|Timo Soini: A true Finn|
At issue is the eurozone’s €440bn bail-out fund. Although finance ministers on Monday agreed the structure of a new €500bn fund that will come into effect in two years, the current system cannot use its full financial firepower to rescue failing economies, a move seen as essential if large countries such as Spain and Italy are pushed into bail-outs.
The easiest and, for many weeks, most likely outcome appeared to be leaning on the eurozone’s six triple A-rated countries, including Finland, to double their loan guarantees, a move reluctantly supported by even Germany, which would have to increase guarantees most.
The issue is particularly acute for Mari Kiviniemi, the Finnish prime minister, whose Centre party fell to third place in a TNS Gallup poll released last week, behind the National Coalition and the surging, populist True Finns, led by Timo Soini, a charismatic Eurosceptic.The point of al this is that Soini,
whose party is now just two points behind the front-running National Coalition – and who has vowed to block any increase in Finnish commitments. Without unanimity in the eurozone, the deal could fall apart.What Timo and the True Finns are doing is showing the power of the growing tide of Euroscepticism across Europe. Picking up votes from acros the board as ever increasing numbers of people realise that the old establishment political elite neither speak for them, nor have any wish to do so.
If the decision on Friday is baulked, Mr Soini could well become one of the most important men across the continent.
And as a Millwall fan, he doesn't care if the elite doesn't like him. he is used to that.