finland leaves the euro zone, I’d like to see another common currency with more similar economies. Something like a Deutsche euro, a euro for the ‘North-of-the-Alps‘ countries or even a Scandinavian krona.”
Strange Random Finland Quote:
“Finland is not the home of barbarians, as some folk imagine, neither do polar bears walk continually about the streets…” – Mrs Alec Tweedie, Through Finland in Carts, 1897
Posted on July 28, 2012, in Article and tagged Currency union, European Stability Mechanism, European Union, Eurozone, Finland, Finns, Gross domestic product, Reuters, Spain. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.