Finland Approves Cyprus Bailout as Government Survives VoteKati Pohjanpalo and Kasper Viita
Finland’s contribution to Cyprus’s bailout was approved by the parliament’s Grand Committee as the government also survived a confidence vote on the measure.
The committee at the Helsinki-based assembly voted 16 to 9 to sanction the rescue, according to an e-mailed statement. Lawmakers also earlier backed Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s six-party coalition in the plenary session 86 to 65 against a motion brought by the opposition over the cabinet’s handling of the bailout. There were no abstentions and 48 were absent.
Finland’s minority opposition has attacked the government for participating in the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) rescue to the Mediterranean island nation, the euro area’s fifth international aid package in almost three years. “The Finns” party filed the no-confidence motion on April 5 to force a debate over the bailout in a plenary session.
Rescues funded by the European Stability Mechanism are approved by the Finnish legislature’s Grand Committee, while payouts from the previous rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, were discussed and approved through a vote in which all lawmakers were able to take part.
The Grand Committee is comprised of 16 members from government parties and nine from the opposition. The committee last month granted Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen a mandate to take part in the bailout negotiations.
Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, yesterday backed the country’s participation in the rescue by 487 votes to 101, with 13 abstentions. German lawmakers “recognized their responsibility for the euro and the euro area, sending a strong signal,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after the vote.
“Finnish tax revenue is used to prop up a tax haven, which doesn’t collect taxes to fund itself,” Timo Soini, who heads “The Finns,” said in the April 5 motion. “In addition, we’re saving very questionable funding sources and supporting money laundering.”
Urpilainen defended the rescue on April 17, saying the depositor bail-in agreed on as part of the package “safeguards taxpayers from mistakes others made” and means investors share the burden, in line with the government’s stance.
The government has defeated 13 confidence motions since coming to power in June 2011 as the opposition seeks to stir internal rifts in the six-party coalition. Katainen has the backing of 124 lawmakers of the parliament’s 200.