The EU stimulus fund agreed by EU leaders last month is a questionable economic arrangement for Finland, for which Finland pays more than twice as much as it receives.
According to initial estimates, Finland's costs from the total EUR 750 billion stimulus fund will rise to closer to EUR 7 billion, but EUR 3 billion will come back in the form of various grants and subsidized loans.
In other words, in this arrangement, Finland undertakes to pay a little over two euros for every euro it receives.
Of course, the grants that will seep out of the arrangement will be available within the next couple of years, while the cost of them is expected to be paid within 30 years.
But still, such a measure does not make economic sense for a state like Finland, which has access to loan money in its own name at a negative interest rate, ie literally cheaper than free.
Nor will the loss of the arrangement turn into income on the basis that the growth brought about by the stimulus fund in other EU countries would significantly reflect the indirect stimulus effect up to export-led Finland.
If there were any germination in such an indirect export recovery, it would be more useful to direct the aid to Finland's main export countries instead of Italy and Spain, but they are also either net contributors to the recovery fund or completely out of the picture.
But even though the initial price tag of the stimulus fund raises questions about the economic impetus of the arrangement, the billion-dollar losses to Finland are still a side issue alongside how and with what consequences the adjustment will change the nature of the EU.
The fund will be used even after the corona
The losses to Finland from the first round of the recovery fund are, of course, large sums, but they are more likely to be a foretaste of the future and not a one-off.
The implementation of the fund is intended to circumvent or violate a number of hitherto almost sacred articles and outright prohibitions of EU treaties in a way that becomes much easier to become permanent than temporary.
The intention is to finance EU budget expenditure with debt financing, even if the EU Treaties do not. And the intention is to channel EU debt-financed aid into expenditure for which the Member States are responsible, even if the Treaties do not allow it.
The recovery fund will be set up under the pretext of an interest rate crisis, but the temporary marketed arrangement is set to be maintained for the first time at least until the end of the 2050s.
Before the deadline, which is about to go into the future, comes, the EU will certainly have time to run into one, if not another, new crisis. Thus, there is a need for the fund, or for new similar funds that replicate its model, before this temporary fund is dismantled and buried.
There is hardly a need to whistle at conspiracy theories to anticipate that in some new crisis, it will be easier to redefine the recovery fund from temporary to permanent than not to use it, let alone quit.
Next time, there may be no need to worry about the debt and subsidy rules of the Treaties as in this first round, once they have been broken.
Therefore, as a net contributor to the EU, Finland is also justified in preparing for a significant and permanent increase in income transfers between EU countries and the costs arising from them.
And the fact that, with the cash flow, a growing amount of budgetary power, that is, economic independence, will also be transferred from the country to the Union.
The money goes to non-interest expenses
The establishment of the Recovery Fund is justified by the need to balance the economic burden of the interest rate crisis among EU countries.
Nevertheless, the funds are to be made available to the various EU countries mainly on the basis of allocation criteria other than the costs of the interest rate crisis.
Similarly, beneficiary countries are to use recovery funds mainly for purposes other than corona or anti-coronation measures.
Recovery funds are distributed to different EU countries, for example, according to the population and the country's previous economic condition, and not according to the costs of the koruna. The stimulus funds are intended to promote, for example, the climate and environmental goals of the economy and digitalisation, which have nothing to do with the interest rate crisis.
Most of the stimulus fund's resources are channeled to the most indebted EU countries, such as Italy and Spain, and to purposes that Member States should in any case prove - but on their own and not on grants.
It is only natural that free or semi-free financing provided by credit countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland should be more advantageous to the net beneficiaries of this arrangement than debt financing obtained from the market in their own name would be.
But this arrangement does not eliminate the constant need for financial support from net beneficiaries.
In particular, the Italian states, but also the smaller ones, are already so heavily indebted that they may not be able to withstand higher than zero interest rates until a moment before another crisis is ahead.
That is why there are uses for the stimulus fund - and for free money - even after the corona.
As long as someone else pays.