Finland: Sipilä's Regime About to Fall Off Fiscal Cliff
By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 13 February 2016
Juha Sipilä, Finland's current authoritarian despot in charge, was appointed the nations Prime Minister by the Finnish Parliament on 29 May 2015: Sipilä's rise to high office was primarily facilitated by the incompetence of the previous incumbent, Alexander Stubb who has since been publicly exposed in deliberately attempting to mislead the Finnish Parliament. The fact that Sipilä was the least worst option, among a coterie of hopelessly inept politicians vying for the head of the Centre Party back in June 2012, simply meant that he assumed the role by default following a resurgence of the party's fortunes in the May 2015 general election.
Sipilä rules Finland in a trichotomous coalition which includes his own Centre Party, plus the National Coalition Party and the Finns Party, who have never held office before. Stubb is now the Finance Minister in this coalition of intellectually challenged apparatchiks. All three parties are politically centre-right, i.e. bourgeois capitalists, akin to the Conservative Party (aka. Tories) in the UK that are renowned for their egregious abuses of representative parliamentary democracy. The Sipilä coalition, ideologically bereft of the characteristics that constitute a government fit for 21st Century Europe, are, just like the UK's Tories, dogmatically pursuing policies detrimental to not just the nation state but, more importantly, the Finnish people who have endured more than a decade of decline.
It is no coincidence that Finland, akin to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain (GIIPS) who have long been in the vanguard of regressive fiscal policies in Europe and are widely acknowledged as having the highest debt to GDP ratios and unemployment rates amongst members of the European Union, is about to join them as their economy falters on the cross of austerity.
Finland, like GIIPS, is a member of the Eurozone which uses the Euro (i.e. the €).
The Eurozone is a monetary union which includes 19 out of the 28 European Union member states. While the Eurozone may have its advocates who cite economic policy coordination, limits to national budget deficits and debt and the stability of the currency in promoting commerce and trade, its detractors will invariably cite its woefully inadequate monetary policies which have an inherent inability to address growth and unemployment, by focusing primarily on the stability of prices. Furthermore, its fiscal policies do not allow internal transfers between members states, in addressing localised financial difficulties as they may arise, and maintains that such issues are the responsibility of the affected member state alone. In other words, Eurozone member states have been given a product but no tools to adjust it to meet the prevailing conditions at a local level. The notion that the Eurozone will ever truly meets the needs of all of its subscribers, without the structural reforms required to the European institutions to address these keys issues, is patently absurd. The monetary and fiscal policies of the financially strong nations at the centre of Europe, i.e. France, Germany, Holland et al., will always run financial roughshod over the Eurozones peripheral nations.
While GIIPS have all suffered from the incompetence of the Troika, aka. the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in recapitalising insolvent banks at the expense of the European taxpayer, successive regimes in Finland have squandered numerous opportunities over the last decade to restructure the nations economy to avoid the worst excesses of the Eurozone's fiscal straitjacket. This failure to address the issues as they arose has created an economy mired in recession and it no longer has the capacity to reach the escape velocity required for sustainable growth. As the nations budget deficit continues to grow, having done so for more than 3 years now, and unemployment continues to rise, having reached almost 11 per cent, it is patently obvious who is bearing the brunt of Sipilä's incompetence ... the Finnish people.
Of course, it is worth noting that the Finnish budget deficit, like the budget deficits of most regimes throughout the West, would be wiped out almost overnight if they were to address the aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes used by national and multinational corporations in minimising their tax liabilities. The likelihood of this happening in any meaningful way in the near future is currently nil.
That Sipilä's regime is about to fall off the fiscal cliff and join GIIPS on the rocks of economic ruin below is no longer in any doubt. What is in doubt is just how much longer the Finnish people will have to endure this coterie of incompetent politicians before they can begin rebuilding their lives and their nation.
- Neither competence nor integrity is a prerequisite for high office.