”A moment of realization is worth a thousand prayers”, said movie character Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone’s marvellous love story named Natural Born Killers. It seems that Finland has finally awoken from her slumber after all these years. But one more thing is necessary, still. We (Finnish people and government) need to admit this reality.
Because, if we do not we are disproving the fact that core countries need to inflate wages in order to help searching for the balance between all countries across the Eurozone. The list of institutions and individuals screaming for Germany to allow this massive wage inflation to happen is nearly infinite, but to name one I’d be happy to mention the IMF. And Germany is one of those ”core countries”.
But Finnish government is hinting otherwise. Treasury Minister Jutta Urpilainen told last spring that the recovery is behind the corner. It’s an extremely familiar story. The recovery has always been so close that we can almost touch it, a year after another. However, all of a sudden she appeared before the tv-cameras holding few stun grenades and lashed out them all. She mentioned that there will be ”painful solutions that concerns us all”. Scary, isn’t it?
Those who have been blessed with even a tiny drop of awareness knew beforehand that this outcome was only waiting to happen. Some say that this is just another PR trick to draw media attention. I’m not arguing that this didn’t happen. The reality has always been lurking out there. It has been reachable for all those who care. It was only a month back when I wrote about our dire situation (only in Finnish, sorry). I could make a short briefing of it.
First of all, our trade balance. Finnish Customs told that in May trade balance has finally turned into black. What was really behind the story was that imports nosedived staggering 10 pc (this accelerated in June to 12 pc). However, exports in May went through the floor as well declining as much as 6 pc (same pace in June). All these figures are y-o-y.
The very next day after May’s trade balance figures Statistics Finland told that the output of national economy is heading south, 4.2 pc y-o-y to be more precise. And on the third day of that week Statistics Finland told Finland’s industrial output was sinking, as well. Pace was shattering 5.9 pc. Later on that week it was revealed that our GDP didn’t take a slow declining of 0.2 pc on the year 2012, but 0.8 pc. New orders in manufacturing fell 8.6 pc, promising for a grim future, as well.
So, what to expect? Some first glimpses into the proposal of the budget for the year 2014 tells it will be tough. Not only to citizens, but also for municipalities in Finland. It looks like the government of Finland is determined to make another attempt to find different outcomes of ”let’s do austerity in the middle of recession”, just as the Greece did.
But, isn’t it so that there is no alternative? Well, it seems like Finland can’t let the public debt to soar. It’s still beyond the government’s imagination to seek a national, freely floating currency instead of Euro. But I keep my optimism up: they will realise it and hopefully rather sooner.
It’s even worth praying. A thousand times. Even while lacking traditional spirituality.