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Government wins confidence vote over EU Covid recovery fund

Opposition parties had filed two motions against the government over the EU stimulus package.

Kuvakoostessa ovat Sanna Marin ja Jussi Halla-Aho.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin's government won the confidence vote called by opposition parties, including the Finns Party led by Jussi Halla-aho. Image: Hilma Toivonen & Bengt Östling / Yle, kuvankäsittely: Derrick Frilund / Yle

Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s (SDP) government won a parliamentary confidence vote on Wednesday called over the EU's coronavirus recovery package.

The government won the vote by 99 votes to 78, with 22 MPs absent.

The Christian Democrats, Movement Now and the Finns Party, who tabled the motion, said it had not been in Finland’s best interest to take part in the EU’s 750-billion-euro Covid recovery plan. The opposition parties also suggested that the package would not be a one-off deal.

The Finns Party's parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio said in a debate on Tuesday that "debtors' prison marketed as Covid stimulus will not solve the economic problems of southern Europe".

Prime Minister Marin had denied that the stimulus package would make some countries responsible for the debts of others. The government's position is that the package is a one-off stimulus to accelerate recovery from the pandemic.

Finland is set to see a smaller direct benefit from the package than expected as it has weathered the pandemic better than some other EU states.

Last July, EU states agreed on a Covid relief package to be distributed to member states by way of grants and loans. The package is to be funded by EU-issued debt, which some in Finland argue contravenes the EU's founding treaties.

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