June 9, 2020 / 7:54 AM / a month ago

New Finland finance minister urges EU-wide coordination of recovery steps

FILE PHOTO: Matti Vanhanen, Finish former Prime Minister, Centre Party chair and current speaker of parliament, nominated as new finance minister, smiles in Helsinki, Finland June 8, 2020. Lehtikuva/Mikko Stig via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Finland’s new Finance Minister Matti Vanhanen called for EU-wide coordination of recovery measures to mitigate the long-term cost of coronavirus lockdowns at his first news conference after his appointment earlier on Tuesday.

Vanhanen was Finland’s Prime Minister from 2003-10, during the previous financial crisis, and he stressed the lessons learnt then about the coordination of measures.

“We have to, in a way, synchronise recovery measures. If everyone works on their own, it only means that money is burnt,” Vanhanen said.

He added that the main challenge of his job would be to manage the costs associated with the pandemic.

Last week Finland said its net borrowing would increase by 18.8 billion euros in 2020 after a fourth additional budget agreed to shield the country from the costs of the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn, Editing by William Maclean

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