Minister of Finance Alexander Stubb (NCP) has vigorously defended Finland's membership in the eurozone in an interview with The New York Times.

He believes the suggestions that Finland would be better off without the euro are “rubbish”. Stubb is according to the prestigious daily eager to communicate to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean that the single shared currency has benefited Finland in the long term.

“Finland is, in many ways, the anti-Greece,” the daily writes.

Stubb reminded that by shifting towards Western Europe – and euro as a significant part of it – Finland has been able to develop its trade and diplomatic relations and enable its industries to connect to the global economy. “That made its people richer,” according to the daily.

Several American economists and social commentators have argued that had Finland not joined the monetary union, its export industries would be better off due to a weaker currency. Finland has after adopting the euro been unable to devalue its currency as it did on several occasions especially in the 1970—80s but also in the 1950—60s.

“Devaluation is a little like doping in sports,” Stubb said. “It gives you perhaps a short-term boost, but in the long run, it's not beneficial.”

Instead of a doping injection, Stubb argued, Finland is in need of structural reforms. “Just like anyone else, we need structural reform, structural adjustment; we need to increase our competitiveness, and a little bit of luck,” he said.

The New York Times reports that Finland has fared worse than other eurozone countries after 2008 due to being locked in a currency with the economically superior Germany.

Tuomas Muraja – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT