President Sauli Niinistö was photographed recording his New Year’s Address in the Presidential Palace on 31 December 2022. Niinistö on Saturday told Turun Sanomat that he believes central banks are primarily responsible for the high level of indebtedness for having injected too much money into the economy. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)


PRESIDENT Sauli Niinistö has voiced his alarm about the growing debt burden of Finland.

“We in Finland have become used to maintaining a standard of living that hasn’t been earned. I’m sure we’ll have to give up on that share now. We have to learn to live in accordance with the good we’ve actually created,” he stated in an interview with Turun Sanomat on Saturday.

He also expressed his puzzlement at the lack of recognition of the magnitude of the indebtedness problem and the need for a change of course in economic policymaking.

Central banks, he estimated, are the root cause of the problem as they have carried out excessive asset purchase programmes that have distorted public understanding of economic and fiscal realities.

“It has brought up many to think that money is free and debt is without risk,” he said, echoing his concern about sustained measures to increase money in the economy not based on economic growth or output.

Niinistö told Turun Sanomat that a more prudent approach is required across society. Even the Finnish Defence Forces should according to him carefully review its expenses and priorities going forward, similarly to operators in all other sectors.

“The Defence Forces’ expenses are presently admittedly pretty much fixed, but that doesn’t mean that the rules of prudent economics wouldn’t also apply to the Defence Forces,” he commented.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT