ECONOMY

Finland to decide on Greek bailout quickly, minister says

finland-to-decide-on-greek-bailout-quickly-minister-says

Finland will examine the details of a third international bailout for Greece and take a position as soon as Thursday, Finance Minister Alexander Stubb has said.

"We won’t just swallow an announcement that an agreement has been reached… We will go through the details," Stubb told AFP in Helsinki on Wednesday.

The conservative minister was commenting on the agreement reached between Athens and its creditors that has been submitted to EU member states for evaluation.
Stubb said Finland, a hardliner in the talks with Greece, would take a stance on the deal "on Thursday."

The agreement has to be approved by a Parliamentary Grand Committee, made up of 25 MPs mirroring the political make-up of the parliament.

When asked about Finland’s position towards possible bridge funding for Greece, Stubb said it was "an option" that Helsinki was prepared for if the details were agreed upon.

Emergency bridge funding for Greece might be necessary if the negotiators fail to finalise the bailout deal by next Thursday, when Greece must meet a payment deadline for its loan from the European Central Bank.

Finland’s hard line towards its indebted fellow eurozone member Greece is partly due to the influence of the eurosceptic Finns Party, part of the centre-right coalition government that took office in May.

The party had been staunchly opposed to any new bailouts, but finally chose to back the current rescue plan.

Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who is also Finns Party leader, told Bloomberg News on Saturday his party had no choice but to approve the deal because not doing so would collapse the coalition, and his party would be "replaced" in the government.

Germany said Wednesday it still needed time to review the draft bailout agreement, and aimed to take a position "by the end of the week."

[AFP]