15 APR 2011
By Arild Moen | WSJ Blogs
“I’m not a bad person,” says Finnish politician Timo Soini, a populist who could come to block EU efforts to bail out debt-ridden Portugal the way it has aided Greece and Ireland.
“I’m just saying that bailing out these countries is not going to function,” the chairman of the EU-Skeptic True Finns party says.
Since the last election in 2007, he has managed to transform a marginal party into a major political force to be reckoned with ahead of Finland’s general elections on April 17.
As Finland heads to the polls Sunday, a rise in popular support for opposition parties could jeopardize the country’s support for euro zone policies and hamper efforts to approve more sovereign bailouts and stabilize economies in the bloc.
Recent polls suggest the populist True Finns party is gaining traction among the electorate, benefitting from disquiet among voters who remain concerned about Finland’s participation in sovereign bailouts in the euro zone.
In theory, a new Finnish government that is opposed to further bailouts of euro-zone countries could prevent new rescue loans, since they have to be agreed unanimously by all euro members.
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