Who Leaves the Party First?

There has been a lot of speculation over the last several months as to which country would leave the eurozone and possibly the EU first. Majority opinion would probably hold Greece as the most likely candidate. Portugal is sometimes mentioned. Most recently, Spain and now Italy are being considered as good candidates. Another camp has suggested the Northern European countries leave and form a new northern currency block: the Netherlands, Germany and Austria with Finland as a tag-along.

It was then with a bit of surprise that we read from Stratfor this morning, Finland Re-Evaluates Its Eurozone Membership, that Finland is a good candidate for a voluntary departure.

Key points made in the note are:

  • The changing nature of the eurozone does not sit well with the Finns as the differences with the southern European countries with which it has little in common, grow.
  • Finnish citizens are opposition to the idea of a European banking union and debt mutualization.
  • The reason for joining the EU, distancing itself from Russia by deepening its collaboration with Europe, improving its security and stability., may be supplanted by closer collaboration with the other Nordic countries.
  • They see an increasing loss of influence and sovereignty against an increasing economic cost and risk in supporting the southern European countries.
  • By aligning themselves within the eurozone with Austria and the Netherlands, they may be able to strengthen their position as an alternative to leaving.
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