DAVOS (Sputnik) — Finland’s economic downturn is related to its failure to implement structural reforms in the labor market and, to some extent, to its sanctions on Russia, the Finnish finance minister told Sputnik on Thursday.
"It's linked to structural reform which we haven't been able to do into the labor markets, and of course it is linked to the aging population, demographics," Alexander Stubb said.
He pointed out there was also a link between the Finnish and Russian economies.
"When the Russian economy is going down, the Finnish economy goes down. So everything is linked to everything," he observed.
In 2014, Finland imposed economic sanctions on Russia as part of the common EU response to what the West views as Moscow’s involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
"It’s linked to our competitiveness, and there we lag behind Sweden, Denmark, and actually Germany which is a euro country as well," he said.
Finland joined the euro area in 1999, and formally adopted the common currency in 2002. Recently, the country has experienced several economic shocks, such as the collapse of its hi-tech champion Nokia and declining demand for paper in Europe, the main market of the country's paper industry, prompting a petition to exit the Eurozone.