Greek bailout draws closer on Finns’ approval

THE FINNISH parliament approved the Greek bailout yesterday after a tense debate in parliament.

MPs voted in favour of the €130bn (£108.8bn) bailout by a margin of 111 to 72 after opposition politicians described Greece’s membership of the euro as a “hangman’s knot”.

Finland is set to contribute €1.25bn to the rescue package, which is contingent on private sector holders of Greek debt taking a massive haircut on their assets and the country slashing its huge budget deficit.

Supporters of the bailout acknowledged that it may not be a success in the long run.

“Unfortunately, no easy solutions exist,” said Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition Party.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos met European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday to discuss how Greece will meet the bailout conditions and how the country’ fiscal and economic progress will be monitored.

“This is not just a programme of fiscal consolidation, it is a programme for structural reforms, competitiveness and growth in Greece,” said Barroso, stressing the lengthy and difficult nature of the reforms that lie ahead.