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Stubb: Tuomioja's statements detrimental

According to Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb, remarks on the euro made by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja to The Telegraph do not represent those of the Finnish government and are detrimental to Finland's own position.

Alexander Stubb
Image: Yle

Stubb, a member of the conservative National Coalition Party, was highly critical of statements by his Social Democratic cabinet colleague published by The Telegraph on Friday.

"Our message is that these types of statements cause problems for Finland and Finland's negotiating position in Europe, and also cause instability for the eurozone. They benefit no one," said Stubb.

According to Stubb, the views about the euro expressed in the published interview do not represent the government's policy.

"One big difference was the statement that we'd do better without the euro."

Stubb told Yle that he spent his entire Friday reassuring the other eurozone countries, the markets and the media that Finland is 100% behind the euro.

"Finland is seeking constructive solutions so we can get out of this eurocrisis and that we never drift into this situation again."

The Minister for European Affairs denied that there is an ideological struggle under way within the cabinet over management of the eurocrisis. He pointed out that the government's euro policy has been criticized by the right, centre and left of the political spectrum.

"I don't think that this is a matter of internal politics. It is a question of Finland's position. Our goal is to strengthen Finland's negotiating position in Europe and elsewhere."

Stubb was unwilling to directly answer the question of whether or not Finland should be prepared to withdraw from the common currency.

"Everyone prepares in a way. This is now a question of how Finland's interests in Europe are advanced. What statements cause problems? Unfortunately, this has been a problem and we are now trying to correct the mistakes and interpretations that have spread around Europe," said Alexander Stubb.

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