The EU's stimulus package is in Finland's interest, despite its role as a net contributor, Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Central) emphasized at a lunch for the Finnish Journalists' Association on Friday.
- due to exports am in favor of a strong European coordination resuscitation, Vanhanen said.
Finland is receiving EUR 3.2 billion from the EU stimulus package over three years.
Correspondingly, Finland will pay EUR 6.6 billion in contributions to the stimulus package in 2021–2058.
Vesa Vihriälä, Professor of Working Life at the University of Helsinki, who represented the Center in the government negotiations' economic group, expressed concern at Helsingin Sanomat about the common debt of EU countries, which is managed by EU membership fees and EU-level taxes.
Vanhanen says that he has not reduced his debt to Finland through the package.
- On the contrary, for us, the millions of resuscitation that comes from there must be doubled on our own, because for us that Net price is more expensive, we will pay them back in the coming decades. The investments that are made are not based on free money, but we actually pay them back in double. Yes, that debt will be taken out in exactly the same way as other government debt, in the coming years there will be an annual tranche of about 300 million.
The estimate of Finland's double taxpayer role is based on the very fact that Finland receives 3.2 billion and pays 6.6 billion.
Vanhanen's party colleague, MEP Mauri Pekkarinen, recently criticized the package by writing on Twitter that Finland received a 3.4 billion net bill, which we donate to countries whose economies are forecast to recover faster than Finland's.
According to Vanhanen, Pekkarinen did not notice that if Finland's recovery is slower than in other countries, Finland will receive a “significantly” larger share of the pot. According to the EU Commission's economic forecast, Finland's economic growth will be the slowest of all EU countries next year.
- Economic developments in different countries this autumn and next year will affect how 30% of the pot is distributed. The so-called net position cannot yet be calculated.
In any case, according to Vanhanen, it is worthwhile for an export-driven country to pay for it, “if and when the package will help the economy to recover throughout the Union”.
- For the same reason, richer countries pay even more.
According to Vanhanen, own recovery projects must be effective precisely because of Finland's role as a net contributor.
From critics, Vanhanen calls for a comparison of what national stimulus achieves compared to EU-coordinated stimulus.
- I believe that coordinated action will help, relying on the experience of the financial crisis. The very consistent co-operation between the euro countries made a significant contribution to managing the financial crisis.
According to Vanhanen, the recovery has also been “gigantic” nationally: the government agreed on an additional budget of 5.5 billion in June. According to Vanhanen, the time for economic rebalancing, or in Finnish, cuts and tax increases, will not begin until 2022 at the earliest.
- The recovery is usually followed by a tightening of fiscal policy, it is ahead in the future. Now, in a decreasing spiral, the confidence of citizens and companies is increasing, that yes, Finns will survive this.
The EU's stimulus package was, according to critics, pushed through in Brussels without extensive debate. According to Vanhanen, the government had “a clear mandate from Parliament to make an agreement”.
- It went according to the boundary conditions. Finland itself was very critical of the Commission's original proposal, it changed significantly.