Minister: Finns won’t pay for eurozone debt

A Finnish minister has said that the Scandinavian country does not intend to help pay the debts of other eurozone countries.

Finland’s finance minister Jutta Urpilainen said in an interview with the financial daily Kauppalehti last week that, “Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for.”

Kauppalehti commentators have since interpreted the minister’s comments as stating that Finland was considering backing out of the eurozone rather than contributing to rescue efforts for ailing countries in the union.

However, Matti Hirvola, a spokesman for Urpilainen, has since played down the interpretation. He said, “all claims that Finland would leave the euro are simply false,” the AFP reports.

Moreover, Urpilainen seemed to speak against such claims in the same interview. “Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland”.

However, she added that the Finns would “represent a tough line” in the ordeal. We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms,” she said.

Finland was highly resistant to Europe’s second Greek bailout last year and only agreed to the move following a collateral agreement with Greek authorities.