The Finnish government responded on Wednesday to an interpellation tabled by the opposition Finns Party and two members of a Left Alliance parliamentary splinter group.
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen struck back forcefully against criticism from the Finns Party, asking its MPs to spell out a credible alternative to supporting Spain.
The interpellation sought to clarify the government’s position on a number of key issues arising from the ongoing eurozone economic crisis.
The questions for which the opposition sought answers include:
- whether or not the government accepts the bailout of Spanish banks by Finnish taxpayers
- whether or not the government accepts the use of the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) for bailing out Spanish banks
- whether or not the government has prepared for the possible disintegration of the euro union
- and whether or not the government is exploring alternative monetary policy options such as those adopted by Sweden, Denmark, Britain or Switzerland
The interpellation was signed by Finns Party chair Timo Soini and 38 other parliamentarians, but does not include signatures from the other main opposition party, the Centre Party.
However Soini has called on the Centre Party to join the other opposition groups in voting against the government in a confidence motion on Thursday.
The Finns Party chair has previously emphasised that the interpellation was tabled to facilitate discussion by the entire legislature of Finland’s position on the euro crisis before a major EU summit scheduled for the end of June.