Finland prefers loans to grants

Finland’s reaction to the EU’s €750 billion recovery fund saw few surprises. The government will present a formal opinion by next week.

European Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) commented on the Commission’s proposal on Twitter on Wednesday (27 May).

€500 billion of the €750 billion stimulus fund would be distributed in the form of grants, and Finland would have preferred a loan-based package, she said.

Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni (Centre party) told broadsheet Helsingin Sanomat in an interview on Thursday (28 May) that the proposal will not be accepted. Grants without preconditions is not a positive trend, she said, adding that loans should be offered to encourage structural changes and the overall improvement of European competitiveness.

Of the five parties in government, the Greens appeared to be most satisfied.

In her blog, Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo thanked the Commission’s proposal for being sufficiently large and containing elements to help renew the economy. “The Green party’s position is positive and constructive,” she said.  

Predictably, the far-right Finns party strongly criticised the EU recovery programme. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

>> Also read here how member states across the EU have reacted to the Commission’s Recovery Fund proposal.

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