Finland to finance post-Covid stimulus with debt

3 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

HELSINKI: Finland will finance a post-pandemic stimulus plan by taking on an additional 22 billion euros ($26.5 billion) of debt under a spending plan agreed late Thursday following contentious talks that nearly fractured the ruling coalition government.

The Nordic nation, which has maintained some of Europe’s lowest rates of coronavirus infection, has also been spared the worst economic impacts and suffered only a 2.8 percent fall in GDP last year compared to a 6.6 percent EU average, reports AFP.

Nonetheless, last week Prime Minister Sanna Marin gathered her five-party, centre-left coalition to agree on additional spending for the coming four years to support the economic recovery.

On Friday morning, Annika Saarikko, whose Centre Party repeatedly threatened to walk out of the discussions, told public broadcaster Yle that the deal reached late Thursday was “good enough”, even if major disagreements remain between the parties on future debt levels and employment policies.