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President criticises EU bailouts at Kultaranta kick-off

President Sauli Niinistö said he'd like a return to 'no bailouts' principles.

Presidentti Niinistö tapaa median videokokouksessa ennen Kultaranta-keskusteluja perjantaina.
President Sauli Niinistö meets the media on Friday 22 May. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö has said he'd like the eurozone to return to what he says are its original 'no bailouts' rules.

He said he would prefer each country to be responsible for its own fiscal discipline, and also urged decision-makers to be wary of seeing central banks as sources of 'free money'.

"Ten years ago a new path was forged," said Niinistö. "I think we should now discuss whether we could return to the original eurozone agreement's 'no bailout' rule. That way we would at the same time emphasise each country's fiscal discipline."

This week German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron announced an agreement for the EU Commission to borrow some 500 million euros and transfer it to the bloc's hardest-hit regions.

Niinistö also said that the United States withdrawing from the Open Skies agreement, which was announced on Thursday, was 'a detail in a larger development, which is not good'.

The Open Skies agreement allows each of the 34 countries signed up to conduct reconnaissance flights in the airspace of other signatories.

He made the remarks at a press conference held ahead of annual Kultaranta Talks, when the president traditionally invites nationally and internationally significant figures to discuss the issues of the day.

The event is named after his official summer residence in Naantali, where the talks usually happen.

This year's theme is “After corona – What kind of Finland? In what kind of a world?".

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