Skip to comments.Finland's Bailout Blues Cast Pall Over Euro Zone
Posted on 04/13/2011 10:49:25 AM PDT by Viiksitimali
HELSINKIThe euro zone's attempts to reassure bond investors that it can fix its debt problems may be derailed Sunday when Finns go to the polls to elect a new government.
According to recent opinion polls, voter support for the nationalist True Finns Party has soared in recent months, partly in response to dissatisfaction with the fact that taxpayers in this most northern of the euro zone's 17 members have been asked to bail out Greece, Ireland and Portugal at the same time as welfare benefits are being cut at home.
The True Finns oppose any aid to fellow euro-zone members, and may be part of a new coalition government, most likely alongside the National Coalition Party and the Center Partyboth of which are part of the current government.
Like other euro-zone countries, Finland has helped bail out Greece and Ireland and is now called upon to rescue Portugal. So far Finland has committed to guarantee almost 8 billion ($11.54 billion) related to the EFSF, and further guarantees and investments of 12.58 billion related to the ESM, which is to begin functioning in July 2013. Finland has also given a 1.48 billion loan to Greece, a 160 million loan to Iceland and promised a 324 million loan to Latvia.
Finland's public sector debt is less than 50% of gross domestic product and its budget deficit is 2.5% of GDP, under the EU limits in both cases. It is one of six euro-zone members that have a triple-A rating, and whose guarantees are therefore crucial to ensuring that the EFSF can borrow cheaply in the international bond markets. The EFSF then lends that borrowed money to countries in need.
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it’s those damned pesky free elections again...
You can tell how the Left would like to deal with us, if they just had the power.
True Finns Party is difficult to place in the political spectrum. It has its roots in the rural area party (e.g. farmers etc), combined with some anti-rich tax-the-rich rhetoric. Its supporters and some elected party members oppose mass-immigration, but the head of party has been silent about immigration. Party opposes gay marriage.
It is EU skeptic, but not totally opposed.
From US perspective, it is partly populist, partly conservative, partly leftist party.
Finland has multi-party system. True Finns has good chance of getting into the coalition government, but zero chance of significantly affecting Finland’s position in any important matter.
Unless Finns get so unhappy with the EU that True Finns gets elected to a parliamentary majority.
>> it is partly populist, partly conservative, partly leftist party <<
In other words, a perfect fit for Donald Trump!
given the election system there, that is impossible.
There has never been an election where one party got more than 30-35%. Besides, these are not winner-takes-all districts. I think even getting 50%+ of vote (0% chance of that ever) will probably not lead to parlamentary majority for the winning party.