|Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, Jyrki Katainen, Finnish Minister for Finance and fellow Finn, Olli Rehn, member of the European Commission, Brussels, March 14, 2011.|
Finland's finance minister, Jyrki Katainen, warned on
Monday said that there could be a new financial crisis if Europe does not help
Portugal, as he fights to head off a challenge from opponents of bailouts for
European struggling peripheral economies, ahead of a general election on Sunday.
The conservative National Coalition
Party, which is headed by Katainen who
is also deputy prime minister, remains the most popular party according to a
poll by the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
YLE, the state broadcaster, reports
that the populist anti-bailout True Finns Party has however dropped from second
to fourth place in the poll.
The Social Democratic Party has succeeded the True Finns in second place, while
the Centre Party’s support, headed by the prime minister,
Mari Kiviniemi (she is in her early
40s like Katainen), is the third strongest.
The National Coalition have 20.2% support; the
Social Democratic Party 18.0% and the Centre Party is at 17.9%. True Finns
Party has 16.9% support.
YLE says backing for the populist True Finns Party has fallen by 1.5 percentage
points since March, which is within the poll’s margin of error.
True Finns’ support also dropped, similarly within the margin of error, in an
MTV3 poll last week.
agree to changing the terms of Ireland's loans, Katainen
told YLE in February.
is an understanding in Europe and the euro area that the
requirements can’t be eased in a way that would endanger the
work to bring the Irish economy back to health,” Katainen said.
"The message is this: since 2009,
Finland lost €40bn of tax money because of the financial crisis. In 2009,
Finnish pension funds' return was €17bn negative," Katainen told Reuters
"We don't want this to happen again, so we need to back such solutions that
keep up the Europe's financial stability," he said.
Timo Soini, head of the
anti-EU True Finns party, says on bailouts: “People
just don’t get it, don’t want it.”
A delegation from the International
Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission is expected in
Lisbon on Tuesday for initial talks on an estimated bailout worth €80bn.
Nobody supports debt
restructuring at this stage in the Eurogroup council of Eurozone finance
ministers, Katainen said.
"It doesn't make any sense to me that countries, that
have managed their finances poorly, would be told that they don't have to pay
off their debts."
Portugal is due to hold a general
election on June 5th. It has debt of €4.5bn maturing on Friday and will need to
raise a further €7bn in June.