October 13, 2017 / 10:09 AM / a year ago

Finland says no to euro zone finance ministry, common budget

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland is opposed to a joint euro zone budget or common finance ministry, the government said on Friday, pouring cold water on proposals floated by French President Emmanuel Macron.

FILE PHOTO - Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The centre-right coalition government said it would rather support reforms to increase discipline within the currency union than new joint responsibilities between member states.

“Finland sees no need or grounds to create new institutions as an euro zone finance minister or a ministry, but considers current institutions to be sufficient,” the memo said.

Macron outlined a sweeping vision for Europe’s future in a speech last month, calling for the EU to cooperate more closely on defence, immigration and social policy as well as finances.

His proposals have met with a mixed response, notably from the euro zone’s dominant economy Germany which, while acknowledging the bloc needs reforming, has baulked at the idea of a common budget.

Finland, the northernmost member of the euro zone, tends to follow Germany’s line on European issues and took a hardline stance over sovereign bailouts during the euro zone debt crisis.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell, editing by Jussi Rosendahl and John Stonestreet

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