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This is Stubbed Finland This is Stubbed Finland
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-08-24 08:47:29
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According to the popular online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia; The Telegraph is a “conservative-leaning newspaper” and this is a political correct exaggeration on the wrong side. The telegraph represents the most conservative side of the British conservatives. Loyal to the conservative party with audience that reaches the national front. The good old days people with a nostalgia to old empire and the colonies. And definitely anti-European. Some of the Telegraph’s articles make even Thatcher’s comments about the European Union pale. And when Tony Blair’s Labour Party suggested that it might has come the time for Britain to think about a Euro change the Telegraph predicted the doomsday.

And this is the newspaper the Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja decided to give an interview. Nothing wrong with it. Part of the foreign minister’s job description is the promotion of the country they represent and for Finland the timing is good. Finland wants to be part of the players in Europe, time for the big league and escape from the German shadow. The very heavy German shadow over EU and especially over Euro. And an interview for the Telegraph is part of this marketing plan. After all the Telegraph has her own audience and 650,000 daily circulation, only in UK is not a number you can ignore however anti-European that audience might be.

Erkki Tuomioja was his usual self for the ones who know him; a well calculated low profile and very positive diplomat. A man who knows exactly what he’s talking about and very clear with his answers. And the newspaper could not but repeat in black and white his answers. In the article. But it had to add a headline and a headline strong enough to satisfy all these anti-European hyenas that consist her audience. Actually reading the report form Finland you will find out that there is more of what Timo Soini has said about the Euro-crisis and a possible measures than what Erkki Tuomioja has said. But hey, this is the Telegraph.

Actually what Tuomioja said is: “We have to face openly the possibility of a euro-break up, it is not something that anybody - even the True Finns - are advocating in Finland, let alone the government. But we have to be prepared,” and after taking a deep breath and think seriously about it if any other European government hasn’t done the same thoughts and has plan something in case then the people who rule our countries are totally incapable, dangerously incapable. Actually it is their obligation to have a plan B for every single case including the euro-break possibility and to be more precise this is where the European Union has failed this moment. They never predicted a euro-crisis and they never had a plan B.

And the Finnish foreign minister made it clear, “but let me add that the break-up of the euro does not mean the end of the European Union. It could make the EU function better,” with the newspaper avoiding the rest of his comments summarizing them with “describing the dash for monetary union in the 1990s as a vaulting political leap in defiance of economic gravity.” And returning to what Timo Soini had to say. And all that with the headline, “Finland prepares for break-up of eurozone.”

But as I said in the beginning this is the Telegraph and you know what you will get. A disproval would have been enough, the 650,000 who read the paper would have been happy and everybody else would have thought, it’s the Telegraph ending everything there. That’s what you think. Because Alexander the great, the stub of the Finnish politics thought differently. Who’s this Erkki and why he wants to rob my stardom in the European media. And the circus started from there.

Alexander called the media and announced that: “remarks on the euro made by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja to The Telegraph do not represent those of the Finnish government and are detrimental to Finland's own position.” Making you actually wander if he even bothered to read any more than the headline of the Telegraph and more importantly if he has the necessary critical mind to understand what he reads. Of course the media all around the world picked from there making headlines like, Finland is thinking to break from the Euro, Finland supports the northern-euro and other fantasy and media fiction stories. The best part of the circus was Timo Soini, “the government weakened by internal dissent” counting some more hits in the Google next to the ones he had already attracted from the Telegraph and making a heroic entrance for his equally and Telegraphic anti-European followers.

Out of all this mess that unfortunately hasn’t finished yet with questions reaching even the Finnish parliament the biggest question should be not what Erkki Tuomioja said, or what the Telegraph wrote but what the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb is after and what’s his agenda. And if he hasn’t got an agenda who led him to this gaff, under what agenda and how much this will cost to Finland in the future showing a country with disagreements in the government – Timo should be very happy – and a double game – it could be also called the back-Stubbing game - towards her partners in the European Union.



       
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Emanuel Paparella2012-08-24 11:34:29
Europa quo vadis? The above are very interesting and thoght-provoking comments. One is left to wonder: is this the Europe beyond the euro which we discussed a few weeks ago in the pages of this magazine? I suppose the word beyond is equivocal, it can indicate transcendence but it can also point to descent into the abyss. But this is a duality. Dante on the other hand suggests that in the existential journey people and countries are on, paradoxically the way up is the way down and after the fall the way down comes before the way up, if there has to be forgiveness and redemption, for to be sick and not to know and dwell in self-complacency is to deceive oneself. In any case, it is a journey the goddess Europa is on and the destination may turn out to be her journey, but she needs to decide whether what she is undergoing is a freely chosen act or is she submitting to an abduction violating her identity? In that case the journey will end up in disaster, the disaster of Odysseus wishing to hear the song of the sirens...Europa nosce te ipsum!


Eu622012-08-25 01:17:44
In hindsight it will probably be the UK that saved the Euro. I remember that sentiment in Germany was very hostile until David Cameron gave his unwarranted advice on how WE should act, while the UK did its best to counteract all measures of the Eurozone. THAT turned the mood around. From that moment on opinion polls started to be in favour of the Euro - which about a 2/3 majority that wants the Euro to persevere (At the same time, and this is very interesting, because it shows the ambiguity of German feeling: an almost equal majority thinks that we should not have abandoned the DM).
To the Greeks who might read this I just say two things
1. (and this is very personal) Owls will always be welcome in my purse
2. Nobody can throw you out of the Euro! It is impossible, so don't let them frighten you.


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