EU commissioner hopes Finland will take positive attitude toward Portugal aid

10:12, April 22, 2011      

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Finland needs to take a stance on aid to cash-strapped Portugal around the start of a May 16 European Union finance ministers' meeting, an EU official said Thursday.

Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, told the daily Helsingin Sanomat that he hopes Finland will take a positive attitude to Portugal aid.

Rehn's remarks followed last Sunday's parliamentary elections in which the euro-sceptic True Finns party scored big gains, raising fears that Finland could derail a bailout for Portugal.

Rehn said he could not see a possibility that Finland would stay out of a deal on aid to Portugal and other euro zone countries would agree on an alternative package.

Rehn said parliament must decide on Finland's participation in aid for Portugal a few days after the May EU finance ministers' meeting, and by May 25 at the latest, so that bailout mechanisms can be ready in time to raise funds from the markets.

Rehn said he hoped that the new parliament would take into account what its decision would mean for Finland's overall interests.

"Naturally I hope that Finland will take a positive attitude," he said.

Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen, Finland's likely next prime minister, was expected to represent Finland at the Brussels EU finance ministers' meeting in May.

Rort, responsibility for presenting the Portuguese bailout to Finnish parliament will now pass to Finance Minister and Coalition Party chair Jyrki Katainen.

Source: Xinhua
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