Martin Helme: European countries' stances on joint loan still unclear ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE).
Finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE). Source: ERR

European Union member states' opinions on the €750 billion joint loan are still unclear and Estonia does not have a final position on it either, said Minister of Finance Martin Helme after participating in the Council of EU Ministers of Finance on Tuesday.

"Government is still discussing how to position all of this," Helme told ERR. He says that the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) still has many concerns regarding the proposed loan.

"The first concern being that if the proposal is in accordance with all of the EU's previous treaties, we see it as a budget deficit which is forbidden by the treaties. It is technically funded activity conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB) which is alos forbidden," Helme said.

"The second being a question of mandate. We can see how the proposal will change the balance of power between EU member states and the center, but also between the member states themselves," he added. Helme said there is no European country with the mandate to push the proposal through.

"There have to be parliamentary debates, also polls. I don't think anyone has really paid enough attention to that."

Helme said that the third concern regarding the loan is that there is no decision made yet on how it is paid back. "Today, there is no answer to the questions of who, how, and when to pay it back."

He added that the Finance Ministers of the EU were given an overview of the situation, but it was rather trivial. "The views of member states were wall-to-wall. Member states like Austria, Sweden or Denmark, who unequivocally said that they will not support the proposal and that's that. Hungary, Finland, and the Netherlands said that they have large problems with it."

Helme noted that there were many countries that were in support of the loan. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive VP of the European Commission said after the meeting of Ministers that the long-term budget and recovery fund has many supporters among EU member states.

The joint loan will be up for discussions next week with the hope of reaching an agreement in July.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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