Austria and Finland Oppose EU Joint Debt Expansion Ahead of Munich Security Conference
Austria and Finland oppose calls to increase EU spending through joint debt expansion as France and Italy push for it, backed by the European Commission. Austria and Finland have locked shoulders in opposing calls to increase EU spending through joint debt expansion as France and Italy push for it, backed by the European Commission. The two countries believe that the €750 billion NextGenerationEU package is enough to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects and that there should be no more debt.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that “Finland will not allow any more debt,” and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer stressed that there should be “no new fund” during the Munich Security Conference. The push for joint EU debt comes from countries like France and Italy, but the “Frugal Four” – Austria, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands – oppose it. However, Finland’s recent comments suggest that it is slowly veering towards the group.
Nehammer stated that relying on the existing joint debt from 2020 would have to be enough, as only €400 billion of the €800 billion had been spent so far. While Austria and Finland openly agreed on joint debt and migration issues, other matters were more contentious.
Marin stressed the need to phase out Russian gas as quickly as possible, taking a jab at Austria falling back into its heavy reliance on Kremlin’s gaseous hydrocarbons. Vienna seeks to drive the EU policy process forward, but Finland’s recent comments suggest that it may align more closely with the “Frugal Four.”
Austria and Finland Oppose EU while some countries push for joint EU debt expansion, Austria and Finland oppose it, believing that the existing package is enough to deal with the pandemic’s effects. Their stance and reasons for it are important to consider as the EU moves forward with its policies.