Finland would rather leave the euro zone than pay down the debt of other countries in the currency bloc, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said in a newspaper interview Friday.
"Finland is committed to being a member of the euro zone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland," Urpilainen told financial daily Kauppalehti, adding though that "Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and we are prepared for all scenarios."
"Collective responsiability for other countries' debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for," she added.
In her interview with Kauppalehti, the finance minister meanwhile insisted that Finland, one of only a few EU countries to still enjoy a triple-A credit rating, would not agree to an integration model in which countries are collectively responsible for member states' debts and risks.
She also insisted that a proposed banking union would not work if it was based on joint liability.
Urpilainen also acknowledged in an interview with the Helsingin Sanomat daily Thursday that Finland "represents a tough line" when it comes to the euro-zone 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 it will begin negotiations with Spain next week in order to obtain collateral in exchange for taking part in a bailout for ailing Spanish banks.
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What this means is that Finland will not accept the kind of deeper integration that some are proposing as a solution to the euro crisis. Urpilainen is stating the obvious, as the overwhelming majority of Finns would not accept a model leading to a more federal Europe. (Neither would a majority of Germans accept it).