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Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič Holds Talks with the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Finland
June 23, 2012
President of the Slovak Republic Ivan Gašparovič received Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eero Heinäluoma in the Presidential Palace on 23 June 2012.
Ivan Gašparovič described Slovak-Finnish relations as very amicable and mutually rewarding. “I am very happy that we share common opinions on the preservation of the European Union as such in these times of economic crisis, also with respect to the fact that Finland is the only northern European country that pays with the euro just like us," the President said.
According to the Slovak President, the Slovak Republic is interested in cooperating with Finland in the area of economy and trade, as well as in education, science and culture. Ivan Gašparovič assured his guest that the recently appointed Slovak government was "strongly pro-European", which had also been confirmed by a recent approval of the permanent European Stabilisation Mechanism (ESM) by the Slovak parliament. "Slovakia, as well as Finland support enlargement of the eurozone in the future, but economic rather than political aspects must have a greater weight when accepting new members into the eurozone in the future," President Gašparovič pointed out.
The President also spoke to his Finnish guest about a public finance consolidation package drafted by the government with the aim of reducing the public finance deficit below the three percent level. Slovakia wants to behave as a responsible country, according to the Slovak head of state. The Finnish Speaker of Parliament praised the very good quality of mutual cooperation with Slovakia. "There is a growing interest seen in Finland in establishing trade and business relations with Slovakia, the Finns are already getting to know Slovakia as tourists, as well," he noted.
Eero Heinäluoma announced the preparation of a visit by an economic minister which should contribute to strengthening economic cooperation. According to the Finnish Speaker of Parliament, the government of Finland is also aware of the necessity to take austerity measures. "We are convinced that only a healthy economy is able to help individual countries; other countries should, too, seek to have a healthy, functioning economy,” he added. He emphasised that borrowing countries in particular had to be conscious of their responsibilities and perform the necessary measures.
Both top state officials agreed that in addition to austerity measures and cost-cutting, it was also inevitable to encourage further economic growth at the time of the economic crisis. Support to domestic consumption by individual countries may contribute to reviving the economy, they concurred.