Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has voiced her bafflement with the suggestion that Finland experienced “a euro crisis” before it had even adopted the single currency. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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MEMBERS of the Left Alliance have expressed their bemusement with a group speech delivered by Jani Mäkelä (PS), a second-term Member of the Finnish Parliament from South-east Finland, in the Parliament House on Tuesday.

A group speech is defined as a speech in which the representative of a parliamentary group expresses the group’s position on the matter under consideration.

Mäkelä on Tuesday reminded that roughly a half a million people are presently subject to debt collection in Finland.

“A large share of their debts stems from the euro crisis of the early ‘90s. The Finns Party will propose this autumn in its shadow budget that a set of measures be introduced to improve the position of people subject to debt collection,” he said.

Li Andersson, Veronika Honkasalo and Paavo Arhinmäki of the Left Alliance all rushed to point out that the euro was not adopted in Finland until 1 January 2002.

“The Finns Party’s models for explaining how the world works were slightly jumbled during today’s budget debate, as they stated that the over-indebtedness of contemporary Finns is largely due to a euro crisis of the 1990s,” tweeted Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance and Minister of Education.

The same message was delivered by Arhinmäki, the chairperson of the Left Alliance Parliamentary Group.

“I’ve thought how I should react to the Finns Party's statements that are as if from a parallel universe. The Finns Party’s group speech today, for example, was five minutes of porky pies,” he said. “The euro was adopted on 1 January 2002, but there was a euro crisis already in the early ‘90s.”

Honkasalo reminded that a group speech, by definition, reflects the position of the entire parliamentary group.

Mäkelä responded to the criticism on Twitter. Finland, he argued, slid into recession as a consequence of the economic difficulties caused by the exchange rate mechanism crisis in Europe in 1992.

“[That was] the first euro crisis and nothing was learned – on the contrary, we created the euro,” he explained.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi