European Economic and Monetary Affairs are still in a Finnish man’s hands. Mr Katainen will be one of the EU’s most powerful people until the end of this commission’s term in October 2014, and for now his message about the fiscal framework is clear: no creativity, let’s play by the book -the Stability and Growth Pact-.
Prime Minister of Finland from 2011 to June 2014 and chairman of the National Coalition Party from 2004 to 2014, Mr Katainen made some headlines in the South of Europe in the worst moment of the economic crisis, two summers ago when he asked Greece and Spain to put some collateral on the table in exchange for financial aid.
“We have to pay a price for the collateral when it comes to the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) rescue fund because, in contrast to other countries, we have to pay in our entire share in one installment. We stand by the euro. We have only demanded special treatment when it comes to the collateral,” he explained in an interview with Der Spiegel.
Also, he suggested ailing countries to issue covered bonds that are backed by state-owned collateral, instead of selling state-assets for peanuts.
“We have to do everything in our power so Spain and Italy will continue to receive money on the private capital market,” he said.