The True Finns suprised the complacent EU establishment with their strong showing in the election. They immediately had to offer interviews to assure everyone they are “not extremists”, anticipating a welter of vituperative commentary from those who dislike Euro scepticism.
I do not support their whole programme – nor am I a Finn. I do support their clearly stated view that there should no bail outs in the Eurozone. Those forming a government in Finland should listen carefully to them, and the rest of the EU would also be wise to think again.
Doubtless much effort will go into ensuring Finland does not end up placing a veto on any Portuguese bail out. It would never do for an electorate in Europe to express a view and for that view to then derail the carefully crafted train journey to European Union. After all, the True Finns are a minority within a small country. How dare they assert that the EU has got this debt and deficit issue wrong.
The trouble with that approach is that many people throughout western Europe disagree with the current EU debt and deficit strategy. Many share the True Finn view that lending more money to countries that cannot afford their current levels of debt is not a winning idea. Others take the view that Germany and the richer states have to be more generous. For them EU solidarity requires the rich to subsidise the poorer on a larger scale, as happens in unitary states between regions of differing income levels.
The markets are betting on Greece failing to make all the payments on its debt. The EU strategy of locking problem countries into large EU/IMF loans sentences them to years of poor performance in ways which will make local electorates restless. The EU policy is unlikely to produce faster growth or an early end to the rolling debt crisis. We should expect more “rogue” political results as pressures build up against the present policy on both sides of the argument.