Finland’s likely next prime minister has denied his country will be able to make significant changes to the Portuguese bailout.
“We’ll see what is possible, but anyway the changes would not be very big,” says Jyrki Katainen, according to Reuters.
Katainen is the head of the National Coalition party, which garnered 20.4% of the election vote. The True Finns are not far behind, at 19%. It is believed these two parties, along with the Social Democrats, who also oppose the bailout, will join in a coalition together.
But if the Portuguese bailout is the make or break issue for the True Finns constituents, they may be tempted to stay out of the coalition if they can’t get an agreement on rejecting the bailout, or altering the terms significantly.
That would leave the opportunity for a more centrist coalition, excluding the True Finns. But it may also be advantageous to the party in the long-run. By staying out of government, the True Finns can blame continued weakness on European Union and immigration issues on centrist parties, and potentially grow their support in advance of the next election. And, if the coalition is weak and split on issues, which is likely to be the case if it is centrist in nature, another election may come sooner than the typical 4-year routine.
There’s no reason to believe right now that this is the likely outcome, but it’s certainly a situation to continue monitoring.