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Sanctions against Russia may cause collapse of Finland coalition government — FT

The Financial Times says the Finnish economy is thought by some economists not just to be in recession but in a depression

LONDON, August 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The EU sanctions imposed on Russia and Moscow’s response action have dealt a hard blow to the Finnish economy, The Financial Time writes on Wednesday.

“The Finnish economy is thought by some economists not just to be in recession but in a depression. Sanctions both by and against Russia are hitting the Nordic country hard and there are continuing doubts about whether the government can survive until elections in April,” the article says.

“The general approach is that we are between a rock and a hard place, but we will survive,” the newspaper quoted Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, 46, leader of the center-right National Coalition party.

Pasi Sorjonen, an economist at Nordea who recently published a note called “Depression Is Here”, says the economy could contract for four consecutive years from 2012-15. “It seems that getting back to the GDP volumes of 2008 will take 10 years. It’s like a double recession,” he says.

Mr Stubb says the situation is similar to the 1990s when Finland faced a deep financial crisis before the rise of Nokia, FT writes.

The country’s current government is a coalition of five parties - the National Coalition Party, Social Democratic Party, Swedish People’s Party, Green Union and Christian Democrats of Finland.

The newspaper says that the Social Democratic Party "has seen its poll ratings drop rapidly since changing leader a few months ago while the Green party has made threats it could leave the government over nuclear power.”

The daily also quotes Jukka Tarkka, a former MP and historian specializing in postwar Finland, who says the chance of snap elections in the autumn is a possibility. “Mr Stubb’s first big task is to try to help the leader of the Social Democrats stay alive," Tarkka said.