Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said in a newspaper interview that “Finland would consider leaving the euro zone rather than paying the debts of other countries”.
As one of only a few European Union countries to still enjoy a triple-A credit rating, Finland would not agree to an integration model whereby member nations of the European Union were collectively responsible for the debts and risks of others, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said in a newspaper interview.
“Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland (but) Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and we are prepared for all scenarios,” Urpilainen told financial daily Kauppalehti on Friday.
Urpilainen also insisted that a proposed banking union would not work if based on joint liability.
“Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt, economics and risks – this is not what we should be prepared for,” she said.
Urpilainen acknowledged in an interview with the Helsingin Sanomat daily that Finland “represents a tough line” when it comes to the eurozone bailouts.
“We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms,” she said.
As part of its tough stance, Finland has said that it will begin negotiations with Spain next week to obtain collateral in exchange for taking part in a bailout for ailing Spanish banks.
Finland has also voiced concern about an agreement reached at an EU summit in Brussels last week to use the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to buy bonds to ease the unbearable borrowing costs which are squeezing Spain and other vulnerable eurozone economies.
And last year Finland created a significant stumbling block for the eurozone’s second rescue package for Greece, agreeing to take part only after striking a collateral deal with Athens in October 2011.