Vanhanen and Parts Discuss Job Flow to Estonia

Fears about the flow of domestic jobs to Estonia were high on the agenda in talks between visiting Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts and his Finnish colleague Matti Vanhanen.

The European Union's youngest prime minister, 37-year-old Juhan Parts, is tasked with the challenge of integrating his country into the union in May. He has high hopes for what this means in terms of Finnish and Estonian economic cooperation.

“We will have very soon, it maybe five or ten years, within this common economy a single market. I think this is the future,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

While Vanhanen welcomes the southern neighbour into the EU, he is also deeply concerned of the effect this will have on the Finnish economy.

The threat of companies uprooting from Finnish soil to seek the cheap labour and low taxes of Estonia was foremost on the agenda when the two premiers met on Monday.

Vanhanen has said that Finland will impose restrictions on the free movement of labour for two years after Estonia joins the EU. Parts says he understands the Finns' concerns but insists there's no need to over-dramatise the situation.

Parts added that the free movement of workers across the internal borders of the EU was integral to the way the Union works.

He also believes that once the borders are open, the Finnish and Estonian economies will rapidly come to resemble each other, and will probably form a common market within the EU.

YLE24