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About Finnish society & culture. From snow to sauna, from natives to Nokia.
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North is north

North is north | Finland | Scoop.it

LAPLAND is just about as far from Cyprus as one can go in Europe. But on a spring day the sun reflected on an endless expanse of snow can be as bright as a Mediterranean beach. Russian pleasure-seekers and businessmen may flock to both countries. Yet in economic terms they are worlds apart. This week Cyprus became the fifth euro-zone country to negotiate a euro-zone bail-out; AAA-rated Finland, in its laconic way, is perhaps the most hardline of creditor states.

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Finland and Italy: Enemies, a love story?

Finland and Italy: Enemies, a love story? | Finland | Scoop.it

 

It is axiomatic that politics make strange bedfellows, but it would be hard to find stranger bedfellows than Finland, the orneriest of the eurozone’s austere north, and Italy, the biggest debtor in its troubled south.
Even before the eurozone debt crisis put the two countries on a collision course, Helsinki and Rome had their run-ins, particularly after Parma beat out a Finnish competitor to host the European Food Safety Authority – and then-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi poured salt in the wound by suggesting EU officials would prefer Parma’s famous ham to Finnish smoked reindeer...

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North-South Divide Marks Euro's Struggle - In Portugal, Finland, Two Different Views of Financial Crisis

North-South Divide Marks Euro's Struggle - In Portugal, Finland, Two Different Views of Financial Crisis | Finland | Scoop.it
Though Finland and Portugal share a common currency, their divergent economic outlooks echo the divide between the euro-zone's strongest and weakest members. Finland's economy is still growing, and unemployment is low. In contrast, Portugal is suffering a high jobless rate and entering a second year of recession.

 

The feeling of being almost untouched by economic turmoil is shared by Finns more than 2,000 miles away at a resort in Espoo, north of Helsinki. Here, where sunlight is shining nearly 24 hours a day, Finns flood into Serena, a ski resort that stays busy in the summer thanks to a water park.

"We are just beginning our family vacation, so we are mostly concerned about the weather," said homemaker Marja Laine, spending €94 ($115) for entrance for a family of four. Her husband, Jani, says the euro-zone crisis isn't on his mind. "For the moment it has not had any impact on us."

For Portuguese families though, the crisis is front and center.

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Katainen defends Finland's eurozone membership - YLE News

Katainen defends Finland's eurozone membership - YLE News | Finland | Scoop.it

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen says the euro and Finland remaining within the common currency zone is the only viable alternative for the country. His comment came in an article published in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper Savon Sanomat. In response, Finns Party chair Timo Soini said fear over the possible collapse of the eurozone was unfounded. 

 

Katainen wrote he hoped Finns would not have to experience the consequences of either a break-up of the euro or leaving the currency.

If the euro were to disintegrate, Katainen said, it would lead to significant cuts in Finland’s social and welfare budget and to higher taxes.

 

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Finland's success with 'growsterity' - video

Finland's success with 'growsterity' - video | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland's PM Jyrki Katainen discusses how the government is handling its debt and stimulating growth at the same time.

 

This week Sir David takes another look at the eurozone and dissects the need for a larger rescue fund.

How could one country, Finland, propose to cut its budget by nearly €3bn when other countries were struggling with debts?

Jyrki Katainen, the prime minister of Finland, a country that still holds a AAA rating, tells Sir David how the government is going about it.

"We had to take care of our confidence toward our economy so that's why we had to turn our debt development downward, at the same time we're putting more pressure on growth. We're saying that we have chosen the line of 'growsterity' – austerity measures and growth. watch the video interview http://aje.me/HspwRI

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Finland basks in Triple A glow as bond flies

Finland reaped the benefits of its top-notch Triple A credit rating status on Tuesday, attracting demand of 4.8 billion euros for a benchmark 15-year 3 billion euro debt issue that will become the government's longest-dated bond.

Finland is one of the few euro zone sovereigns still rated Triple A by all three major rating agencies after Standard & Poor's downgraded nine euro zone countries two weeks ago.

"The size of the order book shows that Finland is seen as a reliable issuer," Teppo Koivisto, the state treasury's director of finance, said in a statement.

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Eurozone woes drive Finnish presidential campaign

Eurozone woes drive Finnish presidential campaign | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland's presidential candidates are locking horns over the eurozone crisis as the January 22 election looks set to reflect a surge in euroscepticism in one of Europe's top-rated economies.
"The dividing lines between the candidates follow the EU issue pretty closely," Helsinki University political science professor Tuomo Martikainen told AFP.
The eurozone slowdown brought on by the debt crisis is expected to hit Finland's export-reliant economy hard, with growth expected to slow to just 0.4 percent in 2012 and with Finns nervous about the future although unemployment is for the moment still comparatively low at 7.3 percent.
Finland's future in the eurozone and the wider EU has thus become a bone of contention as popular President Tarja Halonen prepares to leave office after her second term in office.

