Finland is taking in the surprise success of the anti-euro party in the country’s general election. The True Finns could form part of a coalition government. That could threaten eurozone bailouts, which the party opposes.
Theoretically the Finnish government can veto bailouts, as the country’s parliament can vote on whether to approve them.
“We shall renegotiate with the European Union and I think there will be a bunch of new suggestions,” said Timo Soini, leader of the True Finns. “We’ll also have something to say and we’ll be in those negotiations if we’re in the government. Something new is going to happen, and that’s very good because these bailouts clearly have not been working.”
Finland’s pro-Europe National Coalition narrowly won the election with 20.4 percent of the vote, ahead of the opposition Social Democrats in second place with 19.1 percent.The True Finns quadrupled their vote, winning 19 percent to come third.
The Centre Party, previously the largest in parliament, suffered the biggest setback, dropping to fourth place with just 15.8 percent of the vote. It is now set to go into opposition.
As leader of the conservative National Coalition, the outgoing finance minister Jyrki Katainen is expected to launch negotiations to form a new government.
Despite the celebrations a difficult task lies ahead.
The Social Democrats will probably be involved. Although pro-EU, like the True Finns they also dislike current plans to bail out Portugal.
Support for the euro-sceptics in Finland was also boosted by anxiety over unemployment and cuts to pensions.