Finland’s PM to Become the EU Economic Affairs Commissioner

Written by | Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Finland’s outgoing Prime Minister, Jyrki Katainen, is going to be become the EU’s interim Economic Affairs Commissioner, replacing incumbent Olli Rehn who is to leave soon to join the European Parliament. EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, has confirmed this move explaining that he had made his decision to attribute Jyrki Katainen with all the responsibilities pertaining to the position of the Commissioner for Economic Affairs. Mr Katainen is going to resign from the post of Finnish Prime Minister in order to pursue a career in the European capital. He did not conceal his intentions to be seen as a compromise candidate to lead the EU executive in case member states reject the controversial candidacy of Luxembourg’s Jean-Calude Juncker.
Mr Katainen, 42, is to take over the EU agenda of economic affairs in October this year, at the same time as the new EU leadership will assume their positions. Finnish President will head the personnel of 28 people, one for each member state. He is to take the job amidst pressures to pursue strict budget rules, which are by some considered obstacles to growth while contributing to persistent unemployment. President Barroso pointed out that no government had actually demanded a change of the budget rules, known as the Stability and Growth Pact. He added that he had an impression that the EU executive was unfairly singled out for imposing austerity and economic hardship upon member states. As he put it, “certain people are unfairly trying to make it seem that someone in Brussels is imposing their views”. In Finland, Jyrki Katainen will be succeeded by Alexander Stubb, who has been elected by the ruling conservative party to create a new government.

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