Archive for May, 2010

Can Finland profit from the crisis of Euro?

May 11, 2010

Finland can actually profit from the Euro crisis started by Greece, says economist Carlo Eräkallio on his article in Helsingin Sanomat 7th of May.

In the EU, Finland gets the most out of the whole situation. Our biggest export business is to Russia, Sweden, United States and Great Britain where their currency has strengthened. Only less than a third of our export business is within the Euro countries. Also our interest rate stays low because of the crisis.

Euro countries now try to save Greece although the bylaws forbid it. And if we fail to save Greece the consequences might be miserable. Greece might need the rest of us to forgive its loans, which can throw off other countries as well.

Then there is a risk that the whole Euro zone can scatter. The weak links will stay and the wealthy countries will escape. Euro zone would split into two zones: rich and poor.

Finland needs to play it well to get to the winning team.

Emmi Sjöholm


To help or not to help?

May 8, 2010

Kira Autiosuo, Sanni Sorjonen

Greece has lived over its wollet for too long and coutrys dept has grown almost to 300 billion euros. Now Greece is not getting any bond in reasonable prices and the counry is sinking. The question in everyones lips is  ”Should we help Greece or not? And what will happen if we don´t?” (more…)

Greek crisis might be disastrous to tourism

May 8, 2010

Last thursday Greek lawmakers approved the government’s 30 billion euro austerity bill in a vote in parliament, which was met with violent and large-scale protests outside the parliament house.

The increasingly violent demonstrations, that have so far claimed three lives, come as the spring tourist season is getting under way. Tourism accounts for about 16 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product and about one in five jobs, according to estimates by the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council.

In Athens there have already been signs that the crisis is keeping tourists away. Hotel occupancy in the city fell 1.4 percent in the year through March, according to STR Global. In an effort to keep the tourists coming, Greek National Tourism Organization created a special crisis management committee to counter the impact of the negative image of Greece broadcast recently around the world.

– Politicians should cooperate to solve unitedly a crisis created by all and business people should show a different image of a Greece which has a vision for progress, social justice and prosperity. Otherwise the effects will be destructive, said Nikos Aggelopoulos, head of the Federation of Greek Tourism Enterprises.

Juho Typpö, Heli Tarkiainen

The loan will not make the life in Greece easier

May 8, 2010

Pauliina Jokinen, Anette Lehmusruusu, Miina Poikolainen

Policy-makers all over Europe are wondering whether to help Greece out of it’s economic trouble by loaning money or not. For EU-countries it is not only about helping Greece but to avoid economic catastrophe in their own country.

Decisions made in EU-countries are affecting radically to the welfare of the people of Greece.

Demonstrations in Greece have been going on for months. It has been predicted that at least million greeks will be out of work because of the crisis.

According to demonstator Nikolaus Mavidis quoted by Helsingin Sanomat “people are demonstrating because stupid politicians have sold Greece to EU”.

Greeks are protesting against banks and government.

Altough Greece would get loan it wouldn´t make the life of greeks better: In order to Greece can pay loan back in time it would for example have to raise taxes and age of the retairement, cut the pensions and money spend to health-care.

” Greece will degenerate to same level as it was in the 1950´s for a long period of time”, says the head of the Finnish Institute of Athens Martti Leiwo to Talouselämä.

Greece will cause problems for Finland

May 8, 2010

Greece’s irresponsible monetary situation has caused an enormous economic problem in the Euro zone. According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat almost half of the Finns would help the financially troubled EU Member States case by case. Greece will receive EUR 1.6 billion from Finland.

Minister of Finance in Finland Jyrki Katainen and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen highlight that the loan will not be given out of loyalty but to protect Finland from the negative effects that the spread of the crisis would cause.

The Euro countries and the IMF demand that Greece will pay the loan back with the interest of 5 per cent. The price will be notably lower than the interest rate that Greece would have to pay back from the market-based debt.

The information in Finnish newspapers is very conflicting.

“The Greek crisis is a very serious crisis for Finland’s affluent society,” says Minister Katainen.

Then again, PM Matti Vanhanen has stated that Finland, Germany and Netherlands seem to be sheltered from the spread of the economical crisis.

There seems to be good sides in this situation too.

The decline in the market rates of the Euro will improve the competitiveness of the European products in the global market which will benefit Finland’s export-led economy.

Tuuli Lindgren, Minna Kosonen, Marianne Simola, Katja Saari

We’d rather be Swedes…

May 8, 2010

Viivi Pietiläinen
Merja Laavola
Jenni Suomalainen


Finnish people have always envied the Swedes. The two countries have been competing in all areas. Now when Greece is in a deep financial crisis, we have even more reason to envy our sweet neighbor. Sweden belongs to European Union but they have their own currency. So they don’t have to pay but we have. Fair?

