Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Jul 27, 2012

Fortified by euro, Finns take bailouts on the chin

HELSINKI (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.

Jun 27, 2012

Finns get tougher on Europe as crisis drags on

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen sounded almost apologetic a year ago when he demanded collateral in exchange for bailout funds for Greece.

It was the first time the Finns, who have prospered as EU members since 1995, shedding the shadow of historically dominant neighbors Russia and Sweden, had joined Europe’s awkward squad.

Jun 5, 2012

Latvian-style quick cuts praised as best formula

RIGA (Reuters) – Latvia overcame a crisis thanks to rapid and painful but necessary austerity measures, international policy makers said on Tuesday, holding the small Baltic state up as an example to troubled euro zone nations, especially Greece.

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said Latvia had won the right to adopt the euro currency, extolling the small Baltic state’s achievement in clinging to its currency peg through the deepest of the 2009 recessions in the European Union .

May 17, 2012

Nokia’s woes cast doubt over Finnish model

HELSINKI, May 17 (Reuters) – Troubles at Finland’s Nokia Oyj
aren’t just bad news for the company, its staff and
shareholders. They’re also a warning sign for the small Nordic
country’s welfare model.

Just as Nokia’s sure touch with well-designed,
consumer-friendly products seems to have deserted it, fears are
growing that Finland, whose reputation for innovation rested
largely on the handset maker’s success, m ay be losing its
competitive edge.

Mar 24, 2012

Finland ready to compromise on bigger bailout fund

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.

Euro zone finance ministers will discuss the issue at a meeting in Copenhagen on March 30-31.

Feb 5, 2012

Pro-EU Niinisto wins Finnish presidency

HELSINKI, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Pro-Europe politician
Sauli Niinisto won Finland’s presidency on Sunday in an election
that showed voters want to keep the country in the euro zone
despite misgivings over European Union bailouts.

The former finance minister won with 63 percent support,
defeating pro-euro Greens Party candidate Pekka Haavisto.

Jan 22, 2012

Pro-euro candidate wins first round of Finnish vote

HELSINKI, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Pro-euro candidate Sauli
Niinisto won the first round of Finland’s presidential election
on Sunday, signalling voters want to keep cooperating with the
European Union despite their frustration over bailouts for
debt-ridden member states.

The former finance minister got 37 percent of the vote. He
faces a Feb. 5 run-off with another pro-euro candidate, Pekka
Haavisto of the Greens Party, who got about 19 percent.

Jan 6, 2012

Anti-euro Finns take backseat in presidential poll

HELSINKI, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Finnish voters look
set to elect veteran conservative Sauli Niinisto as their next
president as anti-euro sentiment takes a backseat to economic
concerns.

The former finance minister from the National Coalition
party, with around 40 percent support in polls, is clear
favourite for the Jan. 22 election.

Nov 7, 2011

Italy won’t need bailout if it sticks to budget plan: Schaeuble

TAMPERE, Finland (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that Italy would not need a bailout if it sticks to its budget plans, but he also warned that the euro zone’s third-largest economy was too big for the region’s emergency fund to support.

Italian government bond yields hit 14-year highs on Monday, rising nearer levels widely seen as unsustainable as political turmoil threatened to drag it deeper into the regional debt crisis that has already engulfed Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Sep 2, 2011

Finland to pick reactor site despite German exit

HELSINKI, Sept 2 (Reuters) – While Germany is phasing out
nuclear power, Finland is looking to build more, staying its
course in pursuit of cheap electricity despite the Fukushima
disaster in Japan.

A Finnish consortium will soon announce the location of a
new reactor, underscoring the country’s determination to curb
its reliance on Russian energy and help its metals and forestry
sectors stay competitive.