Katainen was in Germany to receive the Ludwig Erhard prize for his efforts in developing the market economy in a socially sustainable manner.
“I am deeply grateful of this honour. To receive such an award -- and to be associated with names such as Helmut Kohl, Jean-Claude Trichet and Robert Zoellick -- makes me feel very humble,” said Katainen.
Merkel addressed the Finnish premier by his first name and called him a friend. In his remarks, the Finnish Prime Minister explained Finland’s rejection of eurobonds, instruments to collectively guarantee European debt. The PM, however, toyed with the idea that such bonds could be useful for countries with “at least one A in their credit rating” like Germany and Finland.
During his visit the PM also met European Central Bank Executive Board member Jörg Asmussen as well as the President of the German Parliament.