Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker refuses to see "any real problems" in the negotiations for the Portuguese bail-out package - there is only a "Finnish problem". The arrogant Mr. Juncker follows the traditional EU line: If voters in one or several countries oppose what the "colleagues" in Brussels have decided, the same "colleagues" will find a way to ignore them.
Eurozone leaders should be able to find a way for
Finland to sign onto a bailout program for Portugal by mid-May despite
an exceptionally strong showing in recent national elections by the
nationalist anti-bailout party, True Finns, Eurogroup Chairman
Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.
“There are no real problems” in the negotiations for a Portuguese
package, Juncker told reporters following a working lunch here with
France’s Prime Minister Francois Fillon. But there is a “Finnish
problem,” he noted.
That problem is the strong third-place showing of True Finns, which
has catapulted them into the likely position of governing jointly in a
coalition that will be led by the pro-Europe National Coalition party.
The True Finns campaigned against Finland’s contributions to the
European Financial Stability Facility and against its participation in a
Portuguese aid package. Now those views will have a strong voice in the
Negotiations to form a post-election government are taking place in
Helsinki this week.
Juncker said he had been in discussions with European Central Bank
President Jean-Claude Trichet, European Council President Van Rompuy and
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to find a “solution”
to the Finnish issue.
“I continue to think that by mid-May we will find a way to permit
our Finnish friends to accompany the process in a constructive manner,”
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Already on April 13 Juncker told the Finns to behave:
Finland’s next government will be bound by pledges made by the current government, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.
“I want Finland to remain euro-pragmatic, euro-realistic, strictly and profoundly European,” Juncker, who heads the panel of euro finance chiefs, told reporters in Luxembourg yesterday.
It is, by the way, interesting to note that Juncker asks the Finns to be "euro-realistic". Does he mean that they should be like Czech pesident Václav Klaus, who likes to describe himself as a eurorealist? Probably - and regrettably - not, but it is an interesting choice of words.