Finland’s public debt was over 73% of its GDP last year and has continuously exceeded the 60% limit required under EU law since 2013 – making it the only EU country above the threshold where debt has kept growing, according to an EU Commission report.
As part of its 2023 EU Spring Semester package, the Commission examines the measures of member states with an eye to the future.
For Finland, the Commission found that its debt reduction guidelines may have jeopardised the country’s economic growth.
To help Finland remedy this, the report recommends several measures that focus on adopting a prudent fiscal policy, solving the labour shortage problem, and improving social security, among other things.
On energy, the Commission also recommended that the government cancel energy subsidies by the year’s end and accelerate the use of renewable energies to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
To tackle the country’s labour and talent shortage, Finland should invest in training, particularly for workers who switch careers and increase higher education opportunities in areas in demand on the labour market, the Commission said.
It added that the granted EU funds should also be used to strengthen recovery and licensing procedures to enable public and private investments better.
The Commission’s report shows how the debt situation in Finland is worse than in other Nordic countries, commented Petteri Orpo, the possible next prime minister and chair of the National Coalition Party, as government negotiations are now at a critical stage.
The next government is forced to address the issue decisively, he added.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)
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