Finns vote for nationalists over EU bailouts row

Parliamentary election in Finland ended up with the nationalist True Finns party making big gains by winning 19 per cent of the votes.

With fears growing that the government might swing to the right, many see the nationalist Finnish euro-skeptics as potential spoilers of the EU bailout package for Portugal which is being negotiated in Lisbon.

The election signifies that the forming of a new government in multiparty Finland will be difficult, considering the diversity of views of these parties on the EU, warns Juha Petteri Jokela, Research Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

It is true that Finns have been discussing bailout plans first for Greece and then Portugal as well as austerity rallies all across Europe Jokela said. Finns do realize that eventually the same situation could come to their doorstep but still they are not ready to pay for saving other nations. That explains the rapid growth in the votes given to the nationalist True Finns party, he believes.

“This is something the Finns feel very strong about. Finland’s own previous economic crisis in the early 1990s, when Finland mostly bailed itself out in a way, it survived without the support of the others – this is something that goes to the Finnish mentality that the nation should take care of its own economy – this is what Finns feel very strongly about,” Jokela shared