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Finnish government survives no-confidence vote on eurozone bailout policy

Finnish government survives no-confidence vote on eurozone bailout policy | Finland | Scoop.it
HELSINKI — Finland’s conservative-led government on Wednesday survived a vote of no-confidence in Parliament over its handling of the debt crisis afflicting Europe.

Lawmakers voted 116-73 in favor of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s six-party Cabinet, with 11 absent or abstaining. The approval had been expected, as the coalition commands a clear majority in the 200-member Parliament with 124 lawmakers.

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Finland calls for more EU transparency to save euro - Economic Times

Finland calls for more EU transparency to save euro - Economic Times | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland on Tuesday called for fairer and more transparent decision-making by the European Union as it is battling to resolve the eurozone debt crisis and prevent the eurozone from splitting.

"I believe firmly that we can save the euro but we need more open political discussion because at the same time what we are seeing is also a crisis of democratic legitimacy," said Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

"We've been forced to take measures in the eurozone and the EU without proper consultations, proper transparency and discussion about the alternatives," he said after meeting northern European counterparts in Vilnius.

Tuomioja, who last month told Europeans to "face openly the possibility of a euro break-up", on Tuesday insisted he believed the crisis-hit 17-member single currency bloc could survive.

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Kipper Williams cartoon: Finnish liquidity :)

Kipper Williams cartoon: Finnish liquidity :) | Finland | Scoop.it

Kipper Williams cartoon: Finnish liquidity

 

Finland the only eurozone country with triple AAA rating and a stable outlook

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How Finland keeps its head above eurozone crisis

How Finland keeps its head above eurozone crisis | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland – home of reindeer, pickled fish and Nokia – is now the only eurozone country with a stable triple-A credit rating, according to Moody's. Moody's said that while Finland would not be immune to the eurozone crisis, it had "strong buffers which differentiate it from the other AAAs". Among these were the fact it has no debt on a net basis. cont.http://bit.ly/NQou9D ;

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Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com

Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com | Finland | Scoop.it

 

Like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Finland is on the geographical periphery of the eurozone, but it has little else in common with these three, which have all received international bailouts in the past two years.
Richer, happier and better educated than the OECD rich nations’ club average, Finland is also one of only a few countries that all the main credit agencies still judge as triple A-rated.

There are challenges, for sure, such as a population that is ageing more rapidly than any country apart from Japan and a faltering industrial base, but these troubles seem minor compared with those that face other European states.

 

http://on.ft.com/JtlMkV

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Finland ready to compromise on bigger bailout fund | Reuters

SAARISELKA, Finland (Reuters) - Finland is prepared to compromise on creating a bigger rescue fund for the euro zone despite scepticism over whether it is needed, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said on Saturday.  

 

While almost all of the currency bloc's 17 member states favour a stronger firewall, Germany and Finland have been reluctant to commit.

"We are ready to find a compromise," Katainen told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a gathering of senior European policy makers in Saariselka, a resort in Finnish Lapland. "What's important is that the firewall is credible."

 

 

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Finnish voters snub anti-euro far-right

Finnish voters snub anti-euro far-right | Finland | Scoop.it

Finland's nationalist anti-immigration Finns Party suffered a heavy setback in this weekend's presidential election, as many of its anti-euro voters fled to the equally eurosceptic Centre Party, observers said Monday.
The Finns Party soared in popularity in last April's legislative elections, becoming the third-biggest political formation with 19 percent of votes as its vehemently anti-EU rhetoric drew voters away from the Centre Party, which struggled to convey its euro opposition.
But in Sunday's first round of presidential voting, the Finns Party candidate and leader, the charismatic and popular Timo Soini, managed to scrape up just 9.4 percent despite a campaign that focused heavily on Finland's role in the eurozone.

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Advice to the euro-elite: forget how tough the Finns are at your peril - Mail Online - M E Synon's blog

...nowhere more than in triple-A rated Finland, a key member of the eurozone, and a nation with a history of courageous resistance to oppression that ought not to be forgotten by the euro-elite. Not if the euro-elite want to come out a fight in Helsinki with their skins still on.

I got in touch with the leader of the opposition in the Finnish parliament, Timo Soini, head of the Finns party.

Yesterday he forced the Finnish government to face a vote of confidence over the summit deal.

Today he sent me these notes on just why the eurozone deal must be resisted...

 

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