Finnish finance minister tones down talk about euro zone budget agreement

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-15 03:04:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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HELSINKI, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Finnish Minister for Finance Mika Lintila on Friday took distance from the statement by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire about the result of the overnight meeting of euro group finance ministers in Luxembourg.

Le Maire said, after 12 hours of talks in Luxembourg, early Friday that "a genuine euro zone budget" had been approved. "For the first time, we will start thinking about the future as a coherent bloc and coordinating our economic policies", Le Maire was quoted by AFP as saying.

Lintila told Finnish national broadcaster, Yle that the word "approval" is a fairly brave interpretation. "It was approved that there will be a budget that is to be used for investments and partial financing, but there was no agreement on how it will be financed and allocated", Lintila said. "It will be challenging in the future to bring divergent views into one format", Lintila said.

Lintila said he does not believe that a closer economic and monetary union as envisioned for example by France and Spain could be created. But the meeting agreed that inside the EU budget a fiscal tool for the euro zone countries will be planned for the next seven years.

Meanwhile, the ministers shelved the idea of a "euro budget" that some major euro zone countries such as France, Spain and Germany would like to see formed on top of the current budget.

"There will be more pressure for the Finnish presidency", Lintila noted. Finland begins its half-a-year tenure holding presidency of the Council of the European Union in July. "They already throw balls to our side", Lintila described.

Finland will be chairing the ecofin meetings of all EU countries during the presidency. The EU's seven-year economic plan is to be completed during the Finnish presidency. The euro group is chaired by the Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno.