Hopefully, it will pass in parliament but my gut says no…
Citizens’ initiative demanding referendum on EU stimulus gains enough signatures to proceed to Parliament
The petition, launched by the Finns Party’s youth wing, has collected over 50,000 names.
A citizens’ initiative calling for a referendum on last summer’s EU stimulus package has garnered enough signatures to send it to Parliament.
The petition, launched by the youth group of the opposition Finns Party, reached 50,000 signatories late on Saturday evening.
Since 2012, any citizens’ initiative that collects at least 50,000 certified signatures from Finnish citizens must be considered by the legislature.
The Finns Party has been sharply critical of the government’s approval of the EU stimulus package in July. The deal is aimed at helping member states’ economies recover from the corona crisis.
The initiative gathered the necessary names in just five days, as it was launched on Tuesday. It remains open for signatures for six months, until late March.
While the petition acknowledges that the recovery fund is justified due to the economic collapse, it argues that its “effects reach significantly further and more broadly than warranted by the corona crisis,” adding that the package is a “highly significant entity from a national standpoint, whose economic and societal impacts require broad approval from the people.”
Parliament to consider €750bn package this autumn
The 750-billion-euro package will be financed by the European Commission taking out loans on the financial market. The package consists of 390 billion euros in outright grants and 360 billion in loans, to be made available early next year. The Finnish government had argued that a larger share should be loans rather than grants to the countries worst hit by the pandemic.
Finland, whose economy has so far weathered the storm better than most in the EU, is responsible for 6.6 billion euros of the grants. Meanwhile the country is expected to receive some billion euros in support. Altogether Finland’s total liabilities for the package total about 13 billion euros, including loan guarantees.