The Creek government has been living beyond its means. Now the whole European monetary system is in danger to collapse. Euro countries are forced to help Greece by lending money. Finland has to pay 1.6 billion euro – 300 euro per head. Bill could easily rise.

Mission markka

Should we take Finnish markka back. It’s not possible but still some people are trying.

“EU and euro should go to hell!” said a debater in discussion board. There’s also a petition for taking markka back. It has only 45 signatures though.

The crisis in Greece – capitalism vs. human error

May 8, 2010

by Sami Laine, Pasi Lehtonen, Martti Penttilä, Mikko Raatikainen

Capitalism as an economic ideology does not take into account the margin of human error.

However, major humane mistakes were made in establishing the Euro. The current problems encountering Greece only highlight the irrational logic of the human mind. The EU never drew out a plan on how countries facing economical demise could pull out of the Euro and now finds itself facing issues which should have been solved in advance. ” There are no exit clauses in any of the treaties such as Maastricht or Lisbon, because EMU membership is meant to be irrevocable,” says Kathryn Hopkins, the Guardian’s economic reporter.

A cynic would say that the rioting in the streets of Athens can be traced to an abundance of human error. ”We made mistakes,” admits the Greek Minister of Finance, George Papaconstantinou to CNBC. But who made it possible for the Greek Parliament to make these mistakes? The voters. Democracy and capitalism don’t mix well.

One country’s fault, global resposibility – Greek debt crisis

May 8, 2010

When the European monetary union was instituted, member states had to guarantee that their annual fiscal deficits would not exceed 3% of GDP. There is also a no-bailout clause in the Eurozone agreement. Greek governments lied about the country’s fiscal problems  when it was drowning in a sea of fiscal debt. Now the annual Greek government deficit estimates at 14% of GDP, so far in excess of the 3% Eurozone stipulation.

After two months of intense debate among the joint IMF-EU Greek rescue package has finally been decided .The size of package reportedly amounts to about €45bn ($60bn, £40bn). IMF data shows that China and emerging markets have accumulated $4.8 trillion (£3.1bn) in foreign reserves. Roughly $1.7 trillion is invested in euro zone bonds rising powers that could play a deciding role on how Europe’s drama unfolds. When the EU and IMF could no longer bankroll Greece, China will lead the scene.

 In the video, top global economists Nouriel Roubini and Jim O´Neill, giving us their opinions.(

Dominique Lemmi

Yu Zhang

The rescue loan for Greece arouses intense discussion in Finland

May 8, 2010

The Finnish Parliament in session. Photo: The Press Service of the Finnish Parliament

Finland’s rescue loan of 1.6 billion euros to help Greece recover from the economical crisis was discussed in the Finnish Parliament on May 4th. The colourful discussion took over 7 hours and more than 100 statements were used.

“Participation in the financial rescue package to help Greece is probably a better option for the Finns than letting Greece fall into liquidation”, the Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen pointed out.

The decision has also aroused discussion among the Finnish MEPs. In her blog Liisa Jaakonsaari writes: ”Friends need to be helped, but a deceitful friend is hard to help. Greece has been a treacherous EU member in a way that is now endangering the whole euro area.”

According to another Finnish MEP Timo Soini: “Greece has no chance to repay existing loans, but over time they will be forgiven! And the Finnish people will pay for it.”

The EU and IMF have agreed on bailing out 110 billion Euros for debt-stricken Greece. The loan is divided to 30 billion for IMF and 80 billion between the EU countries. The biggest single lender is Germany with 22.4 billion Euros. Even Spain, also in a bit of a crisis itself, has affirmed to loan 10 billion Euros.

Anne Vilenius, Miia Turunen

Limited options for Greece

May 8, 2010

George Papandreou

‘The parliament of Greece voted on the adjustment package on 6th of May. The parliament adopted the package with votes  172-121, The Social Democrats and The Radical Right supporting the package.

“We have taken these decisions for Greece and we have taken these decisions for Europe. The need to safeguard Euro-zone goes beyond Greece’s problems” said George Papandreou, the prime minister of Greece in a national briefing of the Commission on 7th May.

The main elements of the program are to increase VAT on consumer products such as alcohol, tobacco and gasoline. It includes freezing the public sector’s wages and lifting the age of retirement from 53 to 67.

Other possibilities for Greece to recover from the crisis could be the privatization of state-owned companies and properties.

Siina Leppä, Marjut Laukia, Heidi Kähkönen