Sunday’s election in Finland which saw the True Finns party make substantial gains to become a potential “king-maker” in the country’s new government could well be a sign of things to come throughout the Eurozone.

A True Finn drinking some dodgy beer at The Lobby's bar of choice on Place Lux

The True Finns leader – presumably the truest Finn of them all – Timo Soini opposes the Portuguese bailout which will have to be partly funded by the Finnish taxpayer.

The party’s anti-immigrant stance has led them to be seen as far-right and “extremist” – an accusation which Mr Soini stringently denies – but make no mistake: this was coming.

Finland’s accession to the EU was preceeded by a referendum which saw “only” 56.9% say yes. Which of course means 43.1% said no.  A not insignificant percentage.

The yes vote was still higher than Sweden (52.8%, and a non-Eurozone country) but substantially lower than Austria (66.6%) .

When it came to joining the Eurozone however, there was no referendum in Finland, just as there wasn’t in many other Eurozone countries, and they may well be paying the price now.

After all, sooner or later there were going to be problems in one or more Eurozone countries, particularly when the Eurozone decided to invite the “PIGS” (Portgual, Italy, Greece, Spain) to join the party, and presumably, in the spirit of solidarity, the other countries would have to chip in to help out their Euro brethren.

And here’s the thing.  Explaining to the populace that they can use their currency when they’re on holiday on the Algarve = an easy win.  Explaining to the populace that any budgetary problems experienced by their partners will have to be paid for out of their own pocket = not so easy.

This is the crux of the Eurozone’s problems.  Solidarity does not come about because high-level politicians refer to it on a daily basis in Brussels or Helsinki.  Nor does it come about by spending two weeks abroad in the country in question.

Brussels – and in the case of the Euro, Frankfurt am Main – is often accused of being remote and centralised.  Perhaps now they are reaping what they and the political elite in the Member States sowed a decade ago.

– Rob

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