19:39 GMT +312 December 2019
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    The Euro logo is pictured in front of the former headquarter of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on July 20, 2015

    We Want Our Markka Back! 50,000 Finns Sign Petition to Leave Eurozone

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel Roland
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    A petition for Finland to leave the Eurozone has reached more than 50,000 signatures, triggering a compulsory parliamentary debate.

    A campaign for Finland to leave the Eurozone has gained more than 50,000 signatures for its proposal, the number of votes that forces parliament to debate its proposal for a national referendum on the issue.

    The petition was organized by Finnish MEP Paavo Vayrynen, a veteran politician and former presidential candidate from the Center Party, who has also served as a Finland's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

    It requests parliament to order a national referendum on the Eurozone, of which Finland is a founder member. In 1998 Finnish parliamentarians decided to join the single currency, and the following year the euro replaced the markka, Finland's currency since 1860.

    "The euro area has not developed as was presented to the parliament in 1998. Affiliation with it has caused financial loss to Finland, unemployment and bad government deficit," the European Citizen's Initiative reads.

    "Member states in distress are being financially supported in a way that violates the EU Treaties. These support mechanisms are being strengthened, and put in place on a permanent basis. The euro area decision making system is being changed in a way that would essentially reduce the economic and state independence of Finland."

     Vayrynen is continuing to collect signatures for the petition, which Finns were able to sign both on paper and electronically. 

    "The collection will continue. Some of the signatures may be discarded because some people could have signed the initiative twice," said the MEP, who began collecting signatures for the petition four months ago, and had collected 42,000 signatures after two months.

    The signatures are currently being verified by Finland's Population Register Center, which will then forward the initiative to parliament.